Hello and happy July! I'd like to say we've been having an awesome summer of weather, but *looks outside at the 60-degree, cloudy day*, we haven't. But do you know what means? More time to write!
In the vein of that, this month we'll be writing letters to our beginning writer selves. I first started pursuing publication about five years ago, and I've learned SO MUCH since then. I've made both good and bad choices. But that's how you learn! Below, my letter to myself:
July 1, 2013
This is your future self, here to give you some advice and hopefully save you from heartache. Well, actually, heartache as a writer is hard to avoid. But maybe I can mitigate it some!
First of all, realize that publication is a process. For most people, it doesn't happen overnight. Writers do not generally create bestselling books out of the gate. They write crap. And that's okay, that's how you learn.
Take lots of craft classes, but decide what works for you and what doesn't. Not all craft methods will mesh with your writing style. Just because an "expert" says this is how you should do something doesn't mean they're right. Some writers love outlines, some get bogged down in them. Some writers work well with a set writing goal each day, some don't. Figure out what you like and go with that until or unless it's not working for you.
Editors are your friend, not the enemy. They're there to make your book better. Editors are not trying (by and large) to sabotage you, steal your voice, or any of the other paranoid things writers might think their editors are doing. Work with the editor, not against them.
Don't miss deadlines. Don't kill yourself to meet them -- there are extensions, you know -- but do everything in your power to make deadlines. And if you miss one or have to ask for an extension, that's fine. However, making a habit of that labels you as irresponsible.
Covers and blurbs are both important, but throwing a fit over either is not a good thing or a smart idea. You'll get good covers, you'll get awful covers. Do the best you can to communicate your wants and needs and then let it go unless there's something really, really wrong. Same for blurbs. Some publishers have you write your blurbs and don't make any changes, some tweak it, and others will write it for you. Again, choose your battles.
I know there's tons more I could tell you, but I don't want to overwhelm you. So I'll sign off. Check out some of the pretty covers you're going to have in the future!
To learn more about me or my books, visit http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com.