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Professional Writers

A useful article...I agree with what she says about the mysterious process of writing a breakout book, which is one of the great imponderables of publishing. I sometimes think that it's simply a matter of knocking on people's memories enough times, to get them to remember an author's name—which leads to another area to consider—is your name distinctive and memorable?
Very interesting feature. I agree, you have to learn to take criticism and learn from it. I worked on a national magazine and wrote a few 'emotional' features. The first one I submitted, the editor told me, 'It's fabulous, darling," [honestly!] 'Now just take it back and put it through the word processor, one more time...' I still smile at that. I was a complete newby and had no idea what I'd written that needed thrown out, or what I'd written that was worth keeping. I just kept rewriting it until she nodded and said 'great. We'll schedule it for September's issue.' We all need editors who tell us yes, it's good, but now take it back and do this part/that part again. Without them, our writing would never improve.
In another life I worked for a large services consultancy and they sent me on a course 'Write for your reader'. Sure, it was consultancy report writing but it instilled in me to take the reader's perspective as I write. The trouble is that I don't carry all its lessons into my fiction writing which can result in significant re-work.
Great article. She's so right about the take it and get on with it attitude. It's trying to work out which criticism is valid and which is a pinch of salt job in everyday life that's tricky. I'm willing to adapt/re-write - but each lump of advice requires the but should I? question.