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Writer Wednesday: I Wish I Knew Then...

Hello and Good Morning Authors and welcome to another Writer Wednesday, the blog posts were we talk about all things craft, industry, and more. Today on the blog we are doing a bit of a reflection piece. I've done quite a few posts for the fresh, debut author but if you, like me, have been on the publishing journey for a few years, then occasionally, you need a pause to see how far you've come and gauge your progress. Through the ups and downs, there are some things I wished I knew then but also things that reflect on where I am in my journey now.

I Wish I Knew Then...

The Failure or Success of Your Debut Will Not Matter: The one is entirely on the mindset of the industry. There is so much pressure put on debut authors when ultimately, the success or lack of success does not matter when it comes down to it. A promising debut could fizzle where a second or third book hits a stride that takes them into the stratosphere. There is more leeway for this mindset in Indie and Small Press than there is in traditional publishing, but even if your traditional debut fails take off, this does not close the door on your career. Ultimately, success is accumulative and if you continue to write and publish, it will ultimately not matter how your debut performed. Even if it does well, it will likely not be the most successful or best work you do. In fact, you hope that it's not the best work you do because...

Your Craft Grows Over Time: Now, sometimes it doesn't feel like your story telling is getting better, but usually this has more to do with burn out than the improvement of your craft. As we create and learn more about the art that is writing, we learn tips and tricks and better ways to convey scenes and emotions. We learn how to better flush out characters and create natural flowing dialogue. Even authors who are considered the top of their genre, if you go back and read their earlier work you will see notable differences in how they craft stories. Stylistically, we also grow and hone our individual story telling voice from series to series, character to character.

It Is Never Too Late to Find Your Audience: Trends are fickle. Social Media produces surprising results. Books that have been out for literally years will suddenly take off. If there is a constant about Publishing, it is that it is constantly unpredictable. And it will constantly surprise you. A series like Ice Planet Barbarians rocketed to success years after the books were published. Authors like Victoria Schwab who did find their success 7 to 10 books later, had their first book reprinted. You might learn a new marketing technique that helps increase your sales two years after you publish. It is never too late to hit your stride.

There Will Always Be Bumps: I've stated many times before that publishing can be an unpredictable ride. Series might falter and be dropped by a publisher before they are finished. Houses might fold or implode. There might be mental/ emotional/ physical rough patches in your journey that gum up the productive works. You might have started trad and gone Indie or vice versa with mixed results. No matter what shape your journey takes, no matter how successful initially or eventually you become, every one will experience bumps and they will always keep coming. What matters is how you pull through them and continue on and treating yourself with the kindness to do so.

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