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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Learning From the Pro Writers without Stalking Them

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Tweet This:  Learning From the Pro Writers without Stalking Them

You know who you are. You follow the award-winning, best-selling

writers whose success make you drool. Their books are read and reread, often with highlights. Their blogs are ingested like candy, and whenever they speak, you’re there.

At conferences, you sign-up for one-on-one appointments and sit at their tables at mealtimes. Their Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and whatever other social media is used capture our attention while we’re learning the craft.

Those aren't bad practices. In fact, emulating our favorite writers can establish professional habits, whether it be in the writing process or marketing and promotion. Modeling our careers after successful writers is commendable. 

But stalking an author through harassment and unwanted attention shoots the writer straight out of the unprofessional canon. What exactly do I mean? Here are nine naughty ways to give you the status of a stalker.
  1. Multiple requests for the writer to read your work. Free of course.
  2. Numerous comments on social media.
  3. Pushing a piece of toilet tissue from one stall to another with a note of devotion. (I had this happen during a writer’s conference. I avoided the writer for the remainder of the time.)
  4. Repeated emails of your fan status and how you’d do anything for him/her.
  5. Sending an abundance of gifts.
  6. Shoving a manuscript in his/her face before the first sip of coffee at a writer’s conference. (I had this done. I wanted to bite the writer’s hand.)
  7. Planting your rear outside of the writer’s residence. (A good reason for a professional writer to use a post office box.)
  8. Waiting outside the hotel door of a writer at conference.
  9. Avoid plagiarism - it’s a crime.
So what can a writer do to increase agent, editor, and professional recognition without being a nuisance? The following are twelve ways to model your career after successful writers—the smart way.
  1. Approach your writing as a business. To make a business prosper, an investment of time, education, and money is a necessity.
  2. Invest designated hours to learn the craft and write.
  3. Invest in how-to books, time to read and reread.
  4. Invest in the novels from your genre and read them.
  5. Invest in a writer’s conference that provides sound teaching and is well attended by agents, editors, and respected writers.
  6. Involvement in a critique and/or writers’ group, via online or face-to-face.
  7. Social Media is a must in today’s world of publishing. Learn it. Do it. That means a quality website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, blog regularly and/or guest blog. Practice the philosophy that social media is not about you but what you can offer to others.
  8. Subscribe to blogs and newsletters from those within the industry who have a proven track record: agents, editors, publicists, marketing and promotion specialists.
  9. Understand there is no easy road to publication.
  10. Willingness to provide instruction to other serious writers.
  11. Wisdom to discern what guideline work for you.
  12. Never stop learning!
Did you note there are more smart items than naughty ones? A professional writer embarks upon a journey on the road to publication. It may take six months, a year, two years or more to reach your publication goals, but you can do it by incorporating the habits of a successful writer into your life! 
Join in the conversation. What have you learned that you can share about your writing career?

Tweet This:  Learning From the Pro Writers without Stalking Them


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. Diane,

    What terrific insights in your article. I love the details of what not to do and what can be done. Thank you.

    The Writing Life

  2. Hullo DiAnn! That list of no-no's!! #3, really???
    You nailed it with #1 on the yes list, though, treat our writing as a business—because it is! I think that's the bottom line for all of us. It's [so much] more than a hobby, and it's hard work. And there are no short cuts!
    Thank you for a witty and informative post.

  3. Very informative and witty. I hope you're not being "stalked" at present.

  4. Oh my! I hope I'm not guilty of the naughty ones. If so please hold me accountable. After several conferences you pick up on what "not to do" while treating others with respect. I have worked on the smart suggestions for some time. Advice from you is always appreciated.


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