Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Writer's Learn in the First Year of Their Career - Or - Should That be Unlearn.

Photo Credit: KellysWritersHouse
The desire or need to write is a compelling force which most writer's will admit they do not understand. It simply - Is. When that compelling force meets the reality of plotting, characterization, word count, conflict, motivation, resolution, editing, submissions, and publishing, just to mention a few, the real learning begins.

In this first article in this blog series, we will get the inside scoop from the writer's themselves on what they learned in the first year of their writing journey. What they have to share will be valuable, pertinent, and true. It may even be the missing puzzle piece you've been looking for.

Over the next several days I'll be adding comments to this post from some talented writer's that you may already know. And if you have a thought to add to this discussion, we welcome your comments.

I'll start the discussion with my own perspective.

Author Lynda Coker:
I've written and published four books to date with The Wild Rose Press. The profound truth that I learned in my first year was that, in itself, the desire to write didn't equal word count, no word count meant no manuscript. Without a manuscript my dream of completing a book was just that, a dream. In my first year I had to learn to find the time, ways, and means to turn, I Want to Write into Have Written! It may seem fundamental and a no-brainer, but many writers will relate, I'm sure.

Author K.K. Weil: Website
I learned that sometimes you don't control your characters and you should always expect (and embrace) the unexpected. In my first book, one of the characters (who wasn't even in my original idea) came to life in such a way that I fell in love with him. He ended up needing his own story, of course. ;)

Author Jean M. Grant: Website
You are your strongest advocate. Promote and educate yourself. I’ve had to put on my extroverted cape of independence and reach out to everyone I know to get word out about my debut novel: attending conferences, talking it up on Twitter, connecting with other authors in my genres, and spending my paycheck in postage. I’m loving the support. It’s taken me nearly two decades to publish my first book, and over the next few years I hope to see several more in print! I’m in it for the long haul. Nothing will stop my dream. I will never stop learning.

Writer L. Ryan Storms: Website
Hire an editor or agent’s services to refine your query letter before sending. I didn’t do this and, as a result, I probably queried about 30 - 40 agents before I began to get anything other than form rejections in response. I wasted a lot of time and spent many hours revising and refining my letter until it was polished enough to elicit full manuscript requests. As a new writer, I thought I didn’t have the extra money to spend on a professional query review, but when I look back on it now, the cost in wasted time was so much higher.

Author Tena Stetler: Website
Promotions are not for the faint of heart. It's an ongoing learning experience.
Read and reread your galleys, make corrections then don't assume you are done. When the ebook files come out, read and reread again, especially the file that your print book will come from.
Receiving the print copies of your book, never gets old!

Coming Soon: Author CB Clark


  1. I love to write and thus started my blog. What is the best way to get started writing your first book? Should it be short stories? Fact or fiction? Should it be self-published?

  2. Thank you for your comment, Marsha. I'll give you my thoughts on your questions. To take writing seriously, the writer must know what it is that he wants to accomplish. Fiction and nonfiction are worlds apart in execution. What fits your aspirations, talents, or goals? After choosing which path you want to walk, you can more easily answer subsequent questions. Whether to self-publish or traditional publish is a topic that needs researching from your perspective. Again, these approaches are worlds apart and will require different things from you as a writer.

    When I started writing seriously, I knew I wanted to write fiction. I also knew I wanted to be traditionally published through a reputable publisher. Research told me that the largest and easiest genre in fiction to break into as a new writer was the romance genre. That was a comfortable fit for me, so that's the path I chose. Being self-taught, everything took a little more time and a lot more effort, but if work doesn't scare you, it's all doable.

    To sum it up. Start at the beginning. What is it that you really, really, want to write? When you've answered that, you can then begin to map out your Writer's Journey.