Here's a phenomenal blog post from one of my all-time favorite bloggers, JA Konrath, which I have syndicated.
The Original POST: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2014/03/heres-what-i-know.html
Here is what I know:
Don't be a pinhead.
Publishing is a business. Writing is an art. You may not enjoy the business, but you definitely should enjoy the art.
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Read the contract before you sign it. Twice. Three times. Then have your lawyer read it.
The secret to happiness is what you give, not what you get.
No one owes you a living.
Success may involve talent and hard work, but it always involves luck. Talent and hard work may improve your luck.
Ebooks are forever. Forever is a long time to get noticed.
There's a word for a writer who never gives up... published.
Denial is a powerful opiate.
Be kind, be generous, be helpful, and be careful.
If you're selling eggs, don't piss off your chickens.
When you're learning how to walk, you don't take classes. You don't read how-to books. You don't pay experts to help you, or do it for you. You just keep falling until you learn on your own.
Before you make the key, study the lock.
People would rather fight to the death to defend their beliefs than consider changing their minds.
It's about what you have to offer, not what you have to sell.
A sense of entitlement is never acceptable. No one deserves anything.
What are the last ten books you bought, and what made you buy them? Use those techniques to sell your books to other people. Do what works on you.
Hard work trumps talent. Persistence trumps inspiration. Humility trumps ego.
Praise is like candy. We love it, but it isn't good for us. You can only improve by being told what's wrong.
Your book is your child. You can't recognize its shortcomings, any more than a proud parent could consider their child dumb and ugly.
The experts don't know everything, and they might not know what's right for you.
Fate is a future you didn't try hard enough to change.
Anyone looking for you can find you. Get them to find you when they're looking for something else.
Less expectations, more work.
Life gives you wonderful opportunities to conquer fears, learn skills, and master techniques. ""I don't want to" isn't synonymous with "I can't".
People seek out two things: information and entertainment. Offer them freely, and they'll come to you.
The Internet isn't temporary. What you post today can lead people to you decades from now.
If writing is your profession, act professional.
Stop Googling yourself.
No one said it would be fair, fun, or easy. But it can be worthwhile.
We're all in the same boat. Start rowing.
If you can quit, quit. If you can't quit, stop complaining--this is what you chose.
There are a lot of things that happen beyond your control. Your goals should be within your control.
Write when you can. Finish what your start. Edit what you finish. Self-publish. Repeat.
The most successful people on the planet have one thing in common: nothing can stop them. Don't expect to reach your goals without sacrificing things that are important to you.
Being your own best advocate is about understanding how people react to you.
Fake confidence, and real confidence follows.
Maybe you can't win. But you sure as hell can try.
Don't write crap.
Always have two hands reaching out. One, for your next goal. The other, to help people get to where you're at.
If you can't be smart or funny, be brief.
Don't ever say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.
If you're not in love with the sound of your own voice, how can you expect anyone else to ever be?
Knowing you're not original is the first step in becoming unique.
People aren't carved out of marble. We're all works in progress. The trick is to define ourselves, rather than let outside influences define us.
Don't prioritize the mundane.
Writers are essential. Readers are essential. Publishers are not.
Stop thinking if. Start thinking how.
The more you fail, the closer you are to success. If you don't have success, you haven't failed enough.
Envy, jealousy, guilt, regret, shame, and worry are all useless emotions. Focus on love, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness.
There should only be a few people in your life whose opinion matters. The opinions of everyone else do not.
One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming insecurity and learning to truly not give a shit.
If you're reading this blog, you aren't writing. Get back to work.