7 HUGE Mistakes Writers Make (That Hold You Back In Publishing)



hi everyone Alexa done here and today I am coming at you with seven huge mistakes that writers make that hold them back these are things that writers do that essentially stop them from improving and therefore from kind of taking the next steps in their craft in their editing in their publishing journey to producing a book and potentially getting published I know so many of you are looking for the answer how do I know when I'm ready how do I know what know when my book is ready how do I get published and if you are making any of these huge mistakes well stop making them is the first step to improving as a writer and getting to that next step so the first huge mistake I see writers make is they think that their first draft is their book they think they're done your write a book and yeah poof and it's amazing it's done published No or queried Oh first drafts our first drafts first drafts are messy even amazing writers first drafts are not final drafts every book every book no matter how talented and skilled you are needs editing and here's the thing let me tell you we can tell when you query or publish a first draft it's honestly really really obvious so don't do it you're just holding yourself back and you're hurting yourself by basically thinking you're done when you're done with your first draft the second huge mistake I see writers make is that they basically write and publish in a vacuum they don't solicit feedback from other writers soliciting feedback from your family and friends doesn't count because they lie to you they love you so they lie to you you need to open yourself up to other people giving you feedback on your work you need to have other people read your work when they give you feedback you need to open up and expand your mind and get comfortable listening to it and taking it on board being open to hearing from other people kind of what you're writing and what you're doing and reacting well to it and turning it in to positive action is the only way to improve as a writer and to survive as a writer long term to be a professional writer is to have other people respond to your work judge your work give you feedback on your work whether it's readers reviewers your agent your editor you have to learn how to deal with these different voices who are going to talk to you about what you're working on the third huge mistake I see writers make is hasty revision or editing so yeah you edit your book but do you really this means will you consider editing ooh reading through it in fixing typos or you are revising but your changes are so cosmetic that you're not actually improving the book basically if you're rushing the revisions are editing your end product is going to be sloppy sloppy might as well be a first draft and sloppy doesn't get you where you want to go tied to this is not knowing how to edit or being god forbid unwilling to edit not knowing how to edit isn't necessarily your fault and honestly you can only learn how to do this by practice so listening those outside opinions helps a lot working with critique partners or beta readers and hearing their feedback and maybe even asking them like well do you have any ideas for how to fix this you do enough trial and error and you will learn how to revise your own work it is an art not science there are videos and guides on this I have one and I will tell you it's not easy but it is a big mistake that people make where they don't know how to edit so they don't really edit their work and then the third subcategory of being unwilling to edit your work this kind of falls into if you think your first draft is your final draft you are wrong if you were unwilling to edit your work because you think it's perfect I can't help you your to do you the arrogance of thinking you are uneditable that what you write is gold that arrogance and that inability to engage critically with your work is holding you back it's going to hold you back and no one's going to like working with you the fourth huge mistake I see making is rushing in to the publishing process so when the traditional side this means rushing into querying or even submitting your work to publishers that don't require agents or rushing into self-publishing so often this ties into the other thing so you want to publish a first draft or publisher query a book that hasn't been edited or you edited it poorly rushing into the publication process and essentially rushing into your career into the career that you want to have is a huge mistake because first impressions do matter specifically let's say in a best-case scenario with traditional publishing if you do manage to get an agent or manage to get a small publishing deal without an agent or if you're self-publishing and you've rushed into it that's your debut you get one chance to debut and your debut does matter well there are cases where people can overcome a poor debut so many people never do once you have your work out in the universe and you have a sales history that is gonna follow you forever unless you want to change your name but that's a whole other topic rushing does not help you it's worth putting in the time and working on multiple projects and multiple books learning how to edit and putting the best possible work force rushing to publication matters more and hurts you more when you do actually publish sloppy or bad or not ready amateurish work it doesn't really screw you over with agents it screws you over in the sense that once you query a book that is sloppy or not good and they pass like you're done with that book but most agents aren't going to remember you for querying a sloppy or bad book at least not if you do it was if you are a serial querier of crappy books they do sometimes remember some people do develop reputations but generally speaking if if you are watching this and go oh gosh I queried something that wasn't ready my