Today I'm taking part in Carrie Butler's blogfest, to celebrate her bloggy anniversary. You can find out all about it, and sign up if you want, right here. Basically, I have to write a note to my pre-published self with advice. She's going compile all the letters into a free ebook for writers. Carrie, of course you can use mine!
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Dear 20 year old me,
You've just had two short stories published, and you're feeling pretty cool about everything right now. This writing lark is easy, right? Wrong!
I'm supposed to give you advice now, but I really don't want to. By submitting the way you are (a constant rolling process of one rejection landing on your doormat and being instantly repackaged and sent off again) you're learning patience, stubbornness, how to handle rejection... And, believe me, when most submissions are email based and can be returned in an hour, you definitely need to know how to handle rejection.
And, you know what, every time you reach despair, you'll write some cracking stories - honest - and they are the ones that'll get published.
However, there are some things I want to share with you:
- Don't compare yourself to other writers - especially not the ones writing popular genres - that will just depress you greatly.
- Use beta readers as soon as you starting writing novellas. You can get away with when you're writing 2000 words, but not so much 20,000 words.
- Don't ignore self-publishing - it's not the same in 2012/13 as it is in 1994 - in fact it's pretty cool now, and means you get to be in charge and make all the decisions. There are so many options, which means you no longer have to buy 1000 copies and store them in your house.
- Take marketing seriously. In fact, take a marketing course right now! (Pauses to see whether a marketing certificate appears on wall... Nope, it doesn't... Are you even listening to me, Child?
Also, make friends with writers - use social media (it's okay, you'll understand what I'm talking about soon). Instead of being the only writer you know and having to work everything out for yourself, you'll appreciate how supportive, understanding and helpful other writers are. And you'll make some brilliant friends.
Enjoy being 20