By far the best advice I received that helped me in the progression of my career is to “just keep writing.” I’ll be honest, I thought my first book was a solid awesome sure thing. Lot’s of first books are, right? We’ve all heard the stories of first books that were snapped up and went on to be best sellers. Hey, it happens! What I know now, after having written 8 books, is that I’m a far stronger writer now and the work I produce is of a much higher quality. My writer-eyes now would see a very different book than the writer-eyes that wrote it. I don’t just keep writing; I strive to improve my craft with every project. The advice is pragmatic as well. In the early days, “keep writing” served another purpose; it kept me focused on the only thing I could control (spoiler alert—the writing is the ONLY thing you have control over in publishing) when I was seeking an agent and then later, when I was hoping for books to be picked up by a publisher. Those times of waiting are always easier with a new project in the hopper. Just keep writing because if you want a career in this business, you must keep producing books. While some careers are built on the back of one book, most are not. If you want a solid, loyal readership, keep giving them what they want—more books from you!
I’ve received loads of advice over the years. Much of it was good and quite a lot was bad. It won’t help to list all the bad advice. Here’s why… a piece of advice often says more about the experiences and perspective of the person giving it. For every single “rule” you will hear, you’ll find fantastic examples of people who broke those rules with much success. Someone might give generally sound tips or advice but they might not be good advice for YOU. This is particularly true when it comes to the creative side of publishing. When it comes to the business side, it’s in your interest to know and understand best practices. With any advice, have an open mind and the respect enough to listen, especially if the counsel is coming from someone with a lot of publishing experience, but at the end of the day, trust yourself.
Tracy Clark is an award winning author with a passion for personal development and potential. She’s a proud mom of two teens, a private pilot, a post-skydiving daredevil, a spicy-chocolate connoisseur, and an irredeemable dreamer.