Here are five things I wished I’d known before I started writing.
Looking back I had no idea what was entailed in being a published author. I just had all these stories in my head that were clamoring to get out. So I started writing, something I’d always done sporadically, even on my jobs. Thank god for computers. Even I have trouble with my handwriting.
So I wrote several books and started sending them off. And learned RULE No 1. Learn about your craft before you start to submit. After I’d gotten rejections I started to take the comments, if I was even lucky enough to get them, quite seriously. So we come to RULE No. 2. Expect rejections at first, don’t be overcome by them. And then start to learn all you can. There are loads of books out there to help. I personally think Debra Dixon book on motivation and conflict is a must. Ask your writer friends which ones they’d recommend.
Go to lectures, go to classes on or off the web. Even if you only get one revelation per lecture it’s worth your time and effort. So here’s Rule No. 3, which is something like No.1. Keep learning even after you think you’re pretty good. For instance, I’d never heard of POV (point of view) before I started getting criticisms from editors. I was jumping around from one character’s mind to the other. I still like to do that, and still don’t agree it’s all bad. I think at times it adds spice to the scene, but believe me, the editors don’t like it.
Rule 4. Have your website in place before you’re published. You’re going to need it like crazy, so you might as well enjoy having one.
Rule 5. Be prepared to re-organize your life on a grand scale. I had no idea that promo-ing is mostly up to any author. I’m still learning how to do it right after thirty some books. Some things in your life simply have to be eliminated or you won’t have time for both promo and writing. I’m not fond of promo, but it’s getting easier for me. Still would rather write than anything, but I’m pretty good about sticking to promo in the morning and writing in the afternoon and evening.
Above all else, enjoy the experience of becoming a writer. It can be a wild and wonderful ride. Looking back from my 34th book, Guilty Secrets, which is now on sale at all the usual places, including Amazon and my editor MuseItUp, I know I’ve been extremely fortunate in my life, and I wish the same for you.And do check my recently re-done website, www.jeanhartstewart.com. I love the re-do.
Writing is not for the weak, but it’s strictly wonderful!
‘Til next month…… Jean