Working with writing students is huge fun for me. I absolutely love it. However, it’s also depressing, because I often wish I were 30 years younger.
I wish I’d known then, what I know now.
So, in the spirit of “if only I knew then what I know now”, here are 11 things I’d do differently if I were starting my writing career today.
1. I’d Pay More Attention to What I Really, Really Want
What do you REALLY want out of life? Around my 40th birthday, I realized I’d spent too many years helping others to achieve their goals.
Helping others is fine; no man is an island, etc… But don’t lose yourself. It helps no one.
2. I’d Read More Great Stuff
How much do you read? I read a lot, these days. Reading is essential for writers. It feeds your brain. Read — and never apologize to others for the time you spend reading.
3. I’d Introduce Myself to More People
If I were starting out today, I’d join more writers’ groups. You’ll find many groups online. You can even start your own book group, or writers’ group, in your local area.
In addition, introduce yourself to people with whom you’d like to work: companies, editors, agents, and other writers.
4. I’d Stop Taking Writing So Seriously
I spent at least 15 years gritting my teeth — I wanted to write BETTER. What a waste of time and energy. If only I’d had the commonsense to enjoy my writing, writing “better” would have been inevitable.
There’s no need to punish yourself. Enjoy your writing.
5. I’d Ignore the Opinions of My Nearest and (Usually) Dearest
Much as you love them, your nearest and dearest can’t help you to write. Unfortunately, if you take writing too seriously (see #4 above), they will try to “help” you — over the nearest cliff.
If they’re not writers, they can’t help.
6. I’d Set Daily Writing Goals
I spent too many years waiting to be “inspired.” And “researching.”
Both activities covered up my fear and sloth.
Thank heavens I no longer have patience for my own excuses. I set daily writing goals, and I write. I know that nothing else matters.
7. I’d Make a 5-Year Plan
Where do you want to be in five years?
For many years, I had very short-term goals. Create a five-year plan, and then work backwards from it, so that every word you write today, helps you to become the writer you’ll be in five years.
A five-year plan is hugely freeing. You’ll be more confident when you know where you’re headed.
8. I’d Celebrate My Failures
Your failures are what make you YOU. You can’t succeed without failing.
Looking back, my failures were much more important than my successes. They taught me much more.
9. I’d Travel More — Alone
These days, you can write anywhere. Traveling alone frees you to do whatever you want to do.
You don’t have to travel overseas, just get out of your customary environment. It will feed and inspire your writing.
10. I’d Be More Accepting of My Own and Others’ Foibles
You’re a creative. This brings out the worst in some people. They either want to “help” you, or want you to be more practical.
You can’t change others and they mostly have good intentions. Accept others’ foibles and your own.
11. I’d Write More Every Day
Looking back, I can see long stretches (years) where I didn’t write much. What a waste.
Every word you write makes you a better writer. Write more today, and every day.
You Can Make MORE Money Writing Than You Can At Any Day Job
Tired of struggling? Here’s some inspiration for you… An ebook called “Fat Loss 4 Idiots” made 21 million dollars in 2009. Last year, Amanda Hocking wrote several short ebooks, and made 2 million dollars. Publishing has changed. You’re in charge, if you want to be.
Can you profitably write and sell ebooks? The self-publishing frenzy says that you can. However, you need to know what you’re doing, so that you’re as sure as you can be that your new ebook will SELL before you start writing it.
It took me five years of writing and selling information products before I stumbled over the formula I’ve been using ever since.
Now I’m sharing the formula with you. Once you start the right way, ensuring that you have readers who are ready and eager to BUY before you start writing, it’s easy to make sales.
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