Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for SouthernWriters Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Life is full of regrets and the writer's life is no different. But since I'm a few years further down the path than a lot of you, I thought I'd share some things I wish I'd done differently. These are some regrets you don't have to have if you pay attention now.
1. Following the trends instead of writing what’s on your heart. It’s tempting to think this or that is hot right now and an easy sell. The truth is, nothing is an easy sell. It all takes work. And more than that, it takes time. Chasing a trend will doom you to always being behind.
2. Not investing more time in your dream. All around you are opportunities to grow as a writer. Whether it’s local writing groups, online classes or chats, or conferences. Making your dream a priority is important.
3. Letting others define success. Success is different for each of us. If we let someone else’s definition guide us, we’ve lost our way.
4. Not saying yes to stretching your writing muscles. Courage is essential in this business. It’s what so often separates success from failure. If I only did what I knew I could, I’d never grow as a writer.
5. Listening to the negative voices in your head. We all have them, no matter where we are in the writing journey. The only difference is whether or not we choose to believe them.
6. Not networking more. In this business, as much or more than any other, it’s who you know. Building relationships can keep you sane, give you valuable leads, and open the doors to publication.
7. Submitting stuff too early in the editing process. It’s tempting to get frustrated with the process and think something is good enough. Every single time I tried that short cut it ended in failure.
8. Not writing more. Isaac Asimov was once asked what he’d do if he found out he only had six months to live. His answer haunts me. “Write faster.”
9. Letting the jealousy and pettiness of others derail your progress. It’s a competitive field and for some, winning is everything. These few can beat you down to build themselves up, if you let them. Don’t.
This is what’s on my list. What’s on yours?