Earlier this month I celebrated the fifth publiversary of my debut novel, Welcome to Your Life. There are so many times where it feels like I’ve been doing this forever, and other times it feels like yesterday. This book has seen many faces over the years, including the special edition cover.
If you would have told me when I started that in five short years, I’d have written thirteen novels, seven short stories/novellas, and one collection of short stories, I never would have believed you. All of this while working a full time job, part time job, and having two kids active in sports.
There are times writing is hard, to the point I want to give up. But I don’t. I truly love creating stories for readers. I have so many ideas in my head, I don’t know that I’ll ever get them written. With each new set of characters, I come up with even more spinoff ideas. The cycle never ends and I don’t ever want to get off this ride.
So here are some things I’ve learned over the last five years that may help you if you’re starting out on your writing career.
- Never give up. I mean it, don’t give up your passion. You don’t want to look back and regret the stories you didn’t create.
- It’s a long game. There are a few breakout successes, but building your readership and doing all the things takes time.
- Find your writing group. I’ve been lucky enough to find my little group, and they are amazing. We haven’t met in real life, but we’ve video chatted and they are some of my best friends. (Though, I’ll get to meet one of them in November, and I’m stoked.)
- Back up your work! Do it three times if you have to. Nothing sucks more than losing half a novel.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Your only competition should be yourself. Work to improve every time you open your manuscript.
- You don’t have to write every day, but do build a routine. (Burnout is a real thing and you don’t want to do that to yourself.)
- And, lastly, have fun. Writing contains so many journeys. From the business side to the creative side. Strap in and enjoy the ride.
I’m sure there’s way more that I’m forgetting, but these are the biggies for me.
Thank y’all for being on this amazing journey with me. I can’t wait to give y’all more stories to swoon over.