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Yesterday I was asked, “What is the most valuable lesson you learned in publishing?”
I guess the most valuable lesson I learned in publishing is: Just do it. This is not to mean, of course, that you plunge in with eyes closed and unprepared. Of course, you publish armed with the knowledge that you have initially acquired. Of course, failures will be experienced and lessons will be learned along the way. But that’s the thing. You will never know until you do it.
This is never more true in my case. All my life I wanted to be an author and an artist. But I always kept back, thinking I don’t have the skills and the talent to put myself out there. Words like, “I’m not cut out for that,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll end up bankrupt and humiliated.” I always had a reason for not pursuing creativity. Then work came, then marriage and family. Not that I regret any of these. But I could have blended my creativity with real life, instead of holding it back, tucking it in deep inside myself, away from everyone, including me.
Of course, another factor is the easy way authors can get published nowadays, through Amazon etc. In the past, only print publishing was available, and not to many. Presently, the internet also offers many ways and means to learn more about writing, publishing and other creative works. There are also more various groups and people who organize events and workshops with the purpose of educating and supporting creatives.
But any knowledge acquired through all these will be useless if one wouldn’t do anything to apply them. To be able to self-publish, you need to learn things, socialize, develop your talents, save money—true. But in the end, the only thing that will come between you as an unpublished writer and that someone else you dream yourself to be—a published author—is the courage to go ahead and do it.
Every successful author began as a novice. I’m pretty sure they also groped in the dark, made mistakes, wrote trash. But they all had the bravery to take that one single step. It was only after, that they evolved, learning lessons along the way, acquiring strategies, enhancing their skills, honing their talents—becoming the famous authors we admire today.
I may not become a famous author but I sure can say to myself, at least, I did it. I self-published my works, and I am learning how to evolve into a better writer with each passing day. 🍀