An Indie Author’s First year Reflections & Tips

Fischer 2011 Forest in Water Droplet, watermark for Shannon (1)

I was looking at the calendar today and realized that it was almost one year ago that I sat down to write my first book. It was a year of numerous changes and many highs and lows. I suppose in some ways, I’m shocked that I’m sitting here with four books under my belt and my fifth waiting for my first round of revisions. I think it’s important for any writer to take time to reflect and regroup before diving back into your work. I thought it would be fun and cathartic for me to post little tidbits to keep me grounded before I retreat back into my cave and into myself.

Shannon’s rules & tips, part one!

~ Write for yourself. You’ll never please anyone if you can’t please yourself.

~Edit, edit, edit and when you want to throw up if you read another word you’ve written, edit again.

~Take unsolicited advice and smile. You can always put them in your next book and tell them off in fantastic style.

~ You will find out who your friends are and you will also find out just how supportive your family truly is in times of need and personal joy.

~The phrase “Congratulations” will warm your heart but make you shake your head in perplexing wonder when it’s followed by “I haven’t read your book but good for you.”

~If you don’t like your story, chances are no one else will either…write for yourself! (Did I mention that already?)

~You will read your first book and curse yourself repeatedly.

~If you find yourself second guessing something you’ve written or you’re leaning over the keyboard with your head in your hands, keep going, and don’t press backspace!

~Don’t ever lose sight of why you started writing in the first place.

~ You will never make every person in the world happy but as long as you make just one reader smile or feel something, that’s all that matters

~If you start spending your fortune before you even sold a book, chances are you are doing this for the wrong reason. Writing a book is not a get rich quick scheme.

~The people out there who ask to be put in your book are the people you want to avoid.

~It’s ok to feel insecure when you hit publish. The writers who think they are great are the ones that suck.

~It’s perfectly normal to regard your fictional characters as friends.

~Writing is cheaper than therapy.

~Self-promoting is part of the job. Don’t worry about annoying your family and friends. After all, how many times have you heard about their fabulous lives, children, dinners, and vacations on Facebook?

~A Pulitzer is probably not in your future. I’m just happy to get one good review from a complete stranger.

~It’s ok to drop the f-bomb in your book.

~There’s no shame in calling yourself a paranormal romance writer or an author that writes erotica. At the end of the day you’re doing something that you love and you are passionate about. How many people can say that and how many people can say they wrote a book?

~Your first query letter is going to stink and your first rejection will cut like a knife. Don’t waste too much time beating yourself up over one email.

~Never forget why you became a writer and why you went down the Indie Author path. You have complete control over your work and you never have to bow to someone else’s demands.

~ Last but not least, write for yourself!!!!



8 Comments Add yours

  1. Ann says:

    Congrats on your writing career and blog! I noticed that the image you have at the top of the post is a photo I took and for which I own the copyright. Prints are available for sale at and

    I’m glad you like my little raindrop forest. If you’d like to keep this image in your blog, please contact me through either of those websites, and I can send you a replacement version with the proper watermark, which protects my intellectual property. Thank you!

    1. I am so sorry! I thought I checked the copyright but apparently I was mistaken. It must have been one of those late night blog posts 🙂 I will take it down right away.

      1. Ann says:

        Thank you for your quick response. I really am glad you like the photo! Would you like a watermarked version to keep on the page? It would be the same photo with my name and website on it in small, pale lettering. I’d be happy to send it, so please just let me know. 🙂

      2. That would be fantastic, I really do love it 🙂

      3. Ann, where else can my readers and I see more of your work?

  2. Ann says:

    Thank you for asking! You can see more of my photos at and

    Shannon, if you send me a direct e-mail address, I will attach a watermarked photo for you to use. If you like, you can just go to and click the green “Contact Us” box in the lower right. Thanks!

  3. augustmacgregor says:

    Great tips! The one about editing jumped out at me — it’s such an important part of crafting a story.

    1. Thank you! Editing is the bane of my existence 😉

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