Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Things I Have Learned In My On Going Journey to Becoming a Published Author

This is a blog I did a few weeks ago on A History of Romance but I think it is something we can all stand to hear again. Hope you enjoy it and it brings encouragement and inspiration.

Believe in Yourself and Your Dreams

You are the only one that can achieve your goals and you have to push yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself who will? Nothing worth achieving is going to be easy. Everyone goes through the stage were they feel they want to give up but remember the feeling you had when you first wanted to start writing. The rush and joy of the dream in the beginning.

Find a Good Support System

Sometimes the dream starts to fall apart and doubt creeps in. I think if you could see doubt he would look like the Noid from dominos pizza. Bouncing around all evil and refusing to give up. However, if you have good friends that support you then you can push doubt aside. I am blessed with a family that believes in my dream to be a published author.

Writing Buddies

Not everyone has the support of their family and friends. People seem to think writing is a pipe dream. So, what do you do now? You find other writers to be your support group. No one knows the joys and sorrows of the writing journey like another writer. I have some of the most amazing fellow authors that lift me up when I am in a rut and push me a little further when they think I can do better.

Grow a Tough Skin

This was one of the hardest things for me to learn. Not everyone is going to love your writing. This does not mean you are a bad writer but you aren’t going to please everyone. I write paranormals and some people laugh and refuse to read about vampires and other para creatures. Does that make me a bad writer no, my writing is just not their cup of tea and that’s fine. So, don’t let one bad apple make you feel like your writing is a joke. You need the skin of a rhino to make it in the writing world.

Join a Critique Group

Not all crit groups are the same, it took me a while to find the right one, but when you do its great. I have learned so much from other critters. When I started I thought you just sat down, wrote and ta-da you have a finished manuscript. Reality check it’s not that easy and crit groups are a great place to learn the ropes.

Receiving Critiques

This was a hard one for me in the beginning but I have gotten better at knowing how to take advice. This all stems back to growing that tough skin. You also have to realize not everything a critter says will work for your story. Learning what works of your story and what doesn’t is your final decision not theirs. I always tell my crit partners to take what works and trash the rest. You are the only one that knows how the story should be written.

Giving Critiques

Be kind but be honest. If you tell your crit partner everything they write is great, you aren’t helping them. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. So, give them your thoughts and ideas on their work. There is a difference between honesty and being harsh and nasty. Tell them what you liked about the story too. A good crit partner will tell you the bad with the good.

Take a Writing Class

I learned a lot from criting but there were still thing I wasn’t getting. Therefore, I decided to take a writing class and it all became clear. The things critters were telling me I was doing wrong, I just wasn’t getting them all. Things like show don’t tell went right over my head. However, when I took the class and saw examples of the wrong way and the right way everything fell into place. I encourage everyone just starting out to take a writing class. You can even take them online.

These are just my experiences on my ongoing journey to becoming a published writer. I hope it helps to know we all go through these things and you aren’t alone. As writers, we have to come together and support each other. Most writers are willing to help a new writer and mentor them. They are out there you just have to find them. I would love to hear your thoughts on starting a writing career and what you are going through or have gone through. Remember to never give up on your dream.

Happy Reading and Writing,

Tabitha Blake


Brenda said...

Fantastic blog, Tabitha. All your great advice does bear repeating. I remember when I first started writing or should i say, recieving critiques. Ohhhh yikes. I thought I was the worst. A huge part of me just wanted to crawl under a big rock and stay there and never writing again. But a bigger part of me wouldn't let me quit. I sucked up all the great advice and wisdom other writers gave to me and I pushed forward. I'm so glad I did.

Tabitha Blake said...

It is a tough journey but it will all be worth it in the end. I am glad to let other writers know we all go through it. Hang tight and believe in yourself. Never give up.

Kathy Fox said...

Thanks for all the wonderful tips! I'm hangin' in there and really appreciate knowing I'm not alone!

Brenda said...

Oh, Kathy, you are most definitely NOT alone.

Tabitha Blake said...

K we all go through tough times in the beginning. Hang in there it will get better. We learn as we go and I have come a long way. You will too. I was so frustrated in the beginning I wanted to quit but thank God for Brenda. She is my rock and she keeps me grounded. She always pulled me from the ledge and talked me down. You will find great crit partners and they will support you through all the tough times.

Brenda said...

Aww, Tabby, if it wasn't for you, I know I would have been to afraid to push forward. You have been an absolute Godsend to me. You were my first crit partner and you have seen and helped me through some really rough times.
Kathy, there is nothing like having trusted crit partners. I graduated from a two year, on line writing course, and I have learned more from giving and receiving crits than from the course!

Tabitha Blake said...

Thanks Brenda! I would be lost without you. You always know what to say. You also know when to push me just a little bit farther. You have talked me down I don't know how many times when I just wanted to quit! Without you I would have quit long ago! Hope you know how much that means to me.