We’ve made it to the weekend again, but that means today is our final question and answer with Author, Sheryl Hames Torres. But she leaves us with some good advice.
Sheryl, what was the best advice you ever received about your writing? Something you keep in mind still today OR What was the best writing tip you ever read, learned, etc.
Sher: Way back in the dark ages, when I finally decided I’d like to get back to writing–was married, had my kids, moved home and was ready–I took an online writing workshop. I realize now, this was not the group for me, but I can’t find it within myself to be sorry because I met an incredible writer by the name of John Marco — years before the publication of Jackal of Nar, or any of the rest of his wonderful novels. This particular week, the critiques were especially harsh, and one person told me my writing was so bad, my characters so “hokey” and the whole thing was so southern, I should consider taking up plumbing because I had “a lot to flush.” Aside from this being “memoir week” and well, I am southern and most of the people I know are fairly proud of the little bit of hokiness in them, this stung badly enough I was ready to quit. John said, “I promise you, if you quit writing, you’ll be sorry for the rest of your life. You’re never going to please everyone, and you don’t want to. You’re never going to write exactly the way anyone else does, and you don’t want that either. It doesn’t matter if one person tells you your writing is sub-par. As long as you keep writing what’s true to your heart, someday, someone else is going to love it. That’ll be the person who’s important.” One of the most wonderful things to me this twenty years later, is walking into my son’s room and seeing John’s first book on my son’s bookshelf and knowing I had the privilege of critiquing that book long before it was published, and knowing way back then I was reading greatness.