Simply by remaining alive you gain luxury. Experience is like the dollars and cents of knowledge, it isn’t exciting to gain, but it adds up over time.
I turn twenty-seven years old tomorrow, the age all the cool kids died, and even though I’m falling into my next year with little life knowledge gained, it has been a tremendous year of learning on the writer side of things.
I’m thinking today about myself at twenty-four, publishing for the first time. I’m thinking about myself at twenty-one, writing for other people’s attention. I’m thinking of myself at six when I was encouraged to write creatively for the very first time. Here’s what I would say to them if I could.
Writing is not music. I may feel like it is, but it’s not.
If you choose to take on a social media persona for your writing, you are taking on a tool that should be used wisely.
Other writers are not your opponents, don’t treat them like they are.
You may think you are producing something completely new and unique. The reality is, you probably are not.
The previous is a chance to learn, not a reason to quit.
Be prolific rather than innovative.
Writing is not the same thing as speaking. If you try to write exactly how you speak, then translation might be affected.
You need to know all of your characters beyond just their names.
Just because you’re an artist, doesn’t mean you get a pass to be an asshole.
Writing is instinctual. Crafting and editing are skill-intensive.
Show your work to people who won’t let you embarrass yourself.
If you feel like you’re ripping off another author, you are.
If you want to try to emulate another author, riff off, don’t rip off.
It’s hard to do good work if you are not working silently for sufficient periods of time.
It’s hard to find an audience; accept the reality of working without one.
Your books will outlive you, remember this.
If you gain a following, it’s important to remember that you are also gaining responsibility.
Learn KDP front to back.
Poor formatting CAN hurt how your book is received.
Be grateful when somebody tells you they’ve read your work.