I’m a writer of romance fiction – but romance that lives in the real-world. When I tell people I write books, they normally adopt a goofy grin and react like I’m living the dream. Which I know I am. But here’s a newsflash – living the dream takes work! Books don’t write themselves, ideas don’t spring out of the air and smoking 20 cigarettes a day does not help your productivity. I know, life sucks. Here are ten other writing truths that aspiring writers should note…
10 – Writing a book is not a get-rich-quick scheme
First up, you have to write the book which is not as easy as it sounds. And then you have to sell it. There are approximately a gadzillion books published every year, and most of them don’t sell more than 500 copies. Don’t cry.
9 – There’s no such thing as a muse
Writing is an art. But like any art, it’s 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration. Like anything, you have to work at it and you have to do regularly to get good at it – it takes practice. If you only write ‘when the muse takes you’, you will never finish that book you’re working on. And muses are like fairies btw – they don’t exist.
8 – You need an editor
So you’ve finished your first draft. And you’re pleased with it. But you still need an editor. Trust me on this. In fact, you need to revise that draft a few times, cut a few thousand words, get some beta readers and an editor.
7 – Writing takes courage
Creating something and putting it out there takes strength, determination and courage – I never realised this until I did it. Be prepared for people to shoot you down. But also, when readers contact you to say they loved the book, that makes it all worthwhile.
6 – Everybody has distractions in their life
If you’re one of those who says they have too many distractions in their life and no time for writing, welcome to everybody else’s world. Everyone has distractions, but if you’re determined, you work around them.
5 – Ideas do not just appear
Writers who work at it every day observe the world and take ideas from it. Ideas don’t just flow – you have to create them.
4 – Consistency is the key
If you write every day, you will create books. Fact. The best form of marketing for your books is to write another. If you stop writing, you fall off of people’s radar, so keep going.
3 – You might be an overnight success!
I’m lying. Overnight successes do not exist. Dig deep on those overnight successes and they’ve normally been going for years.
2 – Nobody cares about your book but you. And maybe your mum. But only maybe
Only you care if you write this book or not – the world will carry on regardless. But it might just get a teensy bit better if you get it written and get it out there, so why not give it a shot?
1 – Promotion is key
Writing your book is only the start of the journey – the next stage is even harder: promotion! Get marketing on social media, get blogging, offer guests blogs, do interviews, send out book reviews and press releases, do a book launch, do book readings. In short, do anything and everything to get your work out there! If people don’t know about it, they can’t buy it.
Clare Lydon is the author of Amazon No.1 best-seller London Calling. Her new novel, The Long Weekend, is due out in November.
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