I started this blog around two years ago with the following intent:
This blog exists as a record of my journey to become a recognised author, in the hopes it will one day help people on similar paths. As an untested author seeking publication, I highly value candid documents of established authors and feel there can never be too many of these accounts.
Having written and edited my first manuscript (at the time), I wondered why so few authors had an online record of their journey from start to finish.
I now know it’s because their stories are all short and boring. You write a book, then meet someone who is a) interested, and b) able to get it published. That part is mostly luck. Nobody can tell when or where it’s going to happen, so when it does the resulting tale is underwhelming.
In short, every published author’s story looks like this:
I wrote a book, then I got lucky and met a relevant editor/publisher.
That’s it, for everyone. It’s far from the inspiring story I thought it would be. I was disappointed to discover I had a better imagination than reality…
I’ve had my answer for a while. It took me a long time to publish it here because my focus is on writing.
When am I a writer?
As for writing advice, most of that is a sales blurb pitched by people who have published their first book or two. They want your money.
If you want to know how to write, read profusely. You’ll pick up different styles, pacing, and techniques as you go, some of which will appeal to you more than others. Focus on those.
In short, writing can be summed up in three words:
Read, then write.
No matter how you write, or what you write about, there’s an audience for it out there. Finding an editor/publisher who’s interested in that market is another matter. Every published author will have different advice on this because clearing this major hurdle is so individual (again, luck is involved).
If you read profusely with an author’s eye then you’ll quickly pick up on quality issues in published books. Editors miss typos, authors screw up pacing, and everybody overlooks consistency.
If those works can get published, why not yours?
What’s next for me?
I keep writing. I’ve been writing steadily since February this year, after a shaky reboot last December. I’ve written and thoroughly edited three manuscripts by this point (editing is my unrecognised super power), with content for a novella on the side. Alpha reader feedback has been largely positive.
I’m currently 250 pages into Animators – Book 2, which I now know is the style and length of book I most enjoy writing. I rewrote the first 200-page draft because alpha reader feedback was negative, and the story is better for having done so.
I keep telling myself that when I finish this book (my 4th manuscript), I’ll get serious about being published. It’s about time I got paid for my second job, frankly – nobody should create for free. That said, I now recognise the element of luck so if it happens this time, it happens. Otherwise, it’s on to my next manuscript. Got to keep writing.
I’ll likely repurpose this website to showcase my works. It’s already associated with my name (tick) and established (tick) but the blog no longer needs to be the main focus. I’ll move it off to the side somewhere.
A final bit of writing advice:
- You’re a writer if you write.
- You’re an editor if you edit.
- You’ll get published if you persist.
- Don’t expect any of this to happen quickly.