Yes…that would be my lovely daughter Scarlett with her finger shoved up her nose. She’s cute even when doing that! How am I ever supposed to discipline such cuteness!?
In light of the ending year, I figured I would share 12 writing tips I gathered in 2012. This past year has been one crazy ride. I quit my job of five years to stay at home with my kids, I started up an art business with my best friend, and most importantly, my first novel ever written, was published by 48fourteen.
To say that I’ve obtained a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time is an understatement. It’s funny how much we change in a year. A life lesson can be found in every action we make. But a wise person recognizes this and grows because of it.
Any who, let’s get to the tips, shall we? Now, keep in mind that they aren’t anything that will change your life. They are only things that stand out to me as I reflect on this past year.
- The only way to see a novel through is to simply write it. Sounds easy right? Well it’s not. Distractions surround us…especially writers who have access to internet and social media. But if I’ve learned one thing from this insight, it’s self-discipline. Only I can make it happen.
- Editors are a must! You know that saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, our novels are our children. One person simply cannot do it alone. There is no shame in that either. If you are planning on self-publishing, please invest in an editor. I can’t tell you how much my editor has taught and helped me with both of my novels. Sometimes being so close to the project blinds you from the truth.
- If you stumble on a scene that doesn’t sit well with you in your novel, trust your gut. Don’t overlook it because it’s the easiest thing to do. Yes it’s hard to delete your work, but if the scene was they way you wanted it, then you wouldn’t have had that feeling in the first place. I experienced this with a couple of scenes in Born in Flames that ended up being pointed out by my editor. I left them because I wasn’t sure, when I should have just went with my gut in the first place and deleted/fixed them.
- Criticism is not always a bad thing. Although you do find those who bash just to bash, try to find the good in every remark. Criticism keeps you humble and it gives you insight into what readers are looking for in that particular genre. They might also bring to light something that wasn’t caught in editing.
- Marketing is very time-consuming, but necessary. The key to success is to use what’s available. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, ect. Also, Google blogs that read your genre and ask them if they’d be willing to review your copy. Every blog has followers and this is how you will expand your audience. Any exposure is good exposure.
- You must give yourself time away from your projects or you will burn out.
- Any idea, no matter how anemic it may seem, can be turned into something magnificent if you want it bad enough. All you have to do is believe in yourself.
- Publication takes time. Lot’s of time. Editing, cover art, more editing, formatting, more editing…don’t rush it. Let things fall how they are meant to fall. But also, for those who have never published, understand that it does take up to a year. Don’t get discouraged!
- Success doesn’t happen over night. It happens with word of mouth and plenty of time. Patience (the one thing I have worked on as my new years resolution last year) is the only thing that will get you through it. And marketing.
- Not everyone will like/understand your work. Writing is like coffee. Taste buds vary.
- READ! Read as much and as often as you can. Reading is a writer’s food for thought.
- Don’t give up. When you feel down, alone, lost, confused, discouraged, worthless, not-good-enough…just take a deep breath. We all go through these emotions. Even the best of them do. It’s human nature to question yourself. It keeps you humble. But no matter how bad the emotion, don’t give up. Keep the fighting fire within you alive.
So that’s it. I know…it’s nothing spectacular or grand. It probably won’t change your life, but they are my lesson’s learned this year. I can only imagine what I will learn in 2013. Maybe my dream of being insanely successful will come true…lol. One can dream, right?
I finished approving my editors edits a week ago, so hopefully the cover art will be next. I am very excited about Embracing the Flames. I built up a whole new world with a bunch of different races, while letting Aurora simply…be. I can’t wait to share it with the world. I am only a quarter of the way through on From the Embers. I kind of slacked off during NaNo and then through the holidays.
That will be a New Years Resolution for me.
Any way, I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year!!! Be sure to put a coin on your doorstep before midnight and then pick it up after midnight. It is said to bring you good fortune through the year. You won’t go a day without a dollar in your pocket.
Echelon out ♥