Getting Started for Authors Tip: Why it is Wise to Walk Away From Your Writing

The 31 Days of Author Tips features the advice from Jenn Grace and other authors, publishers, and people in the writing industry. From hearing Publish Your Purpose Press Founder and CEO,  Jenn T. Grace, you’ll learn the basics of the writing process as well as more intricate details and tips not found anywhere else. You’ll learn how to be better prepared when you set out to write your story. Whether you are writing a memoir or any non-fiction where a piece of your story is shared, you’ll be better equipped for success after having listened to these tips.

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Author Tip Transcript

Guest Tipster: Heather Habelka, Director of Editing

Take a break:

Step away from your writing when you can’t get something quite the way you want it to be. Step away even if you’ve done a great job, because it could be even better after looking at it with fresh eyes. Your manuscript will look different in the morning. When you come back after a break to a problem in your writing, you will see it from a different perspective and then a solution to the issue may become clearer.

Never send a piece of writing to anyone the same day you write it. Take a look at it the next day and you will be able to make it better. Put pages in a drawer and give yourself time to separate from the document. You will see things that you would have missed by rushing through.

Society wants instant gratification so it’s hard to walk away, so this is challenging. Even emails can be clearer with a few hours away and coming back to review before sending.

Never send something immediately in response to a negative situation. Walk away and come back after you’ve had time to review, figure out if you’re over-reacting, and/or consider the consequences of sending an angry comeback.

Boundaries and Deadlines:

Putting healthy boundaries in place starts with the writer. Some days the writing flows and the next day you can wake up and nothing’s happening. Understanding that this happens helps you build in extra time for deadlines to not feel last minute pressure.

Instead of doing sub-par work to meet a deadline, offer what you are able to do when people are pushing for results unreasonably.

Find your own writing rhythm. When do you write really well? When is your creativity on-point? When do you do other things (like editing) best? Create your schedule and deadlines knowing your strengths and capabilities. This will help structure a proper response time when communicating your schedule to someone pushing a deadline.

Set your own deadlines in advance of real deadlines to give yourself buffer time to not hand in something before it’s ready. Submit your best work – not pieces that are in by deadline no matter what condition it is in. Submitting poorly finished work is just going to cause problems and delays later on.

When authors are giving themselves an unrealistic deadline, when things aren’t working, don’t fit into the original vision, the author needs to take time and space and work it through alone or with other people that have the author’s best interest at heart.

The difference between people reading a book and passing it on, and loving a book, vs books that were written without having taken that time to properly edit, are markedly clear. In self-publishing, often people are in such a hurry to get a book posted, that the book doesn’t pass quality standards by the readers. The books fall flat and feel one dimensional. Had the author given him/herself time or worked with someone in a collaborative way, they could have elevated the work.

Become part of a writers group to get feedback and opinions to help guide your self-editing process. Beautiful Writers podcast is a great resource.

Have a handful of objective champions, cheerleaders, around you. A group of peer writers that don’t get paid by you, but people with a common goal, can be so restorative and inspirational to lead to the best result possible.

Bringing material to a writers group can also push you to give yourself space and time away from the document.


Download the Getting Started for Authors Blueprint

How many times have you been told you should write a book?

With each passing day, does the urge to tell your story get stronger and stronger?

Are you worried that you can’t possibly find the time to actually sit down and write your book?

Well, guess what?

You can do this!

All you need is a system—a process—a way to put one foot in front of the other.

In this guide you will find our top 30 tips on from mindset to writing to marketing, to help you get started on your book, today!

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