This list had almost the opposite effect on me because I have done none of these things except a couple of beta readers! And btw printing my book to leave on park benches sounds like a really fun idea.

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This was such a wonderful reminder. "It's your work." Thank you.

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Yaaaasss! Especially to your final point. I was talking to someone today about how ‘thinking about publishing’ was sucking all the fun out of writing for her. I told her she was absolutely allowed to simply write because it makes her happier, saner, more fun to be around. I could see the relief swipe across her face.

(And she’s free to change her mind at any point!)

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This was really nice to hear today. Thank!

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Thank you for the beta readers take in particular. Most of the time, my attempts to get beta readers are:

1. Ask friend to read.

2. Friend promises to read.

3. Wait <x> months.

4. Friend apologizes, promises they'll read for sure.

5. Wait <x> months.

6. Friend apologizes again, swears they'll read for sure.

7. Wait {x} months.

8. Never hear anything again.

But sometimes I wonder if that's why I've gotten so tantalizingly close with my books. So many kind rejections from agents, but never the belle of the ball. Maybe having someone else's perspective would help tell me what's wrong.

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Great advice! Thank you for reminding us we don't have to do all that stuff!

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Kate - I'd love to send you (no strings attached, just one runner to another) a copy of my running and mental health memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target. I will include bookmarks, because they were fun and my husband designed them, so kinda sorta swag. But I don't want to send it if it's unwanted. Thanks for your work here. Good stuff. And keep running. Good for mind, body, and soul. ~ Nita

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Book-related media is totally a time suck and I do it when I’m feeling a little procrastinated. They’re fun and I have a Canva Pro account, so it makes things real easy. But they are by no means required for anything.

Same thing with soundtracks, although I’m 100% on this bandwagon. I love soundtracks, BUT I don’t listen to it when I write. I can’t. I must have silence. I listen to it when I need to get my brain going in order to write and it works wonders because that list is the mood of my book. So for me it’s a writing tool (or a pre/post writing tool).

And I’m a total panster so outline? What’s an outline? I am just learning that a lot of people don’t fully understand what pantsing does (or doesn’t) entail. The sheer number of people who ask me if I at least have like character bios or a plot timeline when I write. Bruh, I’m just along for the ride. Makes editing FUN, but buckle up. It’s going to get bumpy.

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I love this list. Bookmarking it for my future stressed-out self!!

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