Twenty Things I Learned in Twenty Years as an Author
By Victoria Alexander
Hi, Mary Connealy reporting in but I'm letting someone else do the talking today. No, NYT Bestselling author, Victoria Alexander is NOT my guest today on Seekerville. But she is in my Omaha chapter of Romance Writer's of America and she gave this speech as the keynote at our January writer's retreat and I was just struck by every word of it being true. And counting the ten years I spent trying to get published, the list works perfectly for me, too.
I asked her if I could use it and she graciously said yes.
She sent me the list and added five more things, which are also true. But she didn't change the name of the list which is classic, funny Victoria. She said to call them Bonus Lessons.
And, Victoria said, a couple of them aren't really writing related they're more like LIFE LESSONS.
1. Publishing is a business and writing is a job.
2. Regret your mistakes but don't dwell on them, and don't dwell on those things you cannot change.
3. Keep moving forward.
4. There is no right way or wrong way to publish. There is no right or wrong way to write.
5. Be willing to try something new, embrace opportunity when it comes along, and now and then, take a chance.
7. No matter how beautiful the aging cover model is, the product she is selling—with the secret formula developed by a top skin expert—is really not going to make you look like her or make you look younger.
8. A fabulous writer is not necessarily a fabulous story teller.
9. Inspiration is everywhere you just have to be open to it.
10. Every book should be the book of your heart.
11. Use post it notes.
12. If writing doesn't get harder with every book, you're not doing it right.
13. Listen to legitimate criticism, ignore bad reviews, don't believe everything you read on facebook, Amazon, the internet.
14. A good editor is worth his/her weight in gold.
15. You probably won’t win powerball.
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17. Your agent works for you. You do not work for her.
18. Get everything—every promise—in writing.
19. Muster your courage and don't be afraid to move on when you need to. From an editor, publisher, agent.
20. Educate yourself.
FIVE BONUS LESSONS LEARNED
21. Pick and choose what you do for free.
22. Writing is the hardest thing in the world.
23. Staying published is harder than getting published. Getting published is only the beginning.
24. Never miss an opportunity to promote your latest book.
25. The 2 best words in the English language are The End.
Mary again: What do you think? Do any of these ring true for you? Any additions? This list can be as long as we'd like.
Giveaway today, a signed copy of With This Ring? A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry (my novella collection with Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings and Seekervillager Melissa Jagears) A signed copy of Lassoed by Marriage, a nine author novella collection that includes me and Seekervillager Rose Ross Zediker,
AND a copy from me of Victoria Alexander's Same Time, Next Christmas. It's not Christian fiction so know that, but I love her work.
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About Victoria Alexander
New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She has written thirty-one full length novels and six novellas. The Perfect Wife—originally published in 1996 and reissued in March 2008—hit #1 on the New York Times list. Sixteen of her books are bestsellers hitting the New York Times, USA Today and/or Publishers Weekly bestseller lists and is a 2 time RITA award nominee. In 2008 she was the keynote speaker for the Romance Writers of American annual conference in San Francisco.