Don’t Look Back on Your Writing Journey With Regrets—9 Things to Avoid

Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for SouthernWriters Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Life is
full of regrets and the writer’s life is no different. But since I’m a few years
further down the path than a lot of you, I thought I’d share some things I wish
I’d done differently. These are some regrets you don’t have to have if you pay
attention now.
1.
Following the trends instead of writing what’s on your heart.
It’s tempting to think this or
that is hot right now and an easy sell. The truth is, nothing is an easy sell.
It all takes work. And more than that, it takes time. Chasing a trend will doom
you to always being behind.
2.
Not investing more time in your dream.
All around you are opportunities to grow as a writer.
Whether it’s local writing groups, online classes or chats, or conferences.
Making your dream a priority is important.
3.
Letting others define success.
Success is different for each of us. If we let someone else’s
definition guide us, we’ve lost our way.
4.
Not saying yes to stretching your writing muscles.
Courage is essential in this
business. It’s what so often separates success from failure. If I only did what
I knew I could, I’d never grow as a writer.
5.
Listening to the negative voices in your head.
We all have them, no matter
where we are in the writing journey. The only difference is whether or not we
choose to believe them.
6.
Not networking more.

In this business, as much or more than any other, it’s who you know. Building
relationships can keep you sane, give you valuable leads, and open the doors to
publication.
7.
Submitting stuff too early in the editing process.
It’s tempting to get frustrated
with the process and think something is good enough. Every single time I tried
that short cut it ended in failure.
8.
Not writing more.
Isaac
Asimov was once asked what he’d do if he found out he only had six months to
live. His answer haunts me. “Write faster.”
9.
Letting the jealousy and pettiness of others derail your progress.
It’s a competitive field and for
some, winning is everything. These few can beat you down to build themselves
up, if you let them. Don’t.
This
is what’s on my list. What’s on yours?