I never had any idea writing novels would be such a learning process. I made so many mistakes, I can barely count them. And I am trotting out two here!
Stressing out about the little things
Writing is so simple at first – it’s just you and your work, and maybe some fellow writers acting as critique partners. As a writer, you like a powerful god in full charge of every aspect of your world.
And then you are published and there’s a cover, editors, proofers, publicity people, blogs, sites, twitter, promo, conventions, reviewers.
On my first book, Mind Games, I stressed about a lot of things I couldn’t control. For example, I felt stressed out that Justine held a knife on the cover when in the story she doesn’t carry a knife – would people get the wrong idea? Or my publisher’s hyphenation style conflicted with mine, as well as their “high punctuation in dialogue” style. Or the timing of reviews.
These are all small, small issues, and if I could go back, I wouldn’t have worried about such stuff. I am such a control freak, but with this author stuff, I have had to learn to just let things unfold. You have to do the best you can, and let go of control sometimes. That has been a hard and important lesson for me.
If you’re reconsidering it,
Don’t click submit!
That is my sad attempt at a Johnny Cochran style saying (if it does not fit, you must acquit!) I’ve been online for a long time, and, I think like most people, I have made comments on blogs and forums that I didn’t really think through.
I mean, these comments I’m remembering were nothing really bad, just ones made in a combative mood, that sort of thing. Not as constructive as they could be.
And I remember hesitating over the submit button before each and every one of those comments.
Image: Writer by Tasylda Putri, Wiki Commons