Common Pitfalls to Avoid as a New Author

As with any profession- especially those within the realm of the arts- finding your feet as an author can be a daunting path to walk, strewn with many hazards that can trip you up. In this article, we’re going to be highlighting five common pitfalls that aspiring authors should avoid.

1).  Under-Edited Work

It’s undeniably exciting to release your first piece of written work- be it a short story, novella, poem- into the world. Of course it is. Your first pieces of work will likely be self-published, and because of this, the task of editing will be down to you. That being said, rushing to the finish line is never advisable when you are crafting a work of art, but that temptation often leads new writers to leave their work unpolished. Don’t forsake your masterpiece by skipping the editing stage! Does everything make sense? Do your sentences flow well? Is your work grammatically sound? Make sure you check these boxes before you unveil your work to the public.

2). Lack of Marketing

Artists tend to resent marketing; something that is more than understandable. Your focus is on your craft as a writer; the characters, worldbuilding, a good plot. Why would you want to bother yourself with understanding social media and SEO when your primary concern is your art? Unfortunately, if you want to accrue readership in this day and age, then online marketing is fairly critical. Thankfully, there are plenty of simple guides on how to harness the power of social media. Check out our articles on how to use Instagram, why you should get online as a writer, and ways to promote your work.  

3). Being Fazed by Rejection

A universally understood pain in the world of writing is the rejection letter. Authors around the world will find themselves rejected by publishing houses and literary journals alike, perhaps even hundreds of times! When you’re starting out, rejection can influence your faith in yourself as a writer. You must understand that publishing houses receive inordinate numbers of submissions and cannot accept each one they receive. In addition, many world-renowned titles were rejected many times before publication, such as Frank Herbert’s Dune and Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. Don’t give up just because of a rejection letter!

4). Lack of Research

Returning to the theme of “rushing to the finish line”, plenty of young and aspiring writers may be tempted to skip over a very important step in the writing process: research. Whether you are penning fiction or non-fiction, a large part of immersing your audience is defined by how much research you do. This could be anything; history, law, language, aviation mechanics, anything at all. Going the extra mile to conduct research will allow your writing to be more relatable, and the effort you have put in to do so will show.

5). Not Writing Enough

It is important to exercise your creativity and practice your craft when you can, but it’s frustrating when you don’t think an idea is good enough, or you feel like you’re getting nowhere with a piece of writing. This can lead to you putting down the pen for a period of time, fatigued by the prospect of trying to write again. Truthfully, writing is much like panning for gold; you have to sieve through a great deal of uninteresting rubbish before you get what you want. Write, write, write! Even if what you come up with is not to your liking, you never know when you will unearth a diamond.

28 Feb 2023