If you are writing a book, whether it’s your first or fifth, you need a few key beliefs to take your writing from idea to publication. The writing process is a beautiful mess and is different for each person, but if you develop and adopt the mentality that you are not only a writer, but a great writer, taking your work and publishing it will be made much simpler. In addition to believing in yourself, developing these key beliefs will help you become an unstoppable author.
1. Believe in your writing skills and constantly work to develop them
As in most things, writing is an area where you have to believe in yourself or no one else will. Remember it’s your book. And yes, you want it to be great, so listen to instincts on where and how you want your story to go and that will trump everything else.Next you have to continually work to expand your writing skills. Take online classes and workshops and write as often as you can.
2. Believe you can read like a writer
One of the best ways to take your writing to the next level is to read books in your genre by authors who have mastered the craft. Break down a scene, a moment, or a descriptive passage. See how the author did it. What emotions did the passage make you feel? How did the scene end and begin? What were the high and low points? How did they show, as opposed to tell? Study, study, and study great writing you admire, and find ways to incorporate the lessons into your own work.
3. Believe that great things take time and that quality will always trump quantity
No author has been an overnight success, so don’t expect that from yourself. Every author puts years into honing their writing to make it the best it can be. So if you really want to publish your work know that you need to put time into it, and that the time will be worth it. In the end, better content always, always wins out. So make your book the best it can be before you head off to publish.
4. Believe there is always room for improvement
You must be able to take feedback from your editors, professors, proofreaders, and friends on how to improve your writing. Don’t take it personally. It is absolutely essential to develop a thick skin and separate yourself from your writing. Take criticism with a grain of salt and try, as hard as it may be, to not to feel judged or think your writing isn’t worth publishing. Half of the writing process is revising and editing, so get used to the idea your first or third draft may still need some work. And most important, remember that the people giving you feedback are doing you a favor! They are trying to help you make your book the best version it can be, so be grateful they’ve taken the time to read it and offer input.
5. Believe your instincts
Whether it’s working with an editor or choosing how you want your story to end, you need to trust your intuition. Everyone will have an opinion about your character, plot, scene structure, and so on. But it’s up to you to determine what input you want to incorporate and ignore the rest. Remember, it’s your book, and you want it to be great, so listen to instincts on where and how you want your story to go and that will trump everything else.
Featured photo credit: Hans Peter Meyer via flickr.com