Most successful writers--at least, those New York Times best-sellers who occasionally dispense advice to the poor folk down here--will say that the key to being a successful writer is to write every day and to have rituals, treat it like it's your full time job if you can.
Most of us who are published on our own (self-published) or in small presses, still chasing those big numbers, already have full times jobs. Whether it's outside the house or those like me, being a full time parent, we can't always carve out that kind of rigidity in our work. I know that I can't.
So, when asked about my writing process, I can't say what it is on a daily basis. Between taking care of my household, my young and active son, and dealing with two chronic disorders, writing is basically whenever the time and the energy coincide, and I lock myself to the computer. Or I write tiny bits here and there when I can steal the minutes for it.
When it comes to your daily writing, my advice is: do what you can and when you can, even if it's two paragraphs squeaked out between getting home from work and the cat crawling on your head for dinner. (Not that I've ever had that happen to me. My cats are very patient and understanding... *crickets*)
Anyways! My "process" is the big picture. I plot (I'm an outline writer), I write it as I can, and then I get it read by people I trust. This is very important! Don't send your work out there without having a quality control process. I'm not even talking about hiring the top notch editor and cover artist. Those are great, but to me? It's all about the story.
Get a critique group, or a numbers of readers that you trust. I like to have a mix of fellow writers and then non-writers, because they represent my reader base. I also like having fans of my genre and people who don't usually read it. It's about balance, and having a good pool of opinions. Make sure you trust that they'll tell you the truth and not just try to feed your ego. Truth is important!
As I always end up with tie-breakers, I like to have at least three readers, if not more, and always an odd number so I can look at the majority.
Ultimately, it's your story, so you have to go with what feels right, but always get the opinions and listen to them. Even if you don't USE the advice, LISTEN to it. Ask your readers about your plot, your story, your characters. Big picture stuff. I make sure that I have all my big picture down before I do anything else. I draft, have readers, revise as needed. If it's a lot of revising, I get more beta readers. When all is well there, then it's edit and release.
That's my biggest advice for new writers coming into this arena. Otherwise, just write your ass off. And hopefully, as we all hope, one day we'll hit that NYT best-seller list!
One word can change the story of your life forever.
Abduction. Torture. Surrender.
Eleven months from her adolescence have framed thirty-one years of Detective Nykk Marlowe’s life. Despite the trauma of her past, and the unique physical scars it left her with, she’s built a career as a detective for the Adelheid Police Department.
Her personal life might only consist of caring for her sister and a pet rabbit, but she accepts that.
She accepts that she’ll never be able to be like “normal” people, even the supernatural ones. As long as she can keep the past where it belongs, she’s okay.
But when the body of a teenage girl shows up with the same scars that Nykk sees in the mirror every day, her “okay” life gets turned upside down and she’s forced to confront the past she’s been looking away from for sixteen years.
And when it turns out there’s already more than one victim, the pressure’s on to stop the killer before any more girls are tortured, mutilated, and murdered.
Mia Darien is an indie author of speculative fiction, and a New England Yankee transplanted into Alabama clay. No matter her geography, she continues to stubbornly and rebelliously live the life of her choosing along with her family and pets. She doesn’t miss the snow.
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Other Books By Mia Darien in The Adelheid Series