When I first set out on my writing career there were a few things I did right, and quite a few things I did wrong. By sharing my top five mistakes I hope this helps someone else avoid mistakes they’re making sooner than later!
OH BOY. I could dig myself into a hole and hide in shame for admitting to this one. When I wrote the first draft (the rough rough draft) of my book I immediately submitted it to an agent. I bet you can guess I never heard back from her. This did however help me crack the ice to share it with other people to get feedback. I will admit though, I was so sure I had nothing to improve on – LOL(x1000). I blame the perfectionist in me for this.
When I first started writing I felt like I had to tell the reader every step, almost like I was writing a screenplay instead of a book. This was me trying to figure out how I wanted to tell my story and I was unsure of the details I needed to include. Thankfully after some much needed feedback I saw the error of my ways.
This is so shameful to admit, but I hated getting feedback at first. I always felt so angry. After I took my writing class in college I saw the value in it and why I did need it. It also helped me realize most people were honestly just trying to help me, not tear me down. You need to have someone else read your work. Having other people read it they will point out holes that you may be blind to. I can’t stress this enough – feedback is your best friend in helping you create the best version of your book!
4. Repetitive Words
So, I never realized how much I like to use certain words (look, eyes, smile etc.) until I started to write. Thankfully my great critique partners pointed this fact out to me. Also you always want to make sure you don’t start off sentences with the same word multiple times. I was guilty of this too, especially writing in first person POV (I, she, he etc.).
Self-doubt is very toxic and can be hard to control. Especially with imposter syndrome lurking around every corner. I wish in the beginning I could’ve surrendered more to the process of learning to write, and not beat myself every time I got something wrong. It’s OKAY. Especially with self-publishing, you’ll always be learning! Give yourself some grace and always be willing to improve your craft.
The biggest take away is to accept you’ll always be learning and improving during your writing career! Embrace this and own it! That gives you more power than if you let every little thing that you’ve done wrong get to you. Trust me. I did that and it was not fun! Learn from my mistakes!