I know this sounds obvious, but all your ideas will remain just that—ideas, until you set pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and write it down. We make time for the things that are important to us. If writing a book in important to you, make the time. I carry a notebook with me wherever I go. When I have a thought or idea, I jot it down. I can write on my break or while waiting for something. You don’t need to carve out hours and hours to write. Time is everywhere if we know how to look for it.
Write often! Some authors prefer to write at the same time every day or in the same location. Some set word goals or page goals, while others write for a set amount of time or number of days a week. For a while I had a goal to write something (even if it was one word) five days a week. See what works best for you. Have fun! Celebrate your successes!
2. Resist the urge to revise!
That piece of advice I kept getting but took forever to follow… Yep, it has made all the difference. After thirteen years of writing and writing without ever finishing anything, I suddenly had a manuscript within a matter of months.
A rough draft is meant to be rough. It doesn’t have to be pretty; it doesn’t have to sound good, in fact, at times, it doesn’t even have to make sense (that is what the second draft is for). The goal here is to get that amazing story that is floating around in your head out, and on to paper. I have found that handwriting my first draft helps to turn off my critical brain and allows the story to flow. Do what works for you. I promise when you resist the urge to revise, magic will happen!
3. Believe you can achieve!
You have to believe it to achieve it. If you don’t believe it will happen then it never will. Everything we do and become started out as a thought, going to school, getting a job etc. Then it became an action and that action made it into a reality. Why would writing a book be any different? Do you want to be a published author? Imagine it happening.
One large step on my journey was committing to be a part of A Villain’s Ever After anthology. I knew others were counting on me. When I wasn’t progressing very fast, I had to question my process and do something different. I started telling everyone that I was going to publish in 2021. I started calling myself an author. I got the cover for my book and really started to visualize it happening—an informal sort of vision board. (A vision board is where you post pictures of your dreams in a prominent location and visualize them happening.)
Get really clear on what you want to do with your novel. What do you need to do to feel it, see it, taste it, and visualize it happening? You can make your novel a reality.
4. Invest in yourself!
After putting all that time and energy into writing your novel, I’d imagine you want to get it out there. First, get clear about what you want. Do you just want to share it with friends and family? Great, invest the time and money into binding it and getting it out. (My grandparents have created several family history books that I treasure.)
Do you want to try the traditional or self-publish route? Great, find someone who is successful doing what you’d like to do and learn all you can from them. However, beware of the get rich quick scheme and paying someone to publish your book for you, they should be paying you. Read carefully through anything before ever signing your name.
If you’d like to self-publish, invest your time into editing your book then invest in a good cover and a good editor. If it looks professionally done and sounds professionally done—with an enticing blurb—readers will be more likely to want to purchase it.
I also feel that it is important to invest in a good group of beta readers and ARC readers. My beta readers were friends and family who I felt comfortable reading my book before it was complete. They told me their thoughts, feelings and opinions about my book. I was able to discover problems that I was unable to see on my own and fix them before ever publishing my book. ARC (advanced reader’s copy) readers are people who you don’t know. You give them your book for free, and usually before it comes out, in exchange for a true and honest review. They help promote your book and leave reviews on Amazon and other platforms to help other readers see if they would be interested in reading your book. It also helps with your ranking on Amazon.
There are many ins and outs of publishing. Invest your time and possibly money into finding those recourses and studying what it is you will need to do to be successful.
Good luck and happy writing!