Very recently I realized that I had already spent a whole year following my dream of being a writer. Wow, it went by so fast! And over the year I’ve been given all sorts of advise, some of it good, some of it not-so-good. I’ve also learned a lot about the writing world, not all of it fun and daydream-ish.
Anyway, I thought it would be nice to share some of the advice and lessons I’ve learned over the year. So here are the . . . . .
10 things I learned in my year of writing:
- Becoming a successful writer is neither fast nor easy. Yeah, my original plan to become a well known author in a year and quit my super boring (paying) job, that didn’t really happen. In fact, all the authors I talked to measured their progress towards success in years not months.
- Whatever you do, DON’T quit your day job. This advice can’t be repeated enough! No matter how successful I thought I was going to be, I would be writing this blog on a used McDonald’s napkin if I had quit my paying job.
- Kiss your hobbies and free time good-bye. Writing is your hobbies, it is your free time. Yup, I do love my writing, but I’m still pretty bummed that I don’t have any free time to do anything else.
- Learn to make a lot of excuses to your family and friends when they keep asking you why you don’t seem to have any free time anymore (seriously, if you just say that you’re writing, they won’t understand) Nope, they won’t, especially around the holiday season.
- Learn to make a lot of excuses to your writing buddies when they ask why your writing project is taking so long (seriously, if you just say that you need to spend time with your friends or family, they won’t understand) As much as my family and friends drive me crazy, I do still like spending some time with them. I only have so much time in the day, and sometimes that means that I have to skip writing.
- A google search page will be open on your computer 24/7. Because you never know when you’ll need to look up the wind/speed velocity of a coconut laden swallow!
- You become obsessed with reading writing manuals (I’ve read like 40 of them over the past year). Because, surely, someone has found the secret formula for successful novels and has written it down in one of those manuals. So far, I haven’t found it, but I’m sure it’s out there somewhere.
- You become obsessed with reading and re-reading your writing, looking for flaws (I can’t even open the file with my novels in it anymore. Every time I do, I just automatically start line editing it). I call this condition, Perfection Editing Disorder or PED. FYI, there is no current treatment or cure for PED, mostly because there is no such thing as the perfectly edited manuscript.
- You become a stalker (I mean fan, very serious fan) to successful writers. Sadly, no matter how hard I’ve tried to prove this wrong, success doesn’t seem to be contagious.
- The best feeling in the world is when you hear someone say they like your writing! This is so true! No words can describe how wonderful it feels to have someone tell you that they liked something you’ve written. It is just a awesome, awesome feeling!