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!