career's over not really they're probably not gonna remember the fifth huge mistake that I see writers make is that they hang on to one idea for way way too long one idea or one book so often I see this where someone has been nursing this grand idea for their novel or even writing it or having written it since they were preteen or a teenager or their young 20s this kind of skills and differs depending on your age working on one idea endlessly not letting go or writing a book and then editing it to death for years and years and years and years and querying the same project over and over again this is a huge mistake so often it's the next thing that is the thing that works and specific to the ideas that you come up with when you were younger there are exceptions to this most often when someone leaves behind an idea they had as a teenager works on other stuff and then comes back to the idea of their youth as a more experienced writer and writes it fresh that can work out it does happen but generally speaking I have seen the ideas and books and things that we write when we are younger are less sophisticated they just are especially the teenage stuff it tends to be melodramatic it's more trippy it's less original and that's actually just a natural part of growing older and you know reading more and becoming more familiar with story and craft and improving as a writer it's essential to go through those phases to get to the writer you're going to be but if you cannot let go of the old ideas the old projects and the one book you're going to just be spinning your wheels in places for years and years and years and 99% of the time it's not going to work out the number one thing you can do as a writer if you feel stagnant if you're stalling if something just isn't working is start a new project start a new idea you'd be shocked how often when you let go of the thing that is really close to your heart and you try something else how that something else is the thing that gets you an agent or gets you a publishing deal it happened to me the sixth huge mistake that I see writers making as they become too attached on a micro-level to specific ideas within a book to specific characters lines scenes and so on if you've heard the adage killing your darlings this is an essential part of leveling up as a writer you have to learn to kill the things that you love and sometimes that is moving on from one project to the next been on that micro level it really is oh that's your favorite line in the book but if it's just not working cut it you love that scene sometimes you have to cut it and when you push through the pain Oh like you're to me characters you love this side character but they're just not really contributing to the plot and you have to kill them metaphorically you just remove them from the book once you push through that and you do it and then you go through it you grow you learn you go oh gosh it's better without that mmm it is painful it is a painful process but you have to learn to let go of these things that you love that you are really attached to in order to get better as a writer and the seventh huge mistake that I see writers making this is probably the biggest one that I see in terms of what I think holds a lot of aspiring writers back especially from traditional publishing from a professional career in writing and that is fear of rejection it's natural to be afraid of putting yourself out there and you know so creative work is always personal and it's scary to go out there and be like haha what if this professional hates it what if the readers hate it what if the reviewers hate it and it always hurts trust me rejection always hurts but I think it's that fear of rejection that holds so many writers back from leveling up from pushing themselves in their craft and their ideas and you know taking the risks and leaps that are worth taking in order to get to that final step in that final stage you have to be willing to put yourself out there with critique partners with agents that with publishers and then with the general public putting yourself out there and learning to kind of cope with rejection in a healthy way and to turn rejection or critical feedback into positive action through editing or just you know Zen mental health or what have you is essential for becoming create is being and a better professional writer I know a lot of you watch this channel because I offer advice specifically for being traditionally published now all of these things I've gone over apply to anyone no matter what your publishing Avenue is but this one that is specifically very relevant to those of you who really want to be traditionally published I think the biggest mistake you're making or that I see that is holding people back is that fear of rejection and in combination with all the other things I mentioned you know being too close to the material and not being willing to share your work with others you know not engaging with criticism and learning to edit and kind of leveling yourself up as a writer it's holding you back if traditional publishing is what you want to pursue or even if you are interested in self-publishing all of these things you need to push through them and get better at them because then you are publishing the best book possible and you always want to produce the best possible book to reach readers so that's it seven huge mistakes that I see writers make that hold them back give this video a thumbs up if you liked it it lets me know I should make more of these fun like listicle type X things and things that bother me and like things for publishing and writing I I do really enjoy making them if I were to subscribe to the channel I post new videos two to three times a week all about why a reading and writing books the industry getting published especially traditionally published writing craft and so on thank you so much for watching everyone and as always happy writing

