At one point or another, we’ve all said, “I wish I knew then, what I know now.” One of my biggest regrets is not pursuing my passion for writing long before now. I’m going to share 5 things I wish someone had told me way back when.
1. It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
Perfectionism is like a pebble in your shoe that you just can’t find. You have two choices: either spend way too much time looking for it, or keep on stepping with it stabbing you in the toe. To get to your destination, you have to overlook it. My need for perfection is annoying. But I’ve made my peace with it. I know that my writing is not perfect. With maturity, I’ve realized that it never will be. One major habit that has helped me is to read some of my favorite authors critically rather than simply for enjoyment. Guess what? Their writing isn’t perfect either, but I still enjoy it. That helps me to see that readers can enjoy my writing even if it’s not perfect, as long as it is my best.
2. Become Besties with Google
There is so much to learn about the business of writing. There’s no way one person will be an expert in all areas. But that doesn’t mean you have to go around sounding like an imbecile. We live in the blessed age of technology and information is just a Google click away. If there’s some part of the business of writing that you don’t understand, research it until you’re blue in the face. Then research it some more. When you decide to become an author, you also become a small business owner. This applies whether you choose traditional or self publishing. Be prepared to spend a lot of time learning the ins and outs of your new business.
3. Fake It Until You Make It
We become who we say we are. We become who we think we are. If you want to be a self-help guru, then act like one. If you want to be a world-famous playwright, then act like one. If you want to be on the New York Times bestseller’s list, then act like you already are. You don’t have to wait for your dream to manifest itself, before you start walking in it. I’m not saying you should go around ‘fronting’. I’m saying that you should really consider the behavior of people already in the position you want to occupy, then emulate those behaviors. Self help gurus help people-a lot. Playwrights write plays and are heavily involved in theater life. Bestselling authors write great books, get fabulous agents and market like their next meal depends on it. What’s stopping you from doing the same?
4.Hang With Other Writers
If you ignore everything else I’ve said, please hear this: a support group is critical. Nobody gives better feedback than other writers. No one understands the passion that drives you more that other writers. No one stays more current on writing related events and news than other writers. It is in your best interest to be a part of a dynamic group of writers, whether published or not. You will truly be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t.
5. Expect Rejection and Learn to Deal with It
Being an author is not for the faint of heart. YOU WILL BE REJECTED. By someone, at some point. Trust me on this one. Whether it’s while querying agents, or submitting blindly to publishing houses or when you find out that aunt so-and-so never read your book even after it was published. Rejection is a part of the business. Get over your fear and accept that your writing is not for everyone. It’s for someone, just not everyone. And that’s okay. Your job is to keep trying until you get it in the hands of the folks it was meant for. They’re waiting, so don’t give up!
Advice for new writers? Share below!