Here are a few things I’ve learned since embarking on the journey to become a writer: 1.) Failure. It separates the boys from the men. I’ve had countless failures in the short amount of time since I became a serious writer. Failure doesn’t deter me, though. They are battle scars I will look back on and remember the hard work it took to get to where I am. 2.) Friends make everything worth it. I love my CPs and beta readers endlessly. They are my support system and they share my passion. 3.) Grow an exoskeleton. You need a thick skin in order to take the criticisms and critiques, and turn them into something great. It’s easy for us to crawl back into our holes and cry because someone found a flaw with our writing. But I learned that critiques have made me a better writer! 4.) Kill your self-doubting alter ego. Your evil twin wants you to fail. The one who whispers in your ear, “Just give up. Nobody’s going to like this anyway. It’s boring. It’s too weird. No agent will ever want to sign you.” We’ve all heard that voice. I think it’s kind of scary, to have this evil part of you that thinks failure and despair is just around the corner. Whenever that voice pops up, I just tell it to go f*ck itself. I think that’s what J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and John Grisham probably said, and they seem to be doing alright for themselves. 5.) Build your necklace. Let me explain. Let’s say you’re a fledgling jewelry maker and you don’t really know what you’re doing. So you go on a journey and you find a village full of other jewelry makers who have more experience. As you make friends with them, you are able to take with you a single small jewel as a keepsake. Over time, you gather more and more jewels, some are more beautiful than others, some you don’t quite know how to use. And then you return home and take those jewels, and over time, you find that you’ve created a beautiful necklace; one that someone out there thinks is the most gorgeous piece of jewelry they have ever seen, and they are willing to spend their money to buy that necklace from you. See where this allegory is leading? We’ll all get to where we’re headed. It just takes a little time, a little courage, and a lot of jewels.
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