It's Thursday and here I am. Whew, I'm crazy busy. Mostly in my mind, but life as well. Tonight I was sitting here thinking about everything I have learned thus far in the book publishing industry. I love it, don't get me wrong, but I wish I knew two years ago what I know now. If I had a clue then, I wouldn't have experienced some major downer moments. The moments were doubt creeps into one's subconscious and works to keep a person from reaching their goals. I have had too many of those to count. I still have a 92,000 word novel that no one in the industry has read simply because I got my feelers hurt when trying to find an agent. That brings me to my first lesson.
1. If you are new or unheard of and query an agent with your book and get the response, "It's not what we're looking for..." Try again and submit to another if that's your goal. Or, research, research, research potential publishers for your book. Try them next if your agent quest fails. If you're like me and fear rejection, uh, get a better attitude and brush it off. The other avenue which has opened doors for so many great writers is self-publishing. Find a great editor and keep your dream alive. Don't let your hard work sit in a file. Get your ass out there and get noticed!
2. This is my favorite. Grammar, grammar, grammar. Comma splices are my nemesis. I'm so bad. I know editors that have looked at my writing just think, dumbass. I'm getting better and better the more I write. Don't laugh and think you can't commit such an error. It's real easy to do. So study while you read books. Watch the flow, and punctuation. It helps.
3. Find friends and family who will give you honest opinions and can catch errors. Typically, I read over my manuscripts so many times that I forget if I have already said something and have began to repeat myself. I work a day job, have a family, blah, blah, and can't sit for hours at one time writing. My other problem is my brain doesn't catch missing words, such as: he, her, is and sometimes I completely misspell a word, but my mind knows it and somehow auto-corrects and I see what should be. Sound crazy? My sister finds plenty of instances right after I have read over a section. Then I see it and have an ah-ha moment.
4. Write what you know. A friend of mine was joking that I may end up the next Ernest Hemingway. I laughed at that, because he isn't an avid reader for one. And two, I write erotic romance. While I love what I write, I doubt a major readership of my works could ever topple or compare. Heck, I don't even read Ernest Hemingway! He said I should write good books, meaning books that aren't about eroticism and romance. I thought for a moment and immediately got bored. If I wouldn't read it, I sure as hell won't write it.
5. Don't give up. Perseverance pays! Believe in yourself and others will too. Study, read books in your genre. Do anything to keep your mind ticking and thinking. And don't for one minute believe that other authors don't get nervous about their work when they submit. No one is perfect, and everyone can be better in some way or another.
There are my words. You can take what helps or believe I'm a nutcase. Well, you'd be right on that one. I am kind of kooky. But, I have been writing for two years and went through this. I learn something new everyday. I'm so far from being perfect I can't even tell you how far. I keep writing and trying. I read and learn everything I possibly can. It shows and I can feel it when I write something new. My mind engages, takes all the new information I've learned and calls me out when I'm in error. I have a long road ahead. Guess what? I'm going to keep trying, keep writing and keep submitting, because I love to write and create.