It’s with decidedly mixed feelings that I write this final blog post for TKZ. It’s certainly been a good run and, having been here from the start, I am sad to be leaving…but the time has come and I am thrilled to be passing the blog baton on to a regular TKZ contributor, Kay DiBianca (Welcome Kay!).
Not being one for long goodbyes, I thought I’d end with a brief distillation of some of the advice I’ve given over the years to all those looking to establish a writing career (something definitely not for the faint of heart!). While there is no one path to publication or success, I have always strived to be supportive and encouraging of all those committed to their craft, and I continue to believe that there are huge opportunities despite (and more often because of) ongoing changes within the publishing industry. Publication can be a daunting ambition but communities such as TKZ are great places to both learn and share advice. So here are final words of wisdom (such as they are!):
Know Thyself: It’s taken me many years to accept the kind of writer I am but now I understand my motivation, process, and limitations. I know for instance that I’m motivated by traditional publishing, that I’m incapable of writing to word count deadlines, and that I am and probably always will be a historical fiction writer. I also know that I’m unlikely to ever write erotica or horror:)
Be Brave: As my recent blog post regarding my art illustrated, much in the way of success relies on being brave. Putting your work out there, risking rejection and failure, is critical and yet almost all the writers I know have periods of insecurity and angst. I’ve learned that (at least for me) the key is to take a deep breath, do my very best creative work, and then let it out into the world…which (again for me) is a very brave thing to do:)
Be Kind: The writing community is generally extremely supportive so try to be a part of someone else’s success rather than relishing their failure. I have benefited from the kindness of many fellow writers, readers, agents, and editors…and truly hope to be able to do the same for others. Unfortunately, there are so many toxic and divisive threads and platforms online that writers can get caught up in – all of which detract from the creative process – so it’s best to ignore these as best you can. Sadly no community is immune from this at the moment, so although I say be kind, I do not mean be passive…just try to walk away from the worst of it!
These three pieces of advice seem pretty measly, but I hope that my blog posts over the last years have helped at least some of you in TKZ community find your own creative path and success. Wishing you all even more success in the future. Happy writing!