36 thoughts on “7 HUGE Mistakes Writers Make (That Hold You Back In Publishing)

  1. Always be very careful getting advice from other writers. People steal, even subconsciously. Free writer advice groups are predicated on writers borrowing ideas from each other, consensually or otherwise.

  2. I would say I’m actually a pretty mature writer for my age. I may be young, but I do think my writing through.

  3. Great advice. As someone loomj g to write and eventually publish their first novel this was really helpful. I love your channel!!:):)

  4. There's a scene I just wrote last night that I already know I'm going to have to cut. I love it but it doesn't do anything for the plot and sort of breaks the tone. BUT I LOVE IT! 😭But it has to go bye bye.

  5. "They lie to you, they love you."

    Then I guess my mom doesn't love me.

  6. I have the luck of having a langage pro at home… My mom. She had always helped me, and was kind enough not to lie to me if something was not good or boring. Whenever I needed advice, she would giving it to me, or explain how to make a scene better… I never hesitate to tell her that if she thinks it's not good, she has to tell me ! She's wonderful and helped me a lot during the past 10 years !

  7. How to improve your grammar while wetting a story. I had bad grammar. I am writting a story I just to make my work look. I am not very in English.

  8. I've seen people looking for betas and also feeling they themselves are not prepared to be betas. There are a few sites where writers beta for each other. Both Scribophile and Critique Circus have free options. I think paying increases the number of chapters you can post at a time. What's nice is you can read through the critiques other critiquers have given on a chapter so it can be a good guide on the critiquing process. I've tried both, and I find that Scribophile is more exacting/professional, but in general, both have value and most people are polite. There are other sites out there, but these are the only two I've tried.

  9. I love your hair like this. You look gorgeous. Thanks for the video

  10. Let go of the old idea that's close to your heart and try something new – SO me!!!
    And now I have to do it, somehow 😭

  11. Please stop spreading the false information that family and friends can't help you because they love you. Pick the friends who read your genre, tell them to write notes in it and be patient with their time as they're doing You a favour. That means only checking in once a week and being sure you have enough money saved to treat them for dinner where you will then subsequently discuss said book and their notes

  12. I read really amazing advice on drafts once. Write your book write it without think just write it get out. Then write it again, it amazing how differently you will write it! Then of course comes editing lol

  13. I already submitted a query to literary agents with a 1st draft because I thought they would pay for the editor. I was originally going to self publish but couldn't because I couldn't afford the 1,000 dollars to have someone edit the work. I'm completely okay with editing it but I think it needs a fresh pair of eyes.

  14. I really needed to hear #5, because I realized my taste in books had changed so much that I was more writing it because I thought I liked it instead of writing what I really liked. So that’s how I switched from writing a medieval fantasy (*shudder*) to writing a psychological horror/thriller.

  15. "Showing your writing to your family and friends doesn't count because they lie to you. They love you so they lie to you."
    TRUTH

  16. In regards to #5, it’s ironic that some of the greatest fantasy series went against this idea. Tolkien wrote all of LOTR in a decade, the Wheel of Time took six years to write and Harry Potter took Rowling around that long too.

    I mean, I’d imagine this is what the 99% comment is for, but it’s still funny to think about.

  17. I needed to hear that 5th one. I recently decided to put my brain baby, that I've been trying to figure out for a couple years now, on the back burner in favor of something else recently and I keep going back and forth on it.
    Hopefully I can return to my brain baby in the future.

  18. What about writing multiple books at a time? (Maybe I haven’t seen enough of your vids and you’ve covered that)

  19. Love this. I took notes. But also, the whole time I was watching this, I kept thinking of the opening scene from Monsters Inc. “Leaving the door open is the worst mistake any employee can make be-caaaaause….” lol

  20. I have the problem that when I've got an idea for a book I'm especially enthusiastic about the plot. But when I'm writing I'm just really impatient to write everything that needs to happen before I can write the plot.

  21. Saying that a debut with poor sales figures follows you for the rest of your writing career kind of makes me want to kill myself

  22. Thank you so much for your informative and motivating videos! You can't believe how much this video helped me out, I was feeling super stumped and disappointed about how my novel is turning out but thanks to you I feel a lot better about the fact that the draft sucks.

  23. I love this list!…And your cat's tail! You've quickly become one of my favorite AuthorTubers! And you're so pretty and friendly and awesome!

  24. I understand this video is suppose help me have the best possible manuscript to submit, but holy shit does it scare the hell out of me. What are some tips for dealing with a soul crushing fear of rejection? Nothing kicks you below the belt harder than believing you're good at something only to find out you're really not.

  25. I love your channel! I've been binge-watching a ton of your videos and it has really inspired me to get back into writing. Also, that is the fluffiest orange cat tail I have ever seen!

  26. I agree very much with the first draft rule, but funnily enough, Louis Lamour, the well known Western fiction writer, claimed never to have rewritten a book, only ever writing the first draft, and he is the most popular Western writer to date. It's interesting to me how he could skip that when mostly every writer (myself included), rewrites a lot.

  27. They say Lee Child doesn't edit his book, his first draft is his final draft. 🙂

  28. I was happily listening through, like 'yeah yeah, I don't do any of these – go me!' and then I got to the last one…. O.O I'm pushing through it, but my fear of rejection causes me to hold back with my crit partners, abandon old projects for new ones, and miss all kinds of opportunities… but I'm working on it. This year, I swear, I'll be brave enough to let my crit partners read the whole novel. And next year, I swear, I'll be brave enough to start showing agents my work.

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