As a not-yet-agented and then as a not-yet-sold writer, I spent a lot of time tracking down nuggets of wisdom from traditionally published writers, but this was often a bit of a dicey pursuit; reading about others’ successes in areas I could only dream about could, at times, easily lead to envy and discouragement, neither of which provides good nourishment for the muse. Still, it was an important thing to do, and I know without a doubt that many of the tips I found have led to this moment, when a new year and the release of my contemporary YA novel, BRIANNA ON THE BRINK, are suddenly right around the corner. And while I’m sure I’ll have tons of debut year tidbits to share in twelve months, the list of what I know now is pretty simple. It looks like this:
1) Joining a debut author group was a great thing to do. Not only do the Luckies support each other, but we are able to bounce ideas off one another and offer perspective when one of us hits a roadblock. Writing entails enough solitude as it is, and there’s no need to go the distance alone.
2) It’s so important to keep writing, to keep working on the next book, during the rollercoaster ride that is the lead-up to one’s debut year. Doing so can keep a soon-to-be-published author from getting too obsessed about Book #1, speaking of which…
3) Knowing when to let go of a book is key to preserving a new author’s sometimes delicate sanity. With a release date right around the corner, it’s crucial to remember that the book will soon belong to readers, for better or for worse.
4) Finally, finding a way to give back is so important when it comes to maintaining balance and remembering why one got into this writing gig in the first place. Whether it’s teaching aspiring, young writers or mentoring an upcoming debut author just starting out on the journey, the opportunities are abundant.
Happy holidays, everyone, and may 2013 be a year of growth and peace for all of us!
_________________________________________________________________________Nicole McInnes is the author of the contemporary novel BRIANNA ON THE BRINK in which sixteen-year-old Brianna Taylor finds herself lost, alone and with a major surprise in store after a one-night-stand. Just when she’s got nowhere left to turn, help arrives from the one person who is closest to her big mistake, but accepting that help will leave Brianna forced to choose between clinging to the ledge of fear and abandonment – or jumping into the unknown where a second chance at hope might just be waiting. Find Nicole at her website, on Twitter and on Facebook.