My Writing Truths

I've been a "professional" writer for about 25 years. I've learned a lot during this time period.

For instance, I learned that the publishing business didn't work at all like I thought. I believed that you could write a book about anything that struck your fancy, and, if it was a good book, it would get published. Guess what I learned? The publishing business doesn't work that way.

20 Truths Learned

1. Writing successfully requires a consistent commitment. You must place the seat of your pants in the seat of the chair on a consistent basis and produce pages.

2. Writing is hard work physically so take care of your body. It's easier to prevent problems like back spasms, sciatic pain, and carpel tunnel rather than to cure them.

3. Writing is hard work emotionally so take time to play. Don't tell your child "later" every time she or he wants to toss a ball with you or take a swim. Don't tell your husband “no” when he wants you to go fishing with him or play golf. You'll regret it one day if you do. Pages can be written another day, but time with loved ones can't be reclaimed. Life is short. Children grow up while you aren't looking. Nurture those relationships.

4. Writing is hard work mentally so read for pleasure and read to learn more about the world.

5. Not every good book you write will sell.

6. After you sell successfully, you'll still get rejected by publishers. In indie publishing, you'll still have books that flounder.

7. You'll lose friends because some become jealous when you're successful. The day may come when you realize there is no excuse for their nasty comments to others about you. No excuse but jealousy. You'll grieve, but, if you're smart, you'll accept and move on.

8. You'll make new friends who accept you and cheer you on.

9. You won't get rich unless you are that one in a million, and no one can predict that so don't expect it.

10. It takes a bit of luck to sell and continue selling. Good luck seems to grow with a positive attitude.

11. Sometimes deals and plans fall apart for no apparent reason.

12. Sometimes what you think is a curse is a blessing and vice versa.

13. Always remember why you started writing in the first place - because you love putting words together.

14 Don't believe everything an editor, agent, or a glowing review says about you.

15. Don't place too much emphasis on reviews--good or bad.

16. Share what you know with others. If you help someone else along the way, you help yourself (and enrich your karma).

17. Don't speak ill of other authors or their books. No one ever sets out to write a crummy book. Even if you don't think a book is particularly good, always remember that the author sweated blood over it--just as you do over your work.

18. Always write. If you are waiting for a contract, start a new book. If you are certain that you'll never sell, write. If you are depressed, write. If you are ecstatic over a new contract or soaring sales of your indie book, write. Never stop writing because when you do, that writer's muscle stiffens and atrophies from lack of use.

19. Always strive to improve your craft.

20. Develop a great work discipline. If nothing else, you’ll create one heck of an inventory.

Takeaway Truth

What are your writing truths?

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