Life is too short to not learn something from every experience we have.
My writing journey began more than six years before I self-published my first novel, with an idea for a narrative that was conceived in the wee hours of the morning while I nursed my infant son. Under the heavy influence of minimal sleep, and the works of authors such as Stephanie Meyer, Elizabeth Brundage, and Jodi Picoult, the idea grew as my life unfolded, twisted, and turned – rich with experiences that shaped a fluid perspective on life and relationships. The complete story of Sara’s gripping love triangle emerged, and an author was born.
When I started writing, I quickly realized that doing so would be a process – one that would take me through varying degrees of both pride and self-doubt; one that would by nature force me to learn about the art and dynamics of writing, and about myself; and one that would take years, a lifetime, to master. Here are some of the things I learned during that process:
1. Writing fiction is therapeutic.
2. Writing about relationships, love, and sex will garner some interesting search queries.
3. Candid advice offered by seasoned authors is gold – listen to, and respect every word. Good beta-readers are equally invaluable.
4. Time passes with great speed when the creative juices are flowing – it seems like there’s never enough time to write it all!
5. Writing can be one of the most complicated forms of self-expression, heavily influenced by personal experience. Publishing invites the world into your story. Be ready to be judged by it. Embrace the positive reviews, and learn from the not-so-positive ones.
6. Proofread, revise, and then when you think you have a final draft, put it away for at least a week. Repeat two dozen times.
7. If the story is worth writing at all, take the time to write it well. Don’t rush to publish.
8. Did I mention that writing is a process?
9. Acknowledge those that helped along the way.
10. There is always more that I can learn.