When I first decided that I was going to be a writer, I was starry-eyed. I thought that it would be so easy to write a book, get published, and then of course, who wouldn’t want to interview me and offer my a nice juicy contract to turn my book into a movie or television series?

Ah, ignorance was bliss.

I had no idea what I was doing, what I should have been doing, and what I should have avoided. But that comes with naivety and starting out anything new. I’ve said this a million times and I will say it again: Writing is hard. It’s more than hard, it’s enraging, it makes people feel like they’re going crazy, and it can bring about the strongest feelings of despair and depression. The hardships often outweigh the successes and yet, every day another person decides that they’re going to pick up a pen and write a book. Likely, they will make the same damn mistakes that I did. To save fellow writers from my blunders, here is a handy little list on mistakes to avoid when writing.

  • Do Six Rewrites & Revisions

Nothing is perfect the first time around. Your first draft will always be messy and filled with errors. What felt like a great scene when writing it, may feel unnecessary or worse, derailing the flow of your book. Treat yourself to reviewing your work and picking out the errors.

  • Have a Beta Reader

As the author, you are blind to how the audience will react to your story. What you feel is a good heart-wrenching scene may turn out to be a bland and uninspiring paragraph of forced feelings and blase writing. A beta reader is someone who can give your book a decent once over.

  • Do An In-depth Research Review of Agents

Agents get swamped with thousands of queries each day. Due to the high volume that they receive, they will close themselves to queries. Your query will not be read and trashed. The same thing goes for if you do not adhere to their query rules. If an agent asks for three chapters, do not send them the entire book. Your query will find it’s home in the trash.

  • Workshop Your Query

Your query is the first thing that an agent will read about your book. It has to be the best query that you will ever write. It needs to capture the essence of your book, wow your dream agent, and land you the book deal that you’ve always wanted.

From mistakes, you grow as a person and as a writer. That’s important but that doesn’t meant that there are some mistakes that you have to suffer from.

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