Due to a long and bizarre sequence of events, a couple of weeks ago I got a chance to sit down and chat with Chris Stewart. He’s a bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. If you listen to Glenn Beck, you’ve probably heard of him before, as Glenn is currently re-releasing a series Chris wrote a few years ago. Also, it looks like Chris has a lock to become my congressman in Washington next election.
Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the whole deal.
Anyway, this wasn’t really an interview so much as a chance for me to sit down and chat about writing with an experienced and successful author.
Here are a few things he said in our conversation which I found interesting. These aren’t direct quotes or anything, just the stuff I jotted in my notebook.
- The traditional publishing world is basically controlled/directed by interns from NYU right now. They are the ones working for the “Big 6″ who make the first, and maybe second cuts of all submissions.
- Keep your number of beta readers low. Perhaps two people. He said any more than that and you’ll start to lose your voice by trying to please too many differing opinions. As a corollary to this, he’s not a big fan of writing groups.
- Write what you love, because at some point writing is going to feel an awful lot like work. If your heart isn’t in what you’re doing, you’ll never finish it.
- Writing a lot is better for your skills than writing classes or craft books.
Anyway, it was a great opportunity for me and I’m grateful he would take the time to squeeze me into his schedule.