Keeping it Simple – Advice from Hugh Howey

First, let me give you the link to Hugh Howey‘s article ‘My Advice to Aspiring Authors‘ – Read It!

If you don’t know who Hugh Howey is, now is the time to get to know him.  He is a best selling author of WOOL.  The ‘how’ of his journey is unique.  He started out self publishing his serial WOOL, then ended up with a print contract with Simon & Schuster.  That’s right, a contract for his print rights with S&S, he retained his e-rights. The Wall Street Journal documented the entire story. He published a well-written story that caught the attention of readers, agents, and publishers.  WOOL was selling before he had an agent and it continues to sell.

In his article, found on his website, he summarizes his experience and take-a-ways from the process of writing.

  1. WRITE – My best advice on how to form this habit is twofold: Get comfortable staring at a blank screen and not writing. This is a skill. If you can not write and avoid filling that time with distractions, you’ll get to the point where you start writing. Open your manuscript and just be with it.
  2. LEARN TO WRITE ROUGH – Stop caring about spelling and sentence fragments and plot holes and grammar. Get the story down. Listen to the dialog and try to keep up with your fingers. Get to the end of your manuscript and THEN worry about the quality.
  3. PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS – Treat it as such. Howey talks about writing being a business and to treat it as such.

I feel the biggest take-a-way from Howey’s experience is – TAKE THE CHANCE.  You can stay safe in your own little world, sheltered, but until you see what your project does in the ‘wild’, all you have is a hobby.



  • The first two are my *biggest* issues. I’ll have my ms open on one monitor, but FB or Twitter or e-mail or….. fill in the blank on the other monitor. I need to train myself to log-off and only focus on writing. I’m getting better at rough writing, but rewriteritess, you know.

    • sigh, rewriteritess. I feel it, my sister.

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