One Last Post of 2014 — Ten Things I Learned This Year

By J.A. (Julie) Kazimer

Here’s the deal. I am the sort of writer who has to be smacked in the head ten times before I finally learn. But I do learn. Eventually. I learned a lot of writerly things this past year, some good, some not so great. But they are lessons I feel that are worthy of sharing with my fellow writers

1)   Never agree to write more books than you can in a certain time.

Like I need to tell you that. But I do need to remind myself of this time and again. I agreed that I would write two books in one year. Both books suffered and I am now suffering through rewrites on the last one. So yes, Virginia, while there is a Santa Claus, there’s also a deadline devil.

2)   If you don’t write, you won’t have a finished book.

Again, what kind of idiot doesn’t already know this? Me for one. I don’t write daily, but I should. That’s how words get on a page. Weirdly it’s not through osmosis, though I try and try my best to ignore that fact.

3)   Your career will have ups and downs.

This one I really hate. When The Assassin’s Heart came out in March, and then received RT Book Reviews top pick honor for April, I was flying high. This was the first time I’d received such recognition, and it showed in sales. Now it’s December, the sales have flattened, and a new book, The Fairyland Murders, has just been released. It’s time to start all over again…

4)   Your job never ends.

Forget the best part of writing, writing, and let’s focus on the never ending part—Marketing. Every day in every way, you are putting yourself into the world. No matter where you are in your publishing journey, you should be putting yourself in the world. Whether that’s on social media, writing articles, or talking to others, it doesn’t matter, you are showing potential readers who you are and hopefully engaging them enough to read your stuff.

5)   Publishing is not a one road trip.

There are a variety of ways to publish nowadays. Learn about each, no matter what your current path is.

6)    Write what you don’t know.

We’ve all heard the saying, writer what you know. Which is good advice. But I prefer the idea of write whatever you want. If you want to write dinosaur erotic (and I’m guessing you have never slept with a dinosaur), then write it the best you can. Write what you want. Otherwise, the process can be a chore.

7)    Celebrate the victories.

This one is huge. I have a hard time celebrating the good things. I hate the limelight. So I tend to not to revel in my victories like when a book is published. In fact, I did nothing for the last two releases. I didn’t even sneak a piece of chocolate. Messed up, I know. That won’t be the case again. My next victory, whatever it may be, will be celebrated. I’ll pop the champagne cork. I’ll tell strangers on the street. I’ll go out to a nice dinner, and hold the wait staff hostage as I share my news. This is a tough business, so enjoy the good things, no matter how small you think they are.

8)  And finally, never tell readers that you will give them 10 things when you only have 7 1/2.

What can I say? I’m a slacker. Why don’t you help me out by giving us some of the lessons you will take with you into the New Year.



Hope you had a great 2014 and will have an even better 2015!

You can find me online at or more often on facebook or on twitter as @jakazimer.

A New Year: A New Writerly You

By J.A. (Julie) Kazimer

Yeah, yeah, January 1st was thirteen days ago. Get over it already, you’re probably saying to yourself, or a busload of captive passengers, who, by now are looking at you a little strange.

Yes it was.

But just because half of our resolutions are already ripped apart, most by January 3rd (after all, who vows to eat more seaweed? That stuff is fine in sushi, but not great with hotdogs…). This doesn’t mean it’s over for the rest. We can always make new ones.

A few days before the New Year, I did a facebook survey (and we all know how scientific those are) on what most writers are resolving to do in the upcoming year. You wouldn’t believe the answers (oddly enough many included weird things with chocolate. What can I say? Writers are just plain weird). What surprised me most about the answers were, no one vowed to give me millions of dollars.

Right? I couldn’t believe it either.

My stingy facebook writer friends’ lack of generosity aside, the main resolution imparted was finishing a project, either one they’ve been working on or starting a brand new one and finishing it by the end of this year.

A great goal for every writer.

One of my editors, before he was my editor, asked me while we were in a pitch appointment at the CO Gold Conference in 2010, how long would it take me to write a book, from word one until it was ready to submit? I smugly said 1 year. He raised an eyebrow.

And guess what?

Our last contract was for two books, both to be finished in one year. For those writers like me who are bad at math, this means, one book every six months. Yes, I sort of feel sick just thinking about it. But in this publishing world, a book a year won't cut it for a new author. We need to push harder and write faster.

So now that you've resolved to quit writing all together...

Other resolutions my writerly friends shared involved submission (promising to send stuff out weekly or so many a month), getting an agent, self-publishing (designing cover art, hiring a copy editor, formatting, etc), and marketing (the bane of all author existence), and a few odd resolutions about plastic-wares.

Learning craft was also nice to see, but we all know RMFW and those who are thinking of joining because of this fabulous post don’t need to learn craft. We are naturally awesome (though the workshops and classes by RWFW members are, of course, the reason why we rock so much more).

The other big resolution was to write.

Simple and to the point.

We aren’t writers unless we are putting words on the page (i.e. computer screen, yellow legal notepad, college-ruled white paper, that journal you got for the holidays from your grandma, etc).

So in 2014, let’s forget losing weight, getting healthy, quitting vile habits, and instead, focus on doing what we love, which, sadly isn’t giving me money, but writing, in whatever method or madness works for you.

Did you make a writerly resolution? Did you break it yet? If not, what is it? If so, what will be your new-today resolution?

I’ve vowed to be more social, in person, so if you catch me trying to be a hermit, please call me on it.

Happy 2014 to you!


J.A. (Julie) Kazimer lives in Denver, CO. Novels include CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale, Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons, Dope Sick: A Love Story and FROGGY STYLE as well as the forthcoming book, The Assassin’s Heart. J.A. spent years spilling drinks as a bartender and then stalked people while working as a private investigator. For more about Julie, visit her website and blog.

Connect with Julie on Twitter and Facebook.