My first book released in June of 2007, so I thought I'd take a look back and figure out what I've learned.
After 30 books, I've finally figured out that I shouldn't panic when words don't flow off my fingertips via the keyboard onto the screen. There will be times when it's damn hard to get even a page written.
I've also discovered that I work best with a deadline. Give me a date to shoot for, and I'll hit it every time. Don't put a bit of pressure on me, and I'll dither and dally all day long.
I can't write about somebody I don't like. Even my villains have to have a redeeming something that makes me understand how and why they tick.
Let the story go where it will. I never plot it ahead of time. All I know is I want to get from Point A to Point B. I've learned I shouldn't try to jerk the story back to the spot I think it should go. Just let it go and follow along and see what happens.
But maybe the biggest thing I've learned is that you can't predict success. I know so many authors who are great writers -- they tell a fabulous story, they've got great characters, and they write a nice, tight novel. And they're not financial successes. And I know of others who are raking in money with crappy stories and poorly written books.
It's not all about talent. There's luck, there's talent, there's perseverance, and more luck. That's why you have to define success for yourself because if you compare your career to somebody else's, you'll go crazy.
I always said I'd keep writing as long as I'm having fun. Every year, around this time, I reassess and see where I am.
Yep. I'm still having fun.
So I guess there's still a few more stories in me!
J L Wilson