Eight years ago today, I held my breath as I hit the publish button for the first time. My first novel, Good Intentions, went out to the world. Oh, if I could only go back and teach myself some things! I'd start with this:
Yes, you need an editor. Probably two. Three wouldn't be a bad idea.
You can't use song lyrics in a book due to those pesky copyright rules (don't worry, I've long since taken those out).
That cover is terrible.
Pick a genre. You can't write in multiple genres from the onset and hope to build a business.
This is a business.
You have no idea what you're doing, and you probably need to learn a lot more before you hit that publish button.
Don't let fear hold you back and hit that publish button.
Still, there was a freedom in not knowing what I didn't know. I went in with little expectations. I had to sell four books to recoup my cover costs (a whopping $10). I wasn't in this for the business. I was in it because I had a story in my head and my heart that I had to get out.
So here I am, eight years later, having just completed my 17th book. I'm also working on revising and tightening up Good Intentions. At 98,000 words, it's my longest book. It doesn't need to be that long. I've learned a lot about the craft of writing in the past eight years, which I hope my more current works show. But I still love Maggie's story. She just needs some spiffing up to get up to par with my other books.
In the past eight years, I've lost some friends and but made tons more. My world is infinitely better for the wonderful people who've come into my life because I didn't know enough to know what I didn't know. I've had experiences I never would've dreamed possible, and this is only the beginning. I cannot thank these people enough. There are too many to name, but if you're reading this, you know who you are.
Okay, I've never really liked this song, but I'm feeling sappy, so this song is for everyone who's supported me on this journey:
I was definitely one of those kids who got "talks in class" as a comment on their report card. Anyone who's ever met me knows I'm a talker. My overactive brain finally has an outlet. Including the novel I finished writing 2 days ago, in the past 8 years, I've written 16 novels and 1 novella for a total of about 1.2 million words. Thank you all for reading those words. My husband especially thanks you because he didn't have to hear me speak them.
Eight years ago, when I sent an email to my friends and family and published a blog post about the publication of my first book, I really had no idea what a journey I was embarking on. It's been one hell fo a ride, and I can't wait to see what the next eight years (and more) bring!
USA Today Bestselling Author Kathryn R. Biel enjoys writing books that help resilient women find their funny. Her latest book, Vision of Love: A Center Stage Love Story, Act Two releases June 29, 2021. 50% of pre-order proceeds will be donated to the Mac-Hadyn Theatre's Bright Future Fund.