If you look at writer blogs at all, you'll see everyone else is doing it. Maybe because writers are afraid they'll cease to exist if they're not being read (spoiler alert: you do).
Truth told, I thought I had more wisdom 12 years ago. It's a fucking crap shoot. Fish in a barrel. Shit in a fan. Only cliches can be trusted. Turn back now, and get a real hobby. If that didn't work, here are some observations gained, battles lost, and all that:
- Editing is never finished. Never. If you think it's done after eight rewrites and five suicide attempts, think again. You weren't trying hard enough.
- Excavating your own piece is hard. Yes, it takes skill, but it's also just going to be painful. You have to expect that. Don't mistake your attachment to your material, and the phantom pain of cutting it off, with quality or lack thereof.
- The inverse is also true. Maybe you shouldn't cut that part. The only guide posts you have are your own. Other people will give useful insight but they'll also just as often lead you down the completely wrong path. This is one of the struggles—you can't trust yourself, and you can't trust anyone else. Also, you can only trust your judgment. But seriously don't trust your judgement. You were, after all, the person that thought this was a sensible career choice. (Good luck with that).
- Progress on its own is meaningless it needs to be toward a specific purpose. You need to improve your writing for its own sake. Resist the urge to succeed on anyone else's terms.
- Every plan you make is going to get crushed. Deals crumble, people cheat, publishers fold, sure things turn out anything but. Adapt, iterate. Then you'll find you've serendipitously wandered on a different path than the one you intended to walk down. Is it the right one? Was the original one the right one? What the hell does "right" even mean? Why is this forest full of feral monkeys?
- Don't obsess about getting published and being heard. You might forget the part about having something to say.
- Get obsessing. If you sit around waiting for a message or mission to hit you over the head, get an Xbox One. It'll help pass the time while you wait.
- Become curious about everything. This goes for reading other writers, research, and writing prompts as practice. You need to do it. You need to do more of it. You need to read more articles more studies more memoirs more documentaries more French surrealism more Internet porn.
- You also need to stop and start actually working.
- Don't have kids. They'll distract you from the already nearly impossible task of making a living making shit up.
- Have children. They'll give you a new perspective on everything, and that will enrich your work.
- Light yourself on fire. It'll probably help with publicity.
- Don't light yourself on fire. It's not a good PR idea at all. What were you thinking?