What I’ve learned so far and some extra stuff I might’ve already known.
Most important thing is, be careful who you take advice from. With that bit of information stated, if you decide to read on anyway, you can’t say you weren’t warned : )
Now, if you do manage to get help from someone who has a clue, really try to listen to what they tell you. It’s hard to take a critique sometimes. Hell, who am I kidding? It’s always hard. But, try and get past the knee jerk reaction that screams they have no clue and really think about if there is some merit in what they say. If you hear certain critiques over and over again, it’s probably got a little bit of truth.
Writing is an art, and as such, only a rare few writers will be loved universally. I’m convinced even those writers probably have closet haters. Don’t sweat it! Odds are, you’ll be with me among the 99% that will get roughed up a bit, possibly a lot. Try not to have a pity party too often. It’s hard to write when you’re fuzzy from tequila shots.
When I started writing, I researched different author’s processes. What did I conclude? There is no right way. In my opinion, the best way is whatever is going to get you to finish that first draft. Don’t sweat every sentence, get obsessed with how bad it is, just get it out. You’d be amazed at how much easier the subsequent drafts are. I’ve hated every first draft I’ve written. I hate half of the second. By time I get to the third and fourth go around, I’m feeling better. Problem is, you can’t get to the fourth if you don’t finish the first!
So, you finally finish the first book and it tanks? Join the club. What do you do? Keep writing. I’ve read early books from authors who I absolutely adore now. Not always so good. What makes you better? Writing more. (At least that’s what I’m banking on, lol.)
One of the biggest questions lately is do you go traditional or do you self pub? That’s a tough one to decide. I think everyone has their own path. Why did I decide to self pub? The numbers. I knew that the odds of becoming a mega best seller were stacked against me. I also did some research into the average percentage most traditionally published mid-list authors get from sales. I realized my chances of making a liveable income from writing was better if I went indie. But, I doubt that decision on a regular basis. If any of you figure out the best way, be sure to send me an email because I don’t have the answer. Just go with the way you feel more passionate about. Which leads me to my next point.
Passion. Be passionate about what you’re writing. If your bored? Yeah, probably not going to be so hot for the readers either. Writing is not an easy path to success. You’re going to have to want it badly, and even then, it might not happen. If you don’t have a strong passion for it, it’s going to be tough to endure the long road ahead. I’m not writing this to discourage anyone. I include this because when it does get tough and you aren’t having any success, don’t feel like you are the only one. Dig deep and keep going!
My last tidbit? Do what you say you are going to do. Your reputation is everything in life. Don’t ruin it by falling down on obligations. A good reputation is one of the hardest things to reestablish.
So, that’s my big list of life/writing advice. Take it for what it’s worth.