Monday, 4 March 2013

Guest Post: FIVE Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Authors by Author Jacinta Maree

The five most important tips for an aspiring writer: 

My name is Jacinta Maree, and I am just me.

This is basically how I am going to start this entire post. I am me, and there isn’t anything special about me that make’s publishing an easier or harder goal to achieve. I wasn’t born with talent pouring into my diaper and I sure as hell wasn’t a top notch student, voted to becoming the next president or anything. I am ordinary and just like everyone else out there.

Publishing is hard. You’re meant to struggle so don’t feel disheartened because you haven’t been ‘discovered’ yet. It’s just a timing thing. It’s meant to be very hard and you have to have a heart of stone to not let rejection tear out your insides.

The beauty of publishing is that even once you get your yes that’s when the hard work begins. You are competing against a lot of louder and more popular voices out there, trying to jump up and down and wave your arms to get some attention, even just a little to turn your way. I am far from being called a successful writer. I would still say I’m at the bottom of the well trying to find the right rocks to hang onto to boast myself up. That’s not to say it’s impossible and it can’t be fun along the way.

So, I’m here to explain.

First off, and I can’t stress this enough, you need to believe in yourself. 

Plant your feet and dig into your mind, remember why you wanted to become a writer. If your answer is ‘I want to become the next JK Rowling’ then I’m not sure if you’re in it for the right reasons. I stumbled upon this epiphany a while ago when going through my old work. Why do I write?

It’s a really simple answer, I write for me. No secrets, no hidden trap doors or secret tunnels, I write for me. If my work was never to touch the surface world and remain concealed behind the screen in my laptop, I would still write every chance I get. I had found this being the opposite reaction to another writer friend. They seem to only write when they believe some sort of praise or recognition is going to be rewarded. They only write to be praised. I found myself wanting to tackle them to the ground and shake them till the thought is blown away. If you write for others, it’s not going to work. I don’t know how they could find the strength to lift a finger to paper if all they wish for is a thumbs up from a stranger. Writing is so personal that every time your fingers touch the keypad a little piece of you escapes and stains the screen.

I can understand wanting to share your love of writing, but you have to love it first. Love it as it is, naked and exposed and unnoticed on your computer screen or piece of paper. Once you love it unconditionally, then I believe you can share it.

Number two: Editing is important. 

I’m not the best editor myself, I know that and I proudly raise my hand to my own faults, hence why I went outside and got professional editing. Nothing screams amateur like typos and massive plot holes. Sure, the odd error now and again is only human but if your work is riddled with mistakes that it takes a reader three times over to understand a simple sentence, you’re doing something wrong. 

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, do some research and make sure you’re speaking to the right people.  

Number three: The fun part ~ let’s make some friends.

Let’s face it, out there the world is a big and scary place and it only gets bigger and scarier when you’re holding your heart out on a silver platter hoping others don’t stomp on it. Talk to people, help others and don’t be that person who is always trying to shove your book down others’ throats. It’s annoying. I find myself already rolling my eyes when all I see is the same post popping up on Facebook, ‘Read my book. Read my book. Read my book.’

It’s fine every once and a while to promote yourself but the last thing you want is others running when they see your name pop up. The beauty of the internet is that you can make friends on the other side of the world without any hassle. Ignoring the time differences, it’s almost like they are in the room with you. These new connections are so important, and you must remember to keep them in your hearts forever. 

These people on the other end of the planet are about you become your new best friend. It’s a two way road though. Don’t be greedy. 

Number Four: Advertise! 
Yep, now you have your book, you’ve made some friends now let’s find you an audience. Talking from my own personal experience, I went to where my intended audience age group may hang out. And I don’t mean standing by the park like a creep handing out lollies; advertise where your work will be seen by the right crowd. I personally use art. Deviant Art has become my beacon of fireworks and beauty where I commission other artists to draw my characters for me then we post them over the net. Honestly, pictures are so much more attractive compared to a page of words. In fact, stepping onto a site and seeing nothing but black lines can be really daunting. Colour is your voice, let the artwork do all the shouting for you.

Number Five: Write. 

Here we go, swinging right back to rule number one. We write, and we write for ourselves. It’s nice of course, once you get a following to take into consideration what your audience wants from your books, because by that point the book, worlds and characters don’t belong to you anymore but to everyone. But for the beginning, you just have you to worry about you and wait for others to jump on board. Again, I know I’m no Stephanie Myer or Stephen King, but this is a start and they must’ve started from somewhere too. 

Taking two steps backwards to friends again, I would like to thank Bec from Bex 'n' Books sincerely from the bottom of my heart for all of her support. She’s one of those people who go the extra mile for a stranger and I am so grateful for her time and effort.

Thank you Bec and thank you to everyone for reading this guest post. It was my first one so I hope I did something right.

Lots of Love,

Jacinta Maree.

A wonderful and HUGE thank you to Jacinta for taking the time to join us today. I hope her words provide you with insight and support. Bex
To discover more about the amazing Jacinta Maree, just stalk her via the following links:
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