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  • Writer's pictureBryan Alaspa

Advice to Young Writers

As a person gets older, they feel the need to pass along the things they have learned. Well, that's at least how it feels for me. Maybe when you have kids, that desire is taken care of by teaching them. For someone like me, the need takes on a different bent.

Recently, I participated in an event at a local college where I got to answer questions from young college-aged writers. It was so great and I had such a good time, but it got me thinking. Young writers are wanting to learn, they want advice. Well, I have some good news for them: the future of writing (in whatever genre you want), is bright.

I know horror and thrillers, of course. I don't write romance or sci-fi or things like that. I know that the genre of horror has not been so exciting in a while. I have always loved reading horror, but these days, there is so much and it is being used to convey so many messages by so many people, it's amazing.

One of the most exciting things is the diversity of the writers. There have always been writers of different races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, cultures who have written horror, but it seems more accepted now. You can find gay, straight, bi, trans, horror literature out there. You can find horror stories from races who all bring their own legends and culture into the stories. One of the best, for example, in recent years was Stephen Graham Jones' "The Only Good Indian" from a couple years back.

This means, whatever silo the world has wanted to put you in, you can find an audience and way to write in the world of horror. Horror is such a great genre for all of it.

The other good news is that there are more ways to get your work out in front of people than ever before. Although you need to cultivate people who will read your work and offer feedback, and it pays to have editors in your camp, but once you get through with the editing and rewrites, you can choose how you want to reach the audience. You can try the standard route by submitting to presses or you can find an agent. However, if you want control, starting your own publishing empire is easier than ever.

Get over your hatred of Amazon and Jeff Bezos, and use that platform. You reach the most people and can do all kinds of marketing things with them that you cannot do other places.

You have to publish. You need to publish. Once you do, the audience will find a way to your door. It will happen. While a standard publishing way will bring the publisher's marketing team to help, you can learn how to market your own books via social platforms and Google. Don't be afraid, just learn and do.

In the end, that is the best advice I can offer. Whatever you want to write. However you want to publish. Whatever you want to do, learn it and do it. Just do it.

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