My best advice to new authors would be to believe in yourself and follow your dream to the end. I went self-published because I didn’t want to spend my last day on earth wondering if I could have achieved my goals but I didn't because I let someone hold me down. A published romance novelist I worked with once told me that it isn’t the fear of failure that holds us back, sometimes it’s the fear of success. If we succeed people will have expectations, want more from us. Do bigger and better things and that can be a lot of pressure for anyone to bear.
Writing is hard work that takes passion, drive, determination and skill. I think many people can write, but not everyone can elicit emotions from their readers. That is my primary goal as a writer. I want my reader to feel the pain and the joy of my characters as if it were their own. I want to take them on an emotional journey they wont forget.
I started writing when I was old enough to hold a pencil. I illustrated and wrote stories(westerns) and I forced my poor mother to read them. So, I've consider myself a writer for the last 40 years. I think I found my genre and my voice when I gave up poetry for prose…I still dabble at poetry. I think there will always be some degree of romance in what I write because love makes the world go round and it makes for some interesting plots. I spend my time reading and working on the craft, revision after revision. Sometimes, I don’t want to touch a thing because I try not to force myself to write. I wait for my characters to speak to me and sometimes like an angry friend, they don't.
It’s hard to send your work off. Much like a child, our writing contains our blood, our sweat and our tears. Like a child it will be judged by others, but that is the way of the world. We cant hold our work back any more than we can hold back our children. There comes a point where we have to let it out into the world. All we can so is hope all the hard work and love we have put into it will be obvious for the world to see. We can only hope, someone will get it and be touched.
If you keep on writing and trying you will succeed. Today with the ebook revolution we have more options than ever. We no longer have to wait for validation from a publisher we can take our work directly to audience, but hang on it can be a bumpy ride!