One of the things I love about RWA is the amazing amount of support. It's so nice to have a group of people who understand what you are going through, unlike pretty much every other person in your life.
At times I now feel like the laundry room in my house. My family has a vague understanding of the workings but really only cares about the output. So, yes, I'm "writing," and that is great for whatever that means to them. But, where are the books on the shelves and the money in the bank? I'm 100% certain that I would not still be making an effort to write without the advice and support of my writer friends.
Another thing I've found is that EVERY level of author is willing to try to help you. No. They can't read your book and you shouldn't expect them to. But, I am an advice junkie. I admit it. And if an author can give you pointers or share information, then they likely will.
It's important to set aside pride for the sake of your career and the quality of your book (that's kind of advice so feel free to take or leave it!). Part of that is being open to this advice. Will all of it work for you? Will all of it be good? No. But, I'm a firm believer in "lessons learned" and failure analysis - which is basically a fancy way of saying advice! You probably do it already to some degree. You know when something isn't working.
I'm taking craft classes and learning about the business, based on all of the "I wish I had known" advice I heard.
I'm not rushing.
There are free and very reasonably priced classes. I'm really excited about Southern Magic offering Debra Dixon's Book in a Day workshop.(https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=1592). A book in a day, people! I recently took an RWA online class about creating a better opening for your book. And I would be lost without Suzanne Johnson's plotting and revision classes. The RWA conference workshops made me wish I could clone myself.
I still have a long way to go with craft, but I'm very glad I put in the time before trying to publish anything. I will continue to do so.
I took a lot of the processes I used at my manufacturing day job and incorporated them into my own writing process. Some of it worked and some failed miserably. And I learned from it and moved forward. Then I read a lot of advice on writing processes, and tried several things I never would have thought of.
Have you received any advice that changed writing for you? For me, it's the "write every day" advice. It made so much sense to me. So logical. But, I can't do it. I tried for eight months to make a habit of writing every day and have never been more miserable and less creative. But I know some people who took this advice and it was a game changer for them. My lesson learned was that I need to set a weekly (not daily) word count...and THAT led to more productivity for me. In effect, it was the advice NOT working, which led to something that did. And who knows, maybe in three years, my writing style will have changed and writing every day will be what's better for me.
So, what's your advice advice? ;-) Is there one piece of advice that sticks out to you, good or bad?