How listening to “advice” made me quit writing

Back in 2010, I published my first novel. It was a novel that I wrote for NaNoWriMo that previous year. My sister edited it, I made the cover based on the template through createspace, and I published it.

People liked it, they bought the book and read it…I didn’t have many reviews, but there were enough. So then I wrote the sequel, and another stand alone novel in the following years. By 2014 I was writing my fourth novel. My sister got married, got busy, so I found an editor to edit my stuff. She offered to do it for a low price, which was perfect for me. She edited it and I published it…only to find out that she missed a significant amount of edits. Enough that people contacted me about the mistakes and even mentioned it in their reviews.

Embarrassed and a little upset, I took down the book, and then the other books. The name I was using, by then, already was known as an author who had mistakes. So I sold those manuscripts and decided I was going to write under another name, a pen name. I would write different stories, more risque stories. I thought, while doing that, I would start my writing career over, rebrand myself.

I started reading all I could about writing; advice, how to market, and even asked my fellow authors about what they do to get their name out there and whatnot. I took the advice to heart, following it basically to a T and doing everything I could.

So I published under my pen name, and promoted. And promoted. And promoted. I created an anthology for other authors for cross promotion. I kept myself big on twitter and instagram, I made a board on pintrest for my writing.

And I got LESS views/reviews/interest than I did when I first started writing. No one was buying my books, not even my ebooks, and there were only a handful of reviews, if that many.

I didn’t let that deter me; I wrote the second, third, and fourth books of the series. Still no one was interested. I wrote a stand alone…nothing.

I worked my @$$ off, sacrificing my time with my husband, my time doing other things I liked to do, all for this. And I got nowhere with it. Nowhere.

And then I just got tired…exhausted really. I started to hate writing, a lot, and became anxious every time I tried to write anything. Finally, in the beginning of this year I stopped writing completely. I just wasn’t into it anymore…I didn’t want to do it. In fact, I couldn’t do it.

It was only recently, through this blog and through NaNoWriMo, that I began to love writing again. I remembered why I wrote, and what it meant to me. In the past 13 days I wrote over 36,000 words.

And it was the first time in a while that I was writing for me, with no rules and no advice. Just writing. It. Is. Amazing.

So I’m through with taking advice. If I go back to publishing, like really publishing, I’ll do it my way. I’ll try not to listen to the “advice” that’s out there because it was the “advice” that ripped me away from something I loved so dearly. And I won’t let it happen again.

So, for now, I’ll write the stories that come to mind. The ones that I want to write, and I might even share them on my blog as a series post.

I can’t wait.

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