1) Life Won’t Wait For Your WIP;
Do not work 16 hours a day every day. Think about the “full jar” story. If you fill your days with “sand” (work, admin, cleaning) you won’t have time for the big stuff. Meet friends, make connections, spend time with your family. Not only will this keep you sane, but it’s life that informs your writing.
2) Read As Often As You Can;
As Stephen King says, “if you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write.”
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I will die on this hill. For clarity, I don’t mean reading every, single day. That’s not what this is about. What this means is that reading, for a writer, is like a whetstone for a blade. The sharpest, cleanest, most talented writers out there were all avid readers at some point in their lives even though it is expected that everyone goes through periods where its not possible/a priority.
Furthermore, we learn about the market from reading; we learn what sells, what people want, and what structures are in vogue. It’s important to know this if you want to publish because, whether we like it or not, a book is a product for sale.
If you write as a hobby and don’t plan to publish, fair enough, but I’d still recommend it as a good way in which to hone your skills.
3) It’s Okay To Write Badly;
When you first tried to bake a cake, did it come out star-baker perfect? No, of course not. If you were lucky the flavour was good even if the texture and look were off.
Write, write, write.
Forgive yourself for writing poorly and don’t give up on a good idea because of poor execution.
4) You Can’t Please Everyone
In fact, you won’t often please the majority of people. But you will please someone and that’s a good thing to do. The successful author is not the one who pleases every reader, but the one who pleases enough readers.
5) Develop A Thick Skin
It can be hard to hear criticism, but it’s important that you don’t let it get to you. The minute you put your writing out to the public there’s a chance that someone will have a critique of some kind.
The good news is that if you put work into your research, writing, and editing it will most likely be outnumbered by positivity threefold!
Just learn to distinguish constructive criticism from nastiness, and try to find the balance between listening for improvement opportunities and remembering point 4!
6) It’s Hard Work, But Worth It
You’ve got this. You can do it; take a few deep breaths and start working away; the only way is up!