Well, you already know I have two golden rules. It actually wasn’t hard to think of one more.
- Read a lot
- Write a lot
- BE PERSISITANT
Never stop. If this is your passion, you have to commit. If this is really your dream, it won’t matter how many times you experience rejection, or how much you struggle along the way. You will still keep trying, keep learning, keep growing, and know that every day you’re getting closer.
These are my three golden rules. I’ve been at this since I was fourteen. That’s almost half my life spent working toward this dream, and I plan to spend the rest of my life working toward it. Because even if (and when?) I become a bestselling author, the work doesn’t stop—there’s even more to do. More books to write, more material to get out into the world, more to share, more to discuss. And I can’t wait for the day that’s becomes my life.
I remember when I participated in NaNoWriMo one year. For those of you who don’t know, you can find “writing buddies” and help each other along. I had two people find me to become writing buddies. As it was my first time, and I wasn’t so experienced with social media, I didn’t really reach out to them. But, I remember one of them very well. His description (of himself) went something like this:
“I want to be a legend. I want people to remember me, and be inspired by me, etc…”
And do you know how much he wrote for NaNoWriMo? Hardly a word. He stopped after about two days. How can you say you want to be a legend when you can’t commit? It’s incredibly frustrating when I see people “trying” to be an author, or saying they "want to" when they clearly don’t care.
Everybody has rough days. You might feel like you're going nowhere, or your terrible at this, or even that you might want to give up. It happens to me more often than I'd care to admit. But being persistent means a rough day is just that: one day. You brush yourself off and try again tomorrow.
Persistence means listening, taking feedback, and making a commitment to constant improvement. A lot of people think the process is finished once the book is published. It's not, and I'm not just talking about marketing. You'll get a whole lot of feedback, and it won't all be good. I've made more revisions to The Mansion's Twins than I can count since publishing: fixing errors and making minor tweaks to the story itself, changing the description, and changing the cover.
And yes, this can be incredibly frustrating. Every time I re-upload a book, I hope it's the last time. But every time, it's been necessary. I want to make sure my readers are getting the best possible book I can give them.
Writing is a learning experience every step of the way. Making that commitment to never stop learning is so hugely important to the process, it deserves to be a golden rule. So, now there are three, and I won't let you forget them.