In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of www.cynthialeitichsmith.com, I asked some first-time authors the following question:
As a debut author, what are the most important lessons you've learned about your craft, the writing life, and/or publishing, and why?
Here's the latest reply, this one from author Terri Clark:
One of the most important lessons I've learned is discovering what my voice sounds like and then protecting it.
When you start receiving constructive criticism as a new writer it's very easy to edit a piece so much it completely mutes your voice.
Your voice is what makes you stand out, it's what makes you different. Once you find it, guard it and know how to look at edits with an eye for keeping your voice in your work.
I also learned that getting published takes patience and persistence. It took me twelve years, but someone once told me "It's not if you'll sell, it's when" and I clung to that.
Never give up, and you too will realize your dream.