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Research, research, research. With the POWER of the internet nowadays you can research just about anything. That's the real leg up in the game.

 

Do the thing. Do the thing repeatedly to build your skill. Network with others doing similar things to learn and broaden your horizon. Share what you've learned to give back to the community. 

 

Also Cult of the Done. I could explain it, but just Google it. I'm a total adherent of The Cult of Done. #9 is my favorite. 

Brian Held Jr, Co-host and producer of The Week in Geek Radio Show

Metarie, LA

Be creative every day. Even if it's one brushstroke, one line in a song, or one sentence - Just do it.

Kimberly Richardson, Author / Editor

Memphis, TN

Focus on the basics. Write. Rewrite. But most important... learn to network. That's where writing gigs come from.

Sean Taylor, Author / Editor / Musician

Buford, GA

Read. Consume and absorb stories. Familiarize yourself with different writing styles and modes of storytelling.

Nan Monroe Author/Voice Actor

Gainsville, GA

Network, produce work in your spare time instead of playing video games. Get on Allyssa Lewis' list.

Sketch MacQuinor, Voice Actor / Animator / Performer

Atlanta, GA

There is no right way to do things. Every judge or editor will have an opinion on how things should be done, but they don't all have the same opinions. First person vs third person; plot driven vs description driven vs character driven;  what genre your story fits into; these things are opinions, and you'll find people who both hate and love you for your opinion based choices. Do what fits your story.

Ellie Raine, Author / Musician

Alpharetta, GA

Be prepared to be in it for the long haul and be passionate and love what you do.

Samantha Newark Singer-songwriter/Performer

Nashville, TN

My advice is do it and don't give up. An artist makes art. An author authors. If what you do is ask 'How many bedrooms' or 'Do you want an extra shot?' Then you're a great real estate agent or barista, but if you don't go right home and create, that's what you are.

Robert Drake, a guy who does things in places

Atlanta, GA

It's easy to give up. Don't.

Bill Ritch, President of Atlanta Radio Theatre Company

Stone Mountain, GA

Know your audience and write TO them. General doesn't get you anywhere.

Mason R Glenn, Author

Los Angeles, CA

1) Believe in what you're doing 110% 2) Be prepared to get knocked on your ass time and time again 3) Get back up and keep pushing forward

Brandon McDaniel, Guitarist for 1 Last Chance

Oxford, MS

My tips: 

1) Practice your craft. Do small challenges, participate in contests, use prompts and do it all with the idea of getting better.

2) Learn how to take criticism (not like take it with a smile kind of stuff.) Learn how to process what you're being told and assess it for yourself. Then apply it, or don't accordingly, but always be grateful for the opportunity to be introspective and to grow.

3) Be practical. Being creative is amazing, but it's not always what makes the world go round. Be able to see all aspects of your craft even the boring ones. Keep economics, logistics, and legalities in your peripherals at least. They may not be exciting, but they're just as important as the art, and the people who do have to focus on those aspects will be grateful for your willingness to see their side of things.

4) Know what your goal is. I write for the love of it and I have a full time career outside of writing. What that means is, I never have to compromise to make a profit and I have to prioritize my job over my writing sometimes. If my goal were writing to make a living, that would change both of those facts.

Retta Bodhaine, Writer / Photographer

Dacula, GA

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tips for aspiring Authors & Other artists

(Click on their pictures to learn more about them and their work.)
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