Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Writer's Words of Wisdom: Don't Sweat It


     For my very first post for WOW, I'd like to discuss expectations and goals.  As a writer, you should aim to set realistic goals for yourself.  For example, don't clear a three day weekend in the hopes of emerging from a cabin somewhere with a completed 150K manuscript that's polished and ready to hit the New York Time's Best Seller's list by Midnight.

      If you have a life at all outside your computer, plan on a few months to a year for completing a manuscript.  Don't feel like you have to rush yourself or neglect work, family, or friends to finish your book.  Rushing and stressing will bleed over into your writing flow.  You want the best writing possible, and tense writing isn't the best way to go.

     Keep your eyes on the prize and Steady-Eddy yourself to a completed manuscript.  It's also worth mentioning that you should take your time with the editing process as well- especially if you heavily rely on self-editing.  In college, my professor told us to start from the end and work our way back to the first page to catch more errors. That way you're not just following the flow of the storyline.

     Don't get discouraged if you spy other authors' posts about how many words they accomplished that day or week even.  Everyone works at their own pace and everyone has varying amounts of time they can commit to their writing.  Take your time and enjoy the process!

Don't forget to visit the other authors participating in this week's WOW posts:

Paloma Beck:

Tammy Dennings Maggy:


  1. This couldn't have been more perfect. I am pushing up against a deadline and honestly couldn't even tell you what time my boys went to bed or what they were wearing to school this morning. Pacing - it really is about pacing ourselves!

  2. Wonderful post! So often writers looking to get published for the very first time have very unrealistic expectations. Like all of us, they dream of that runaway best seller that just sells itself. Reality is so far from that, but it's nice to have that fantasy!

    It took me nearly two years to finish my first published erotic romance. I kept putting it aside, afraid to finish it because I then would have to submit it. What if they didn't like it? What if they thought my writing sucked? Well, finally I just said what the hell and sent it in. It was the best experience all the way around. I learned so much from the two editors assigned to that book. Now with the second book in that series due out in November, I'm eager to hear from those same editors. Even though it is my story, ultimately these people helped shape me into a better writer. I can't wait to see what they think of my latest effort and how much I learned from them already.

    You are spot on with your advice to slow down and work at your own pace. Too often new writers want to crank out the books and get them on Amazon before they've edited it thoroughly. Sometimes it ends in disaster with no so nice reviews...okay downright mean reviews. Take your time and put your best effort out there. You can't go wrong with that!

  3. Great post, Jessicca. And the saying 'slow and steady wins the race' is more than often very true.

    Just like anything in life, writing is an individual thing. Every author is different, every manuscript unique and life circumstances vary with each book we produce.

    I'm doing the Steady-Eddy thing at the moment, and have been frustrated that I should be doing more. Your post was a timely reminder that pushing myself for more isn't always necessary :)

  4. Great advice on ignoring another author's word count post. I tend to layer myself in guilt when I see those.

    *Bangs hand to head* Yep, will write that on a post-it and place on the top of my computer screen. ;-)