Laura DiSilverio is a professional author who has written nine books published as Laura DiSilverio, Lila Dare and Ella Barrick. Her 10th mystery, “Swift Run,” debuted in November (St. Martin’s Minotaur). She taught writing for three years at the United States Air Force Academy and now teaches four to six times a year for Mystery Writers of America’s Mystery University. DiSilverio also serves as secretary for Sisters in Crime.
- As counterintuitive as it seems, enjoy the pre-published period. It is the last time in your writing career you will get to focus solely on the manuscript without worries about promotion and marketing, sales numbers, pleasing an editor, or doing copyedits or typeset edits on one book while trying to draft another.
- Get your joy from the writing process. It took me several published books to understand this. Once the manuscript leaves your hands, it’s out of your control. Editors will make changes. Reviewers will say kind or ugly things. You might sell 10,000 copies . . . or two. If you’re too invested in what reviewers say, or what your sales numbers look like, your writing will suffer and your contentment will wax and wane with sales fluctuations or at reviewer discretion. Love the writing process itself and don’t let the other stuff distract you from it.
- Treat your writing like a job (even if you’re adhering to #2 and getting your joy from the process). Have a schedule and routine. Meet deadlines. Proofread. Be kind to editors, agents, readers, and anyone else involved in the publishing business. In short, be professional so people are eager to work with you and publish many, many of your articles, stories or novels.