Charity Bradford guest post: Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Started Writing (#1)

I’m poking my head out of baby land to introduce a guest post from one of my favourite bloggers. Before I do, here are a few photos of little miss Mackenzie, who is now five weeks old.

Mackenzie has really discovered her lungs the past couple of weeks, and if she’s not happy with something, she’ll let us know in no uncertain terms! To balance out the crying, she’s rewarded us with a few little smiles every now and then, which melt my heart into a warm puddle of mush!

Anyway, let’s move on… I’m delighted to take part in Charity Bradford’s mini blog hop, which forms part of her blog tour for the release of her debut novel, The Magic Wakes. Charity was one of the first bloggers I ‘met’ when I joined the blogosphere, and I’ve followed her journey with great interest. She’s an absolutely beautiful soul who deserves great success, so I was thrilled when she announced that her debut novel was going to be published.

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In her guest post below, Charity tells us about the number one thing on her list of the “Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Started Writing”. The list came about from a discussion Charity had with a group of teen writers.

Take it away, Charity!

1. TIME

Author photo Time is one of the biggest factors in writing, and perhaps the one we think about the least before we begin. That’s why I want you to understand the time involved BEFORE you start. This will head off some of the disappointment you might face.

A. You have to make the time to write. If you don’t, the writing won’t happen.

  • No one is going to come to you and say, “Let me clean your house today and do your grocery shopping so you can write.”
  • If you don’t say, “This is my writing time” and turn off the phone and internet, and lock yourself away from your family, TV, whatever it is that distracts you—you will continue to be interrupted and the writing will suffer.
  • Fifteen to twenty minutes here and there is better than nothing, but if you’re like me, you need at least that long to remember where you left off and where you’re heading. For this reason, I prefer to get at least an hour block, but two is my goal.
  • Be willing to sacrifice for your writing. Get up an hour earlier, skip that sitcom or crime show and write at night, whatever it takes.

The important thing is to make a schedule and stick to it. Find a time to write and do it. For me, the hard part is turning off the writer when it’s family time, but if you have a plan you can work toward a healthy balance.

B. Getting published isn’t going to (at least it shouldn’t) happen overnight. Even in today’s faster paced world, good publishing takes time.

Example—I got my first ‘yes’ in 2011 and I turned it down because I didn’t feel I was ready. The next ‘yes’ came March 2012 and it just felt right. However, it took another month before the contract was signed and everything was official. Two more weeks before I met my editor, another two weeks to get the first notes back from the editor and then a month for me to work on those edits. A month after I turned them in I got a note from my editor saying she was starting on my WIP because guess what?? She has other authors she’s working with! SO, even after you get a YES, there is a lot of waiting. Be ready to accept that. Embrace it and work hard when the ball is in your court.

I finished my edits and received my cover art in September of 2012. In my mind everything was done and it was time to start planning my blog tour and implementing my marketing plan. There was nothing wrong with that, but let me tell you, there was still a lot of waiting until my book was actually out in public. Even with a move across two states, I was like a five year old waiting for Christmas. My poor publishing family probably dreaded getting emails from me (so sorry!).

Learn patience now, because waiting for your dream to be alive in the world is harder than anything else you’ve ever experienced. It was very much like waiting for the birth of my children but harder. Why? Because I kept thinking I could speed things up by working harder and faster.

But what if you self publish? You still need to put in the same amount of time and effort into polishing that manuscript as those with Big 6 (5, whatever they are now) contracts. I’m sure Cally can tell you ALL about that! She did an excellent job getting everything taken care of for her book. Just remember, the better the final product, the more success you will see. And yes, we have seen exceptions to this rule, but don’t you want to be proud of the quality of your finished novel?

About The Magic Wakes

CoverTalia has a secret, one that will save her world and yet rip it apart. Only she can decide if the price is worth it.

Scientist Talia Zaryn has always had visions of an alien invasion and of her own death. She’s kept it a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when her face in the mirror matches that of her dreams, she fears the dreams are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond their planet, Sendek; perhaps then people will prepare to fight.

Talia’s work at the Space Exploration Foundation leaves no time for personal relationships, but Major Landry Sutton isn’t looking for a friend. He’s looking for a traitor. His ability to sense emotions convinces him Talia is that traitor until a touch sizzles between them. In an instant their minds are connected and they can communicate telepathically. Just as the two begin to trust each other, the invading force arrives.

Talia and Landry must uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past if they hope to defeat these terrifying creatures. And Talia is the key—if only she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.

Want more?

Watch the trailer, read the first chapter, find The Magic Wakes on Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, or visit Charity’s blog or website.

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19 Comments

Filed under Writing

19 responses to “Charity Bradford guest post: Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Started Writing (#1)

  1. It does take time, but if you are really committed to what you are writing, you will make the time.
    The waiting part is amusing. I waited over a year with my first book after signing the contract, and then only eight months after the second. Will be a little over ten months for the third. If one is impatient, it could make you nuts.
    Cally, Talli Roland calls her baby “Lobster Baby” when he grows red from crying and screaming. Not sure if you want to use that nickname, but thought I’d toss it out there.

  2. Thanks for the insight. I am playing with my writing outside of my blog. Time to get serious with the book writing. Oh yea, I will check out The Magic Wakes – looks good.
    All the best – Michael

  3. Aw, what a cutie 🙂 I have baby envy – my youngest is 15 1/2… years, not weeks or months! 🙂

  4. Great pictures. I agree about time. I can think of many things I’ve don’t right and wrong with Time. The book looks so cool.

  5. LOL, Lobster Baby.

    I may not like waiting, but through some recent experiences with another writer I’m glad I’m willing to do it. Rushing in with the attitude of “I want it now!” can kill the potential. I’m seeing that first hand and can’t believe how angry it makes me. Not for me, but because this person has so much potential to be a great writer. If only they would be patient. *sigh*

  6. Beautiful baby pics!
    Time is a huge part of writing – just finding the time, and making the time. I often get asked, how do you make time? Well, I get up earlier than everyone else in my house . . .and then I squeeze in spots of writing around activities. If we really want to chase this writing dream, then we make the time.
    Good post!

  7. Beautiful baby pictures, Cally. And good luck to Charity with her new book.

  8. Aww, Cally, she’s so precious. Congrats on your new daughter!

    Learning that discipline for time is essential, Charity.
    http://www.mpaxauthor.com

  9. Oh, that time thing is HUGE, isn’t it. But I think I wish I’d heard, “if you do just this much a day…” I would have fit it in so much sooner if I’d had some reassurance that it was possible. But my attempts had all been done in clumps of HOURS and I just couldn’t fathom finding HOURS regularly… it was when I started with 45 minute blocks I finally got farther than a chapter or two.

    • Hart, another comment right on. Theoretically we should be able to condense all the little wasted minutes into hours, but that NEVER happens does it? 30 minutes here, 45 minutes there gets it done.

  10. Aww. Cute! Isn’t it the most fun time?! I love that age. 🙂

    Congrats, Charity. I’m glad someone else is like me – takes a while to get back into writing. I hear people say they write for 30 min. here and an hour there. It’d take me years to write a novel at that rate. Sometimes it takes me an hour or two to really get going.

    In fact, my most frustrating times are the afternoons when the kids start coming home. So many times I’m on a roll and I hate having to stop. It’s selfish, I know, but those inspiration-driven writing spurts don’t happen every day. Sometimes when I cut one short, I don’t get *into the zone* again for days.

    Anyhow, best of luck with your new release. 🙂

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