1. My biggest advice for writing a novel would be, have patience. Like Rome, books aren’t made in a day. They aren’t even written in a day, let alone published in that amount of time. It takes a lot of dedication, determination, and drive to write a book and publish it. Take time, be patient and you’ll get there. I promise.
2. Write what you love, not what you think will be loved.
3. Connect with other authors. Writing a book is hard and a lot of the time, those around may not completely understand why you are stressing out about a particular scene you’re having a difficult time writing. That’s where having writer friends comes in handy. I struggled for a few months before I connected with a pretty awesome author friend who not only helped me develop more of my writing style, but understood the pressure and stress we authors put on ourselves daily. Connecting with other authors is not only beneficial to you as a writer, they become another net of family to you.
4. Trust your betas. It goes without saying that sometimes hearing that your book you’ve spent months, maybe even years of perfecting—might be missing something. Beta readers not only help point out some flaws that might be snagging your storyline, but they can also help you redevelop those snags. As readers, they aren’t reading it like you, the author, is. They are seeing it for the first time, whereas you’ve read more than a thousand. Beta readers are great reviewers and offer you sound advice on making sure your book connects with your targeted audience.
5. Write how you write. There is no right or wrong when it comes to writing. That’s what makes this profession so amazing. No two stories are the same, and not all authors are the same. Don’t feel the pressure to write like your favorite author because you aren’t your favorite author. You are you. And the story inside you is yours. Only you know how to write it. So just go with it and trust your gut.
6. Write for yourself … not for anyone else. This advice goes hand in hand with tip number 5. I can’t stress this enough. Many times, we as writers start to believe that we need to write a book that everyone is going to love. An epic love story that not only tests the boundaries of unspoken love, but becomes triumphant over all else. We want our books to be loved. Just as we love them. But that isn’t always the case. Writing shouldn’t be about writing something that you believe will be loved—because you’ll mostly write something similar to fan fiction, which is awesome in its own right. Write because you feel it. You know the story. Write because you wake up in the morning and all you can think about is how those pesky characters in your head didn’t allow for any sleep the night before. Write the story that is within you. Be true to that. Write for you … and nobody else.
7. Read. This goes without saying. Read as much as you can get your hands on and time allows. The best way of really connecting with your own writing is becoming lost in another author’s world for a change.
8. Write every day. Even if you have only five minutes to spare … write. The only way to perfect your craft is to keep at it every day. Even at 3 am.
9. A harsher side to the book publishing world is being told like it is. Publishing, whether indie or traditional, is overwhelming, nerve-wracking, hard and sometimes harsh. You need thick skin to handle rejections, bad reviews, the slush pile and the struggles that come with book publishing. It’s not always easy to get a publishing deal, or even your book on the shelves of your favorite book store. It may seem that way … but it’s not. Keep positive and keep trying. The struggles are worth it.
10. My final advice is the hardest an author faces: bad reviews. It goes without saying that no matter how awesome an author is, everyone gets bad reviews. It may not seem like it at the time, but trust me they do. The best advice that was ever given to me was upon getting a review that might not seem all that fantastic—take a peek at your favorite authors. You’ll find that along the list of incredible reviews, there will be one, if not maybe a few more, of the not-so-incredible reviews. And even as you think, “How can they not love that book? It was awesome,” you’ll be reminded that not everyone finds the same things awesome. Even your favorite author. :)
Jennifer Weiser is a young adult author who has always been a book nerd and a bit chocolate obsessed. Writing has always been a favorite escape, but quickly became a passion not long after the birth of her daughter. When she isn't combing the shelves of her local book stores or blogging about her newest book obsessions, you can find her nestled in her nook creating worlds she hopes that one day will inspire her daughter, who not only has given her the courage to follow her dreams, but offers the inspirations that help color their worlds together.