We are asked often for advice on being a writer. I always feel a little uncomfortable when asked this because... 1. I do not know everything about writing. (Does anyone, really?) and 2. Everyone is different and what works for me will not always work for someone else.
So I took a different a approach.
A few years ago, I asked myself for tips. What I could tell myself in that present moment that I wished I would have known before writing and publishing my first novel.
This list is a few years old, but I look back on it often. It had helped me in a lot of ways and I hope it can help you, too.
1. Do it.
-Just do it. Don't ask why. Grab your pen --or your laptop-- and just write.
2. Don't doubt yourself.
-You will doubt yourself. I think all success comes from a bit of doubt. What I mean is, don't doubt yourself to where you no longer have a desire to write. You have to be the controller of your doubt when it creeps in. Control it and move on.
3. Write what you feel.
-This is a big one. Don't write what people think might happen. Write what you feel needs to happen. It's your story, you write it.
4. Don't quit because of what others say.
-Not everyone will like your story. People will be mean, cruel, and ruthless. Take it for what it is. Don't let that taint your dream. After all, you are writing for yourself, not them.
5. Know when to listen.
-Everyone has their 'how to'. Everyone will try to influence you. You have to be the one to decide what fits you. It's like a pair of jeans. Slip it on, if it doesn't work, chuck it. You will know when it fits.
6. Rules are rules, but...
-They can be broken...sometimes. Don't be afraid to walk that line.
7. Don't lose yourself trying to find yourself.
-This is a huge one. People change in this industry. Sometimes you can't do the things other authors do, don't force it.
8. Success doesn't happen overnight.
-"If you build it, they will come." --remember that handy-dandy quote from Field of Dreams? It's true. Who knows when that will be. Just work hard and trust that you are doing the best that you can. Don't break your back or your bank account trying to achieve something that just isn't reachable at this time. You can't do everything. There will come a point where those things will be more available to you. Do what you can when you can.
9. You will feel alone.
-This comes with the territory. We have things running through our brains that others don't. People don't understand. It's okay to feel this way.
10. You will feel like you're making the biggest mistake of your life.
-This is normal. It'll keep happening. Again, trust yourself.
Struggle you will, but don't you ever give up. No one likes a quitter.
There will come a point where acceptance doesn't matter. Take that moment in. Bet you'll feel a calm come over you like none other. This isn't about everyone else, it's about you, sugar plum. How you want it, where you want it, when you want it. Work for it. The only person that needs to love your story is you.
Lift that chin up, baby. Stand ten foot tall and bullet proof.
You got this.
Because I believe in you.
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An author just sharing her journey to encourage others to take the plunge.