In no particular order, these are things I wish I’d been told at the beginning of my foray into the world of writing.
Expect to wait. The older I get, the more quickly time passes – except when it comes to getting published. Even when I submitted poems and articles for little or no payment, it took time to hear back from the publisher. Patience is a virtue, and working toward publication gives us ample opportunity to develop this virtue.
Don’t expect to get rich. I wasn’t quite so naïve as to think I was writing the next Pulitzer Prize winner, but I figured a few dollars here and there would be nice. They are, indeed, but writing is definitely not for the “get rich quick” crowd. Unless it is a calling, you may want to consider some other venture.
Find some critique partners. On this one I would caution that more is not necessarily better. Writing and accepting critiques is one of my most valuable helps, but it does take time. When I joined a large group, I was quickly overwhelmed. Now I have a few critique partners, and when my next novel gets published, much of the credit will go to these wonderful ladies.
Pray. Before you start writing, while you are writing, while you do research – the whole experience can be a spiritual exercise that blesses you as well as your readers.
Take advantage of online groups. For you younger set, that’s probably a “duh” suggestion. For older ones like me, tackling social media and the vast world of the internet is a scary endeavor. So my advice is: don’t be afraid to try, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. I’ve “met” many wonderful writing friends online, and their generosity with their knowledge never fails to amaze me.
One more tidbit: if at all possible, attend a writers conference. This is one I haven’t yet managed, but it’s something I hope to do in the next year or two. From everything I’ve heard, this is one of the best uses of your time and money for contacts and learning experiences.
Well, that turned out longer than I expected. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’d love to hear from you!