We all need advice, a helping hand, a guide. And that’s when we can turn to someone with more experience, who’s been there and done it, so that, hopefully, we can avoid the common mistakes and pitfalls.
Whether you’re just starting out, or already seasoned in publishing, there’s always more to learn. Technology and the internet changes so rapidly, and strategies that worked yesterday, don’t always work today. As authors, we can never stop learning and adapting. But with that, comes the feeling that we’re still inexperienced, still naive, just stumbling blindly along the path, and it can be all too easy to follow those ahead of you, blindly, assuming they know exactly where they’re going.
These people, and their advice, aren’t difficult to find. There are countless podcasts and blogs and books covering just about every aspect of writing, publishing, and book marketing you can imagine, and even some that you hadn’t yet thought of.
For the most part, they know exactly where they’re going, and you can happily follow them. But it’s worth bearing in mind that sometimes, their destination might be different to yours, or, even if it’s the same destination, their route might be different to the one you wanted to take. And occassionally, you’ll meet one of those people who speak with absolute assuredness, but they’re actually completely lost.
So, how can you tell the difference? How do you know when to follow, and when to make your own path?
For one, trust your instincts. Will they always be right? No. But if you stay true to yourself, and to the kind of author you want to be, you can’t go too far wrong.
And second, don’t be scared to make mistakes. We all do. All the experts have too. And we learn far more, and far quicker from our own mistakes than we do from other people’s. No one has a flawless journey, there will be roadblocks and detours, dead ends and circular routes, but if you remember where you want to go, you can find your way back.
Always stay open to advice, to trying new things, to being persuaded and changing your mind. Always. But listen to your gut too. You’re a lot smarter than you realise.