6 Mistakes Authors Make When They Start Writing

by Aug 28, 2017Writing Tips

How to Avoid These Mistakes When You Start Writing

I consider the longing to write a noble calling to the voice hidden inside us. Helping others get their stories out is part of what gets me out of bed each day. I know our stories can change the lives of others, which is why I encourage you to write yours.

But I see aspiring authors stumble over the same mistakes:

  1. Thinking there’s nothing to it.
    Even if we have the most riveting story in the world, have overcome the worst illnesses or suffering or have a never-before-been-done idea for a plot, a book isn’t finished until it’s written. So until you’ve sat in front of your computer until your eyeballs sweat, we can’t really have a conversation about getting published. We all have to pay our dues and put in those 10,000 hours. The time we spent actually putting words on the page is as important as the years we’ve invested in honing our craft, reading and working our words. Writing a book is a big job. Not everyone can pull it off.
  2. Thinking it’s impossible.
    On the other hand, believing you can’t do it before you’ve even given it a chance is equally self-defeating. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. The challenges along the way weed out the fainthearted and the opportunists. I truly believe that those who hold their passion and focus around their book will eventually get published. Don’t let fear of failure decide your fate.
  3. Underestimating how much time it’s going to take: some people can write a book in a few months.
    Some people tell me they’ve written a book in a few weeks. I take two years to write a book — and that’s when I’m doing it full time. (My first novel took 10 years, but I was doing it as a hobby back then.) Give yourself time to write your book. It’s not a blog post. It’s a container for the depth, breadth and courage of all that you are expressed in words. The best books are richly conceived—the reader can feel the time, effort and thought that has gone into it.
  4. Not getting feedback or investing in mentoring, workshops or manuscript assessments.
    Our manuscripts need many eyes, many voices, many hands to help us get it over the final draft line. Invest in the best professional help you can.
  5. Not understanding that a first draft is the toddler version of your final manuscript.
    It has a long way to go; and it needs direction, education, love, support, nutrition, discipline and a lot of time to grow up. Find the best people to help you raise your book into adulthood.
  6. Not breaking the immense task down into small, bite-sized chunks.
    You aren’t a python, you don’t need to swallow the thing whole—you don’t need to know how your book ends, or even what will happen. You just need to start it. And keep working away at it, scene by scene, or chapter by chapter. Shawshank it. You can tunnel your way out of a maximum-security prison one pocketful of dirt at a time.
Joanne Fedler

Joanne Fedler

Author, writing mentor, retreat leader. I’m an internationally bestselling author of nine books, inspirational speaker and writing mentor. I’ve had books published in just about every genre- fiction, non-fiction, self-help, memoir – by some of the top publishing houses in the world. My books have sold over 650 000 copies and have been translated in a range of languages. Two of my books have been #1 Amazon bestsellers, and at one point the German edition of Secret Mothers’ Business outsold Harry Potter- crazy, right?

What Is Worth Being Famous For?

I always wanted to be famous. I once imagined if Ellen DeGeneres just had the chance to meet me, we’d become best friends. And that if Annie Leibovitz got a glimpse of my profile, she’d beg to photograph this nose. And that if Jamie ever got my lamb shank recipe...

The Recipe for Becoming a Successfully Published Author

I often get asked how I became a published author. How did 600 000 copies of my books get sold? How come publishers now approach me to write books for them? I wish I had a recipe I could share like Jamie Oliver so that everyone out there could do the same. But life...

What One Special Mother Did to Bring the World Alive for Her Blind Daughter

What sort of people do we want to be? What sort of people do we want to raise? The answer to both these questions came to me when Tanya Savva approached me with her children’s book, The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo. I created Little Wings Books, the children’s book...

Mistakes to Avoid When You Write a Self-Help Book

I’m such a huge fan of a great self-help book which can raise our vibrational frequency if the author wrote it with energetic integrity - not from a place of ego, but rather as a transmitter of wisdom and as an act of service to the reader. A book like this is...

How to Make Readers Part of Your Success When You Launch Your Book

How to Get Your Readers to Become Part of Your Success as You Launch Your Book   The purpose of launching you book is to get people to buy your book after all your hard work. To do this properly, you need to understand why people buy books. People buy books...

How to Become a Writer Publishers Want

How to Become a Writer Publishers Want I often get asked, 'How do you get published?' The better question is 'how do we become the kind of writers publishers are looking for?' Here are my thoughts: Write the best goddamed book you can – live what you’ve written....

1 Comment

  1. Sari Novack

    Shawshank was a good movie and a nice reference. Thank you for your efforts in giving quality information and sincere support.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *