I started writing novels after the winning a writing prize which led to a 3 book publishing deal. Since then, I’ve written three psychological thrillers and currently writing my fourth book. Now for many people, it’s a dream come true to be able to write books for a living and that is certainly the case for me however, it’s not been without its challenges - they say, if you really want to know yourself write a book! So today, I wanted to share five life lessons I’ve learnt since becoming an author.
1. Discipline is everything
We often think of writers as having an innate talent and that certainly is the case for many but I’ve found the difference between being published or not, is discipline. Writing a book is an enormous undertaking that can often feel overwhelming and the only way to combat that is to find the discipline to write regularly – even when you don’t feel like it - and to treat it as a profession. There are various ways to develop that discipline from removing temptations to setting an easy daily word target to rewarding yourself – whichever way you choose, I’ve had to work hard to cultivate that skill.
2. Human connection
One of the most surprising things about being an author is how much I actually love being around people. I always thought of myself as a bit of introvert who could quite easily spend huge amounts of time by myself but I actually discovered the opposite. Making time to connect with people, whether that’s other authors, on social media, or attending a network event will ensure you stay connected and may also give you inspiration for your next book!
3. Never stop learning
There is so much to learn about writing. With every book that I’ve written, I’ve discovered something – whether that’s about character, plot, outlining or about coming up with new ideas. A lot of it comes from having a great editor and a great agent who can give you feedback on your work but I had to be open to receiving that feedback. When you’ve spent months writing a manuscript, giving it your all, literally a piece of you on the paper, it’s not always easy to hear that this section doesn’t work or this character isn’t believable, so I would say the lesson here is, be open to learning and feedback from trusted sources.
4. Prioritise your health
As an author, you’re reliant on your creativity so it’s important to focus on keeping your mind as healthy as possible and exercise and healthy eating are a great foundation for this. Creativity also needs space so I’ve recently started doing things such as meditation and yoga to slow down my mind as an antidote to the fast-paced world in which we live.
5. Hard work (and courage!) pays off
If you dream of becoming a published author, then stay with it. It's not an easy path – it can be difficult to find the time to write between all your other responsibilities. It can also be tough to find the courage to put your thoughts down on paper and be open to scrutiny. But like anything worth achieving in life, the hard work does pay off and when you see your book on the shelves in bookstores and libraries across the world, then it will all be worth it.
That’s it from me and if you’ve written a book or currently in the middle of writing a book, I'd love to know your biggest learning in the comments below!
Related posts: What I've Learnt From Writing 3 Books in 3 Years
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