I started seriously writing in 1991. This coming May 2016, I will have been at this profession for twenty-five years. That’s a good milestone.

So, here are a few things I’ve learned over the years. I’ll add more as I consider them:

No one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.

Few of us are asked to write a book. I’ve yet to hear of someone being grabbed by the arms and told, “You must write. You are a writer.”

Instead, we’ve had to ferret out a sense of who we are by ourselves.

The task of learning the craft and business of writing can be overwhelming. Each of us will need to learn lessons that can’t be found in a classroom–hard lessons that strike at our souls or, at the least, our preconceived notions. Effort will move our work forward but not always smoothly. There will be fits and starts. We learn to celebrate the baby steps and try not to be deterred by the missteps, and there will be many of those along the way.

The only way you fail is if you give up.

That is the one surefire way to blow it.

Otherwise, I’ve seen writers overcome bad reviews, numerous rejections, lousy print runs, changing markets, crooked agents, crooked publishers, strange and crazy cover art, and, worse of all, hurt feelings. I’ve also witnessed authors being crippled by the same. Every professional writer with staying power has learned to have a tough hide and a tenacious attitude.

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