Welcome Wednesday – Lessons Learned

Welcome Wednesday – Lessons Learned

Welcome to this week’s edition of Welcome Wednesdays!

Today, I want to talk about what we, as authors, have learned – the hard-won lessons, the things we wish we’d known when we started writing.  So today’s prompt is simple:

In the comments, tell us one thing that you would want to pass on to a beginning author who came to you for advice about the indie publishing life.  Please be sure to include a link to one of your books, your website, etc so we can get to know you better!

I’ll begin…


If there’s one thing I wish I’d known, and that I would tell a brand-new author, it’s this:

The work does not end when you type “the end” or even when you get the final final draft completed after editing, beta readers and so forth.  It’s just beginning.  Selling your books is a whole job in itself, with ever-changing rules, and more things to learn than you could possibly imagine.  So you need to be prepared for that.


And now it’s your turn!

(when you’re done here, please stop by Exquisite Quills, where there are daily memes just like this one and plenty of fantastic authors you can discover!)

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12 Replies to “Welcome Wednesday – Lessons Learned”

  1. Trust your process. I wrote my first sci fi novel for 2010 Nano, and the current wisdom (from my experienced Nano buddies) was to outline the story in as much detail as possible. What I ended up doing in the six weeks between when I decided to do it and the start of November was worldbuilding, with a page or so of plot notes. When I was actually writing, I would come home, write my words for the day, then plan out the next few scenes.

    And, no, several sci fi novels later, I’m still not a detailed outliner.

    Do check out my latest sci fi novel

    Rob’s Rebellion

    1. Also fantastic advice. If you ARE a detailed outliner, and that works for you, keep doing it. If you’re (like me) a total pantser, and you’re producing good material, keep on pantsing!

  2. Another pantser chiming in 🙂 My advice to my younger self is not to wait until I had time to write fiction…I should have found time to write while I was a teacher and a principal. Even if I’d written a half hour a day or several hours on the weekend, I would have been further along today as a writer. To every young writer want-to-be I meet, I give this advice. We get better as we write, that’s a fact.

    Check out my now-completed Funeral Planner Suspense Series: Fadeout, Swoon and Faint:

  3. I agree completely with all of the above, but especially Rolynn. I wish I’d started sooner instead of telling myself I didn’t have time or that I wasn’t really a writer. Watching my kids write makes me wish I’d never stopped when I finished school and became an “adult.” The reality is, I wrote my first three books in just 1-2 hrs/day after the kids were in bed. I just had to choose what mattered to me and that meant giving up other hobbies to pursue writing.
    Another piece of advice I would go back and give myself is to define your purpose, then protect the time you spend pursuing that goal. If you don’t take it seriously, no one else ever will. You have to establish your boundaries, your needs, and then defend them. When you begin taking yourself seriously, everyone else will eventually follow your lead.

    Here’s a FREE book just for listening to me ramble on:
    A Light in the Darkness (The Light Book 1)
    by Heather Sutherlin
    Link: http://amzn.com/B00K6P3J5M

  4. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to do what’s right for me. There are so many great authors out there, and they have amazing advice, but what’s right for another author might not be right for me. I tried (and failed) at a lot of different things before I figured out that doing what I was passionate about and what I enjoyed made a huge difference in my life and sanity! Now, I don’t worry about following all the rules of romance, the recommendations of what I should be doing, or chasing trends. I write what tickles my brain and go from there.

    The best advice though, is just sit down and write. Getting started is sometimes the hardest part!

    Mary E. Thompson books

  5. My advice is one of those hard-won lessons and while I won’t go into the full gory details about what happened, I do like to offer this advice whenever I get the chance.

    When you get your contract always read it carefully. The excitement of getting a publishing contract can sometimes mean that you skim things in your eagerness to sign on the dotted line and take the first step on your journey to a published author. I didn’t skim on my first contract, but later on when I got more contracts from the same publisher I’m afraid I did. There is no other explanation for how I missed the legal jurisdiction changing country which would have flagged up as a massive clue for me about something potentially being not right.

    Always read those contracts. Read every single line carefully every single time. Even if you have already signed contracts with that same publisher, read every new one over as if it was your first. Then before you sign and it send it back, read it again. Get someone else to read it for you if you want or are unsure about it.

    And if you have any questions about the contract, ask before you sign it.

    Contracts are what those who don’t self publisher want more than anything when it comes to our writing, but don’t let your excitement at receiving a contract cloud your judgement when it comes to signing it.

    Um, yeah, didn’t mean to sound so preachy, but this is something I learned the hard way and I know I am not the only one.

    Here is the link to my blog if anyone wants to check out my books
    My newest one is Destiny & Dragons – http://mybook.to/DestinyandDragons

  6. Never stop writing and never stop learning your craft. We all have those first novels we wrote squirreled away somewhere–where they should be–because as we continued to write and continued to learn from others and hone our craft, our writing got way better. Writing a great sentence is easier than writing a great story what with pacing, layering, tension, plot twists, character development–you get the picture. Writing is the only way to experience the roadblocks, learning is the only way to break those roadblocks.

    My latest book just released yesterday from Kindle Press;

  7. Lots of good advice here – I think the most important thing for me is to just stay positive – don’t listen to the negative commentary. If you have a story to tell, tell it – there will be some that hate it no doubt, but there will be some that love it and they will be glad you took the time to tell it. But by all means, tell it well – clean clear writing is so important. Anyway, better get back to my writing!!!

    Working on the next in this series:


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