7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Danica Davidson

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Danica Davidson. Danica Davidson has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times and Writing It Real about her novel writing. She is currently seeking to publish a YA novel.
Author:
Publish date:

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,”where writers (this installment written by Danica Davidson) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent -- by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning.

Image placeholder title

Danica Davidson has been interviewed by the
Los Angeles Times and Writing It Real about her
novel writing. She is currently seeking to publish
a YA novel. As a professional freelancer, she’s
sold articles to more than thirty magazines.

Please visit her website and follow her on Twitter.

1. We have control over our own thoughts, so it’s important to be positive. This is easier said than done, and I’ll be the first to admit it. But as a writer, you’re bound to get lots of rejections, and it’s so easy to take these personally and believe people are telling you you’re not good. Keeping your head on your shoulders makes all the difference here. I’ve gotten plenty of rejections, the most being when I started out as a writer. When I was in high school, something happened where I had to start earning my own money and I worked three part-time jobs while doing independent study to get my diploma. In the midst of this, I was sending out stories daily to magazines, and the majority of them came back with rejection letters. Most people my age didn’t have to deal with what I did, but I made myself stay strong and I kept submitting. Some acceptance letters began to come back and they continued to increase. Now I’ve sold articles to more than thirty magazines, and my next goal is publishing my YA novel.

2. Success isn’t only about talent. It’s also about hard work. A few people make it into the business and have it look easy, but most of us have to stretch ourselves. It’d be great if all writers needed was talent, but in the business of publishing, it requires more to make yourself stand out. Along with my freelance and novel writing, I do what I can to hustle and get my name out there.

3. If you want to be a professional, writing needs to be more than a hobby. I don’t think writing has ever been a hobby for me—I began “writing” at the age of three, and by that I mean I dictated stories to adults kind enough to jot them down for me. I have boxes full of my early stories. Around the age of seven I decided I wanted to be a novelist and made my first attempt with writing a book called White Beauty. Let’s just say it taught me what not to do (and it will never see the light of day), but it was a start for my love of novels. By the time I was in middle school, I was writing novels regularly and got featured in the Los Angeles Times because of it. Writing for me is more than a hobby—it’s who I am—and because of that, I can’t let it go.

4. Giving up is not an option. If you’re serious about being a writer, you have to keep going. If I had let a few rejections stop me, I would have betrayed myself and my dreams. There are always more options and new ways to try things.

5. Sometimes we have to do other work, too. I’d love to spend all my time writing my novels, but, realistically, I need to make money. That’s why I do my freelancing. I write one to seven articles a day, all of which go on to be published. I’ve written for such places as Booklist, Ms. and Publishers Weekly, so I’m grateful to have some good names on my résumé. I have also written the English version of Japanese books published in America. I was given the literal translation and rewrote it so that it read like conversational English. These books—Millennium Prime Minister and its sequel—are available in bookstores.

6. Know what you want. I’ve known since a young age that I want to be a professional writer, specifically a professional novelist. I’ve done—and continue doing—what I can to make this happen.

7. Love what you do.
This is so important in life. I love to write the way I love nothing else. Every day I write and I discover new things about myself. I will keep doing what I can to make my dreams come true.

Image placeholder title


Join the Writer's Digest VIP Program today!

You'll get a subscription to the magazine, a
subscription to WritersMarket.com, discounts
on almost everything you buy, a download,
and much more great stuff.

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

Image placeholder title

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more. 
Order the book from WD at a discount.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a Love and/or Anti-Love poem.

Stationery vs. Stationary (Grammar Rules)

Stationary vs. Stationery (Grammar Rules)

Learn the differences of stationary and stationery on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Erik Larson Quote

Liminal Spaces: A Profile of Erik Larson

WD gives a peek at the daily routine of Erik Larson and the writing process behind his bestselling narrative nonfiction in this Nov/Dec 2020 profile by Zachary Petit.

Jennifer Boresz Engelking: On Giving Readers a New Appreciation of History

Jennifer Boresz Engelking: On Giving Readers a New Appreciation of History

Debut author Jennifer Boresz Engelking discusses what led her to write her historical nonfiction book Hidden History of Lake County Ohio and how research gave her a new appreciation for her hometown.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write an animal title poem.

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

Presenting the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest featuring a collection of articles about how curiosity fuels writers, including the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers and a new interview with Chris Bohjalian.

Through Another’s Eyes: An Auschwitz Survivor Inspires His Biographer

Through Another’s Eyes: An Auschwitz Survivor Inspires His Biographer

Popular lecturer and biographer Joshua M. Greene discusses the hardship of writing the biographies of Holocaust survivors, and the biography that convinced him to continue writing.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: The May/June 2021 Issue, a Chance at Publication, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce that the May/June 2021 “Curiosity” issue is now live in the WD shop, there’s still time to have your From Our Reader’s response selected for publication in the July/August 2021 “Bravery” issue, and more!

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write an ekphrastic poem.