Paranormal Chaos author Joshua Roots shares what he learned on his journey from would-be writer to published author. Reprinted with thanks from the Carina Press blog.
With Paranormal Chaos out and The Shifter Chronicles winding down, I’ve had some time to sit back and think about my journey from would-be writer to published author. Basically, it was one heck of a roller coaster ride and an experience well worth the years of toil, sweat, and tears. For this, my final Carina Press blog post (for now), I’d like to share with you all some personal lessons learned.
Do It Wrong
It doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be great, but it does have to exist. If you’re wishing to see your name in print, there is no greater leap forward than having the courage to actually sit down and write a story. Doesn’t matter if it’s an epic of 200,000 words or a flash fiction, so long as you write it. A lot of people never start, much less finish, a book because they’re afraid of doing it wrong. Don’t be. Every first, second, and even tenth draft is rough. It takes time to polish that thing to a shine. But you can’t fix what you don’t have.
Life is long and complicated. There are twists and turns you can’t plan for or anticipate. But keeping your nose to the grindstone will likely mean the difference between finishing a work and it lounging in a drawer. Accept the fact that Real Life will interrupt you, but do what you can, when you can.
Everything has been done before. Yes, even your story. But what separates the wheat from the chaff is attitude. Well, and talent, but mostly attitude. Rejections will happen. Don’t let them stop your drive.
Build a Great Team
No one publishes alone. Even self-published authors have help somewhere along the line. Having a team of supporters is crucial. Mine happened to be some of the best, from family and friends that beta-read each book to the folks who designed the cover art. If you can find quality people to be on your side, hold onto them like they’re gold.
Writing, like all things in life, is about perspective. There will be ups and downs, but anything that isn’t done with a joyful heart isn’t worth doing. Your story, no matter how outlandish, sexy, dark, or funny, should resonate with the joy you get from sitting down at the keyboard and hammering out words.
Ultimately, writing is a long climb up a winding mountain path. It can feel lonely or intimidating at times, but with the right attitude and a team of quality folks, it’s an experience well worth the emotional and physical investment.
Joshua Roots is a car collector, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He’s still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.
For more about Josh, visit his website at joshuaroots.com.
Or meet Josh on Twitter @CobraMisfit
For more books from Carina Press visit carinapress.com.