I’ve been trying to write a book since 2016. I came up with different ideas for 30 stories and told myself that only 25 would make the cut. I wrote as much as I could, and as often as time allowed it. However, procrastination got on the way and didn’t advance much in 2017.
In 2018, I retook the project. Still, my commitment wasn’t as serious as you’d think it would be. Constant ups and downs slowed my process, but I didn’t kill my manuscript. I made time to continue.
Last year, it was one of the busiest years of my life. I got married, moved out, planned my honeymoon, went on my honeymoon, came back from my honeymoon and yet, I kept working on my novella and managed to write half of it. I had so many activities going on, but it was one of the most productive times to write full chapters.
I’m certain I’m going to finish it this year. I’m writing the last six chapters of my work, and I’m looking forward to accomplishing a mission that began a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to be a writer; this time, I’m much more convinced about it, and I’m willing to work hard to turn this into my full time job someday.
As I’m getting closer to the end of my first book, I’ve realized that this is just the beginning of my journey. As an independent author, there’s a mindset that I should adopt to prepare myself while still writing. Here’s a list of basic lessons I’ve learned during my process.
1. Writing is the main priority. Editing will play its part later on
Your manuscript doesn’t have to be perfect. Every chapter must exist first and convey an idea. Later on, editing will help you polish the story through better words and better structured paragraphs. Don’t edit while writing; otherwise, you’ll never move on.
2. Edit your own work, but also consider hiring a professional
Once your manuscript is done, you’re free to modify those weak sentences that were bugging you since you started writing. This is the time to do it, and you can analyze your plot and determine if it makes sense. On the other hand, a pair of fresh eyes can also improve your writing. Start prospecting editors before you’re done reviewing your work and get a sense of the money you might need to spend on this service.
3. Think of your book cover
This is a critical step. People do judge books by their cover, and you want them to buy yours. If you’re not comfortable designing it yourself, it’s also going to be necessary to hire a graphic designer. It’s worth the investment since the front cover is pretty much the first thing that makes contact with a potential reader.
4. Get familiar with marketing strategies
You need to build your own online platform so that people know more about you. Get involved in social media and interact with other fellow writers while you’re still working on your manuscript. Blog about your process and your progress. Let other people find you so that you start building a reputation.
Don’t wait until your book is published to start planning your marketing strategies. There’s so much you can learn beforehand.