Day 1: Five days, and five simple pieces of advice for new authors.
I started a small list of things I either wished I knew writing my first book, or I was lucky enough to be aware while doing it. I narrowed myself down to five things, but it was still a very long post. So, we’ll do five tips for five days. Less technical stuff, more philosophy, but to me, the technical problems are easier to fix. Bad writing philosophy is a much bigger problem!
Day One. . . Tip One.
Enjoy writing your first book. No, really. . . ENJOY IT! Because after you’re published it’s a completely different ball game. There’s still lots of magic to find in novel writing, but it changes once money, and public opinion enter into the mix. The first one is always magical, written in a world full of hopes and dreams and if you remember that, if you honor it, you’ll have the experience forever as a touchstone for why you started this crazy journey to begin with.
I was lucky enough to get this piece of advice while taking a writing class at the 2009 RT Convention. These two multi-published authors spoke about it so passionately, it was almost like the rest of us weren’t around anymore as they stood there reliving the inspiration and magic of writing their first books. I could tell they really meant it, and when I went home after that weekend, full of conviction, I held onto that idea of enjoying it. I finished Beyond Eden in three months and I loved every single moment of it. At the time it was the greatest thing ever written in the history of the world—according to me.
It sucked later when I found out others might not agree. It sucked even more when I realized writing the second book was so much harder under the sea of insecurities caused by the fighting with publishers, bad reviews, and reader expectations.
It took me a few more years and a few more novels to realize that Beyond Eden was the greatest thing ever written in the history of MY world at that time and that is totally okay. I wouldn’t have written it if I didn’t love it.
It should be the same for you too. You need to believe in it that much. Write the book you would stand in line fourteen hours to buy. Dream the big dream. Immerse yourself in it. After that, the goal is to make sure every book following the first is still the greatest thing ever written—according to you—even knowing others may agree with you.
So if you learn nothing else from here, if you decide I am just not the author to give advice to you and never read another tip from me. . . that’s fine, but please still enjoy it. I want that for you. Desperately.
You can’t have a second first time!