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FIVE Things A Writer Should and Shouldn't Do NOW!

I'm not saying that I know a lot about anything, but I can say that I do know a lot about what has and hasn't worked for me in this writing gig.

I decided five years ago that I was going to give my writing career a big ole kick in the butt and get it done. I traveled every road possible to make it to publication which finally happened one year ago with my debut release Carpe Bead 'em. Granted, I started marketing my career FIVE years ago and I have come across some things that a writer should do and shouldn't do.

THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T DO NOW: (let's get these over with since they are the most painful)

1. Stop quitting!
There is nothing more annoying than a quitter. This is why my post HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT is the most powerful post on this blog to date. If you are a writer, you are going to have to keep going because your novel is NEVER going to finish itself.

2. Stop treating your body bad!!
Keeping your body healthy is crucial to your writing career. Eating well and exercising will keep your mind healthy. It will help you focus and keep your creative juices flowing.

3. Stop writing what you hear is going to sale!
How many times have you heard that vampires are HOT and only being sold? If you don't write true to your heart, you aren't going to write the best story for you and your heart will not be in it. Forget about marketing something that isn't close to your heart.

4. Stop dreaming and start doing!!
I'm not saying to stop following your dream, I'm telling you to start taking the steps to make that dream possible. I want to be published every possible way. That means self-publishing and traditional. While I'm working on my traditional publishing endeavors, I'm continuing on my self-publishing career. It's a great time to be a writer! Make it happen!

5. Stop worrying!
Worrying has never gotten anyone anywhere! It gives you wrinkles! Don't worry about what other writers are doing. Don't worry about the mistakes you are afraid to make. Make them! LEARN! Don't worry about the market. Don't worry about self-publishing stigma. Don't worry!! It takes all the creative flow out of you!


1. Recognize that you are a writer!
The more serious you take yourself the more writing you will get done.

2. Read more!
The more you read, the better your writing will get. Read outside of your comfort zone or genre. It's fun to see how different dialogue tags are used or character descriptions are different across the board. You'll be surprised at how much you will learn.

3. Give back to others!
There is nothing more rewarding than giving back without expecting anything in return. It does wonders for your creative flow. There are many simple things you can to do give back and most of them are free!!

4. Work hard!
Okay. . .well I said quitting was the most annoying thing a writer can do....well I lied! Being LAZY is the worst! I can't stand someone who tells me they are a writer and they write a couple pages a month. THAT IS NOT A WRITER!!!! This is a job. It needs to be treated as such. And there isn't a job out there that has survived with a boss who is lazy. Write! Write! WRITE!!!!

5.  Just do it!
Nike has it right! It's that simple.

I could have written at least twenty in each category, but I'm curious. . .what do you think a writer should start doing TODAY and STOP doing today?


  1. Stop procrastinating.
    Start...oh, I'll get back to you later with that one. ;-)
    Nice post, thanks.

    1. Great advice, Tonya! Simple as it may be, it's SO true.

      Ken, procrastination is my evil enemy right now and he's winning.

  2. My mantra: "Reading is not writing. Thinking is not writing. Research is not writing. Only writing is writing." Another way of saying 'Just do it!' Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Amen!!! I have to say, at this very moment in time, I'm doing pretty well. I'm going to bookmark this blog post, though, for the times when I'm not doing so well, so I can read it as a reminder kick in the butt. :-)

    1. Alannah, you are on a roll!! Keep up the great work.

  4. Thanks, Tanya. Even though I'm published I needed this right now. One other thing I would like to add is limit your time on social media, yahoo groups, and promoting.

    1. No matter where you are in your publishing career, it's always good to have reminders about the do's and dont's. Also, good tips on limiting social media. It's a time suck at times:))

  5. Brilliant article. Just what I needed!

    1. Thanks so much, Louise! I appreciate your kind words.

  6. Awesome post with great advice and reminders all of us need to hear sometimes. :)
    One thing I think all writers need to do is stay focused and listen to ourselves. It's so easy to veer off the career path we've set for ourselves because we get so caught up in the opinions of others. We lose focus on our own goals. I've learned to listen to my gut. Mistakes will inevitably happen, but I've found that if I listen to my head, I'll sometimes reason myself out of an opportunity that has the potential of taking my career to new heights. :)

  7. Wow, did you read my mind this morning Tonya? I just posted on FB how I need to get motivated this morning and WRITE. Then I come here and grin when I see what your topic is today. Very timely! Thanks for the kick in the butt. Now I'm motiviated. :)

  8. If a writer doesn't have a time frame to get something published, they should make one. The thing that discourages me the most is getting a negative review, but that said, I've learned to turn it around and tell myself that someone has bought and read my book, and guess what? I'm getting better...and better...until one day, those negative reviews will be way in the past. Thanks for the encouragement. Especially hearing you've been doing this for 5 years. No wonder you've got it going on, girl!

    ~Nancy Jill Thames
    "Queen of Afternoon Tea"

  9. Hello Tonya,
    I'm finishing Stephen King's "On Writing" and I admire his work ethic. When he is finished with one book & it's off to the editor & publisher, he takes a small break & then begins his next project. He treats his writing like a job - a job he loves

    Today more people are going indiepub & selfpub route. Therefore, we have to do our own marketing, which takes time & energy. After a small writing break, it would be best to get back in our writing chair & work on our next project, in addition to marketing. We probably will have to decrease the writing we do each day to get our bks into readers' hands.

    Monique Liddle


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