Guest Blogger, Sarah Louise Dale: Best and Worst Experiences of Writing and How Publishing Changed Everything!

Words: 766
Time to read: 4 minutes

I want to thank Vania for allowing me to post on her blog today. I miss blogging but for now I mini blog over on my Facebook page The Sweet Tea Mama and not really about writing. You can visit me there, but for today I wanted to talk about the good and bad experiences of publishing.

Recently on Twitter, a question was asked about your good and bad experiences in publishing:

For the good I said that I actually published a book. As someone who loved my high school creative writing class twenty years ago (okay 23 yrs ago) I never thought I’d be a published author. Writing a book is a huge deal and despite what some people believe, not everyone can do it. (I hear this a lot from my family so no I’m not being conceited.) If you’ve taken on the task of publishing a good/readable book, praise yourself a bit, you deserve it.

What this post is really about the bad experience with publishing. It’s been over 5 years since I hit that publish button in CreateSpace (now KDP). Before I published, the Writing Community on Twitter was filled with fun and engaging chats that were held weekly, friendships were formed, and support was rampant.

I am still not 100% sure what happened when I hit that publish button but the world shifted. I was accused of being “big headed” and arrogant. Was I? I don’t know. Maybe? Maybe the pride got away from me and my excitement of actually publishing a book instead of sitting there saying I was going to publish made things shift? Like I said, I don’t know, and I can’t speak for anyone else’s thoughts, opinions, etc.

But for me…darkness engulfed me. I’ve always been aware of people talking about me behind my back (or believing they are because the reality is people don’t care that much haha).

I let the whispers and negativity get to me. The first 1 star review I got was a rant against the book and my skills as an author and I took it really hard.

Things like that, the grief from the death of my mom before I published and my own self-doubt that flared out of control led me to rewriting the book again and again. I changed pen names three times, titles twice, and covers four times now.

Shattered Yesterdays is my book baby and we’ve been through so much together. This book has taught me more about writing novels, publishing, and having a writing career than any college classes or self-help books ever could.

I don’t know how the writing community on Twitter these days is, as I’m just reentering the world again, but I’m hoping the old way is still there, in some sense. It was awesome!

Five Lessons I’ve Learned From My Experience:

  1. Be open to learning. There are so many resources available for new writers and most of it’s beneficial. Use it.
  2. Follow your heart. You’ll never be happy with your work if you don’t keep a part of you in it. The market is constantly changing, and it’s important to adapt to that, but stay true to yourself.
  3. People will HATE your work. Best part, those aren’t your readers so that’s okay. Believe in your work, your readers will come.
  4. Everything takes time. Patience in this lifestyle/career is a critical attribute to have.
  5. Stick around. I used to delete socials and posts any time things went dark. A negative comment, or whatever else may arise. Staying consistent and not shutting down just because life has bumps is so important in building a writing career.

I’m not a mean or arrogant person. It’s not in my blood. I have learned that it’s okay to take pride in my work and the accomplishments I make. Everyone should. But there’s a fine line and it’s important to not cross it.

I hope in the future to nurture lasting writerly relationships and put the past behind me. I’m not the same person I was five years ago and I’m ready to move forward with my career.

Final thoughts: We can let the past keep us from the future we’re meant to have or use it as a stepping stone to becoming the better versions of ourselves. I choose stepping stone, how about you?

I invite you to check out Shattered Yesterdays on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited. Please leave a kind review if you choose to read my story.

Interested in connecting outside of Twitter (@thesweetteamama) you can also find me at

Happy Reading!

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