When I first started my journey to publication, an editor told me, "Enjoy the learning process." At that point, I had no idea what she meant. But now I think I'm beginning to understand:) I feel like I'm back in school. Here are a few things I'm learning...
1. Publishing is a business. You must show up for work every day and put your "cheeks in chair" as James Scott Bell would say, and crank out words, no matter your level of inspiration.
2. Writing is mostly rewriting. Good writing, anyway. If you think your work can't be improved, it probably needs more work.
3. Write for yourself first. Write what you love. Write with your heart. Your whole heart.
4. When you finish a first draft, set the manuscript aside for awhile. Print out a hard copy and then go over it with a blue pen or a red pen. There should be lots of color when you're done. Have fun incorporating all those changes:) Then do it all over again. And again...
5. Be prepared to deal with insecurity, disappointments, and naysayers. Being published doesn't mean staying published. Or feeling like you've arrived. Or having everyone love your book.
6. Don't expect your editor to slap you on the back and call you buddy. It's a business relationship. When your work is the best it can be, they'll be pleased and so will you. Mostly the writing life is a solitary life where you are left alone to write the best book you can.
7. Don't become so burdened by the rules of writing that you can't write. Prologues, backstory, narrative and all the "no-no's" have their place.
8. Be gracious. Send a handwritten thank you note, a bouquet, or gift basket to your agent, editor, or a writing mentor.
9. There are many, many fine writers out there and very few publishing slots. If by some miracle and much hard work you publish a book - WOW! Don't let it go to your head.
10. Be thankful. I love this verse: I am not worthy of the least of all Thy mercies. ~Genesis 32:10
I wrote this particular post in May but it was such a departure from my usual I kept it as a draft till now. I don't write much about writing. There are so many other fine blogs that focus on that, including my agent's, Janet Grant. She has a very insightful post today that gives you a front row seat regarding the writer-publisher relationship.
Can you add to my list? Do you enjoy the writing life? Or are you thankful you are a reader and not a writer?