Ah, the ending of another year, and time to reflect.
Here are a few tips taken from my past almost two years of being a published author:
1) Believe in yourself, or just be really, really stubborn. Some folks will shoot you down, even people who mean well. ANYTHING big in your life- writing, art, whatever, is going to change things with you and your relationships with others. This can be threatening to some folks. You have to hang on to the dream that got you on this path—and don’t let go. Setbacks will happen and so will crippling self-doubt. Hang tight and push through.
2) Think long term when naming things that will be around—long term ;). I love the name Asarlaí. It’s different, cool, and fun (it is also stolen from another language- wanna guess which one? ;)). It’s also a pain in the butt to have to keep correcting that accent mark at the end. Had I thought about it, and the number of things that word would have to go on, I probably would have found something less problematic.
3) A six book story arc series is hard. Okay, The Lost Ancients started as two trilogies. The print book of book one still says that. But as I wrote book two, I realized it was one big-ass story and splitting it like that was artificial. However—six books in a single story is FREAKING HARD! Curse of having big-ass stories in my head I guess. But moving forward, going to really try to stick to stories that will fit into three books at a time.
4) Not everyone will like your books and that’s a good thing. I had a woman come up at an event and demand that I sell her on my books. I asked her what she liked to read—she said dark, angsty, tragic, love stories. I smiled, and took my book out of her hand. I told her she would probably not like my books and explained why. She nodded (she’d really wanted me to give her a hard sell) then she said she did have a friend who liked more of what I wrote ;). Know what you write. Accept some folks won’t like that, and even some who do like the sub-genre, may not like your book. I had one person who looked like they would like what I wrote, write that The Glass Gargoyle was too complicated for them to read, but would probably make a good movie. (Somewhere in there, I’m thinking is a compliment?)
5) Pushing yourself is good. It is so easy to let yourself find a way out of doing difficult things—even ones we really want to do (or have done). Get your self-nagging hat on, and cut the TV time, get up early, work during lunch. To quote one of my favorite people, “Make it work”.
6) Be sure you have awesome people behind you. I wouldn’t have the books out that I do without all of my amazing beta reading/editing friends. People who emotionally supported me or let me bounce ideas off them. Not to mention the people I found and hired-artist, editors, formatters. People who believe in you are worth their weight in chocolate—always value them.
7) Dates may be closer than they appear. Yeah. Even after four books out, I still think things will get out faster than they do. Life happens. Reality changes. Same for folks who are helping you get a book done—they have lives too. I was hoping that The Sapphire Manticore would be out in December…then it became very very late December….now we’re looking at January (hence my posting the first chapter over in my pages section on the right side). Part is doing a book this time of year is hard. Part—this is a big book and everything takes longer with big stories. Part is reality changes sometimes. But the fact is, I want this book tight, clean, and ready to ‘wow’. One more round of edits to come back (and I’m still doing more too), then it’ll go to the formatters (who also have to make the full print cover out of the art my artist made). So….it will get here, just not when I’d hoped.
8) Enjoy the journey. No matter where you are, what you’re doing—enjoy the process! If you don’t, none of this is worthwhile.
Merry Christmas, Peaceful Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!