We live in, essentially, the best and the worst possible time to begin a writing career.
There are more authors, self-published and otherwise, out in the world than ever before, and more people are competing for a reader’s time than you might have experienced even as few as five years ago. Today, anyone can load a book onto Amazon completely free and with very little work.
The results vary: some of those books are incredible and we wonder why publishers missed the opportunity, and other books are so terrible that they can barely be called books at all.
On the other hand, there are also more tools and resources to help a newcomer publish a book on their own than ever before. No longer does publishing a novel require an army of people and a strong network to happen, but now a single person with a computer can release professional content out into the world that is on par with what the largest publishing firms offer.
A quick google search will show you thousands of articles, blogs, resources, services, and other things on the Internet that offer to help you in your writing journey. I’m sure many authors from the last several decades would have loved to live in our modern age and be able to do everything on their own, and in many cases they certainly would have made more money.
The problem is figuring out which of these resources are worth checking into. After all, not all content is created equally, and the Internet is a morass of unpleasantness and anger that can suck you in and refuse to let you go. Figuring out how to navigate it can be a daunting task, and it starts right up front when you are trying to find the best software to write with.
I am easily distracted by new and shiny things, and I love to start projects and try out new styles of writing. I will start writing a book, make it about halfway, and then bail on it and start something else that is new and interesting. I love to start new projects, but I hate finishing them.
Example: I have started writing it dozens of times, and then I just put it off and forget about it for a while before finally coming back to it. It’s difficult for me to stay on task because I have an ‘ooh, shiny!’ personality.
I hate editing even more, which created another distraction and excuse for me to bounce from project to project. It always seemed like such a tremendous hassle trying to proofread my own books, and it took me a long time to build up the patience and dedication to actually focus on what I was working on.
Once I learned this lesson I was able to actually finish each project I started before moving on to something else. It is still a work in progress, and I often have a lot of things up in the air at the same time, but I’m getting better at it.
When I finish a project, I want to publish it. I’m proud of what I’ve written, and I want to push it out into the world so that other people can enjoy it as well.
When I first started writing, I spent a lot of time and energy working on projects, but when I launched them, they weren’t as professional as I would have liked because I was in a hurry to have them finished and out in the world.
I have since re-edited many of my earlier works, as well as reformatting and adding tweaks to make them look more professional, but I found out as I went that it was always better to take my time and get it right the first time. This ends up saving me a lot of heartache and grief later when I have to go back and clean them up.