Writing is Hard Work

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by Suzanne D. Williams

Being honest, there are a lot of bad books out there. I never realized how many until searching the book sale lists daily. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of good books as well. And excellent writers. But, though there is something to be said for having a gift for writing, those writers became excellent through hard work.

Hard work is a bit of a lost art. But the old cliché, “Nothing comes easy,” holds a lot of truth to it. If you want to be a quality, top-notch writer, you’re going to have to buckle down and apply yourself to get there.

I have published over 120 novels or novellas. I look back at the beginnings and how naïve I was about how to create a book, and it’s laughable what I thought I knew. And that is LESSON #1:  You don’t know everything.

Hindsight only comes after you’ve fallen down and picked yourself up again a hundred times. I can look back and read my older stories (many of which I’ve edited since and re-released), and I cringe at sentence structures and plot devices I would never use now. A seasoned cowboy, who can rope a cow without giving it much thought, only gets to that place in life because he’s trained to do it over and over again.

Experience gives you new vision. You can see easier the things you overlooked before. So be prepared, while writing your first book, to admit you have a lot to learn and be willing listen to those who are more seasoned.

Which brings me to LESSON #2:  Hire an editor and LISTEN to him.

I wrote a book that I loved. I had someone edit it, but something they said set me off, so I chose to ignore most of what they asked me to correct. That was several years ago, and things are fine with us now. But I opened that book recently and was horrified at what I’d allowed to remain.

Editing hurts. Hearing that what you’ve spent your time on isn’t quite up to par can be soul-crushing. But, trust me when I say, you do not want to put a book on the market and have the reader tell you instead.

Reviews are permanent and will not go away. Other people will read them and form opinions of your book based on them, whereas if you let the editor’s words sink in, if you give them the time to become palatable (I’ve learned walking away for a while helps me admit they were right and I am wrong) then you can avoid the heartache.

WRITING IS WORK. Yes, parts of it get easier as you have experience under your belt. But you should never slap just anything down and think it was a breeze. I’ve spent days on one paragraph. DAYS. Because it didn’t suit me. I’m always grateful for the productive days, getting 2,000 words down. But truthfully, I’d rather get 100 QUALITY WORDS than 2,000 lousy ones.

WRITING REQUIRES THINKING. Planning. Right decisions. It requires knowledge. Of writing, of grammar, of spelling, or story crafting. Of marketing. It takes more than a computer and a desk or even a story idea to make a book. I get story ideas all the time, but some of them won’t sell as well as others. I write what inspires me, yes, but also what a reader will pick up.

Now, as a Christian writer, I also consult the Holy Spirit. Even in writing romance, or I should say ESPECIALLY in writing romance, I need to know how God wants things to pan out, and I’ve found the more I pray over my day before I ever write a word, the more I learn to listen to my heart for each story, then the better I am at hearing Him for other things in my life.

Being an author, seeing your book on the shelf is a thrill. But being an author comes after you learn to write. Being a good writer comes first.

Go to any low-cost book list. Do it every single day, and you will see a pattern of what is being written. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to release another of the same-old thing. But being unique in a profession crowded with thousands of others also trying to shine requires time and faith and patience. That is the biggest lesson of all.

Celebrate your first book. Tell us about it, and we’ll celebrate with you. Then buckle down for the second one and say, “What could I do better?” Don’t settle for something haphazard, but like an artisan who spends hours over the smallest piece, carefully craft your words. Then when (not if) someone leaves that low review, you will know you did your best and be proud of it regardless.

Only 99 cents! 

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 A Little Christmas Magic

About The Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at twitter.com/SDWAuthor.

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  1. When It’s Not the Way You Think It Should Be | Grace & Faith 4 U

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