Juliet Marillier gives great advice

When Kiwi writer, Juliet Marillier came to the United States, my wife almost lost her sanity. Screaming like an insane fan-girl, she came running into my office.

"We have to go see her!"

And so we went. Not being the kind of person to drive 100 miles for just one thing, I commented on Juliet's Facebook page that my wife and I would love to buy her a cup of tea after her presentation at the book convention. To my delight and surprise, she said yes. On the day of the event, we found ourselves seated with her, drinking tea and talking about her life as a writer and her wonderful books that she's brought into the world.
My wife still can't believe all this is real

Of course this would become one of the best things I have ever done for my wife, but, it was selfish of me, to be honest. Here was someone who had made it. Here was someone who had made cut. Here was a lady who had her "big break" and could live the life that I've always wanted. A small house, some cute pets, and my word processor. I loved it and learned so much.

This last November, Juliet was featured at Supanova in Brisbane. Here's her words of wisdom.

“I usually have three bits of advice. The first one is: you need to read. You’re never going to be a successful writer if you’re not a reader. And don’t just read in the genre you want to write in. Read as widely as you can… because that is the best way to soak up style and technique without necessarily having to go to classes to learn it. Be a reader first.

The second is: don’t write what you think will sell. You don’t write to become rich and famous; you write because you desperately need to write. You want to write and you’ve got a story that you really need to tell.

That leads on to the next bit of advice, which is writing because you feel passionate about it. You’ve got a story that is busting to get out. Keep working at it. Do a little bit every day. Work on your craft and polish it. Get people to look at it and give you feedback and you’ll eventually get there.” - Juliet Marillier

This is golden advice and I would like to add some followup statements that I have found to be true as a new writer.

Reading never let anyone down. To and understand what is good and quality literature, you need to read literature. Then you will know what is good and bad, and ugly. If you throw the book into the trash bin, there are probably hundreds of others who have done the same. Pull it out of the trash and find out how not to write this way. Learn why you hate bad writing... But more importantly, learn why you love great writing.

On the second note. I cannot say that nothing has ever been more true. Who are you as a writer? Are you yourself or are you a shill and a sham? To become a great writer is to be true to the writer within you. We aren't in school anymore. We aren't out here to impress anyone, really. We have the tools and we have the wherewithal to accomplish the great story within us. Let's not be harlots to the industry.

Finally, on her third note, we must remember that every large work did not just happen instantly, saving for the acts of God, we cannot create something immediately. The procedure must inundate our existence. If we are writers, then we must write. If we are people who write, what would propel us into becoming  writers. If we are those who sometimes write things, what would be the thing that would push us into becoming someone who writes? Push on, good soldier, push on.