Friday, June 22, 2012
7 Things I Have Learned So Far
After reading a few lists from published authors about what they have learned so far on their writing journey , I thought I'd share some of what I have learned so far on this interesting journey...
1. Writing isn't as easy as everyone thinks it is...
In fact, It's pretty hard. Writing my first book was much easier because I didn't know what I didn't know about the craft. Now that I have attended a few conferences, met with an agent, read blogs and books on writing, I feel overwhelmed. Writing is a craft that can be learned. Be encouraged!
2. The publishing industry is changing...and that's a good thing!
Don't be afraid to explore all the avenues of publishing these days. Traditional publishing, like traditional education, is being forced to deal with the digital realm. But this is great news to writers! Try your hand at self-publishing in addition to traditional because this increases your chances of being seen.
3. Listen to your editor.
This is hard at times, but a must do for anyone who wants to learn to write. The revising process is where you learn more about your story than at any other time. A good editor will show you the gaps and holes in your plot, the lack of development in your characters, and provide you with some ideas on how to solve those problems. If your editor is not providing you constructive criticism, run for the hills! Find yourself a better editor.
4. Believe in your story.
I know I am not the best writer in town, but when it comes to The Dragon Forest trilogy, I know I have a good story. I believe in my characters. Peter is as real to me as my own son. The Lord gave me this story and I have no problem telling others about it. Make sure you have confidence in your story. You should be able to pitch your story to others in a few sentences, it should be that familiar to you.
5. Be teachable.
I am one of those freaky persons who LOVES to learn. I have no trouble reading books on writing because I love learning new things. When we refuse to learn because we think we already know it all...that's when we begin to fail. Always be willing to read or listen to others about the writing craft. Attend conferences and takes notes, listen, and ask questions. Always be a learner in life.
6. Celebrate with other writers.
It can be easy to sit and grumble when you read about a first time author hitting it big with their first book. But don't sit and grumble! Instead, celebrate with them and be encouraged. When I read about J.K. Rowling's journey, I was amazed. Her story is not an "overnight success" story in the least. She struggled through life and endured rejection just like the rest of us. So, learn to be genuinely happy for others in this writing journey! That way when YOU hit it big...there will be people around to celebrate with YOU!
7. You are not in this alone.
It's easy to fall into the habit of secluding yourself into your writing "cave" and exclude all others because you have to write, after all. But DON'T do this! You will need the support of a loving family around you to get you through the hard times of rejection (and you will be rejected from time to time...) and revising and waiting. I remember when I ran my first marathon and crossed the finish line, I looked around at all the people who had family there to hug them and laugh with them. I had no one there waiting for me. I didn't like that feeling. You don't want to get that first contract and look around only to find no one there to celebrate with you. So, take time to thank the supportive people in your life! You are not in this alone.
Well, that's my advice so far. I hope to have more advice when my second, third, and fourth books are published! Hey, a girl can dream, right??
I urge you to read more "7 things I've learned..." lists that are out there for encouragement. Keep the faith! Stay strong!
...but most importantly, just write!