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I started writing about fifteen years ago. Have I learned everything yet? Nope.

I stopped trying to learn everything. It’s impossible.

For me, writing began in a bubble. Just me and my computer and my crazy brain ideas. I never studied writing. I didn’t know any other writers.

Just me in my happy little bubble.

However, if being published is a goal, staying in that blissful bubble is…not going to work. With a brave poke, I broke free.

I listened, soaking in everything, then tried to force myself in this writer mold. However, not everyone out there agrees on what this mold looks like. So…

I’ve had people tell me to do this thing or that thing. I’ve seen tweets where people declare one way to do things.

THIS is how you write a query…a synopsis…a first chapter…

THIS is how to write…

THIS is what agents look for…

DO NOT DO…

ALWAYS DO…

Yup. That.

SO…here is THE ANSWER.

There is no answer.

There are rules. Sure.

These rules. Guidelines. A place to start. Then the path you take is up to you.

Critique partners can help. Beta readers can help. Comments can inspire your brain to take the best steps for you along that path. Comments can help you see your strengths and weaknesses.

Listen. Always listen.

Then do you. This is your art. Your voice. Your vision. Only you can decide what works and what needs to be destroyed with fire.

For not every comment will guide you in the right direction.

So, in the world of publishing where much depends on luck, opinions, and wishes, there is one thing that will keep you going.

Love what you do. Love the way you do it. Love the adventure, one that seems cloaked in darkness and pain, sure…but a journey!

If the process, the words, or the path feels wrong, then it probably is. Let joy guide you.

To a glorious adventure.