Encouragement From The Front Line – Hugh Howey

howey, hughHugh Howey is one of the most successful self-publishers that there has ever been. His Wool series was taken on by a traditional publisher for the print rights only, which means he gets to keep the eBook royalties all to himself. The books are being made into a film by Ridley Scott and there’s also a graphic novel being created.

I’m interested to know what this guy says about it all and what his secret to success is. Luckily, he’s given an interview to copyblogger which explains all, and here it is. I recommend you read it first but here’s my take…


Similar, to my routine which I was explaining in this post, Hugh Howey spends 4-5 hours a day writing, and importantly, he also spends 2-3 hours a day reading. I think that this mix is important, especially when you’re still learning.


He’s asked whether he writes with music on or off. Silence is his answer… and funnily enough, so’s mine. (oh my god, we could be brothers)


When asked what he thinks makes a writer great, he answers, Dedication. I whole heartedly agree with this but coming from a guy who’s walked-the-walk, I must admit it does encourage me.


He uses a MacBook Air. Obviously.

Worry about the writing

His one piece of advice to new writers is to just worry about the writing. Forget all about marketing, sales, agents, publishers and all the rest of it. Just write books and get them out there.

Bigging myself up

Now, you know me, I don’t like to boast but… I’ve been kind of saying all of this stuff to myself for two years. The most important thing is to keep plugging away and concentrating on writing more books. Even if you can’t expect to receive the success of Hugh Howey then you might be able to just about earn a living at least. This interview has assured me that what I’m doing feels right and that’s all I need in order to keep me going.

Until next time…


9 responses to “Encouragement From The Front Line – Hugh Howey

  1. If I had 4-5 hours a day to write and another 2-3 hours a day to read, I’d already be successful.

  2. I like the “worry about the writing” bit.

  3. Love it. Dedication is definately the key. Know where I can get any?

  4. Pingback: Self-Publishing Lab at Frankfurt Book Fair’s CONTEC Event

  5. Every writer is different. Another wildly successful writer might give exact opposite answers to Howey. I think we each have to find the mix that’s right for us. And if I had 4-5 hours a day to write and another 2-3 hours to read, I’d either get no sleep or be out of a job and on the street. Until I retire next year, the most writing I can fit in is an hour or two in the evenings after work and, if I’m lucky, several uninterrupted hours on a weekend.

    He is right about the dedication, though. You can’t call yourself a writer if you don’t write. And for me, writing without editing until I’m done is the hardest part of writing. My first year of NaNo, I went crazy trying to keep up the word count and edit as I wrote. Last year I just wrote and didn’t allow myself to even read what I wrote until Dec 1st. Surprisingly, there weren’t many typos or grammar errors. So I’ll do the same again this year – just write.

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