I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that editor

Yes, I went to the Lizzo concert in Vancouver this week. Because I live on a small island and the ferries were impacted by weather, it took me about 16 hours of travel time. But it was worth it!

Here are a few writing, editing, and publishing tips inspired by Lizzo songs.

Tempo: The “speed” of your book is its pace, or tempo. It’s less about how quickly or slowly the book can be read, and more about a consistency and a rhythm. Make it so your reader can essentially nod along with you and feel where they’re going next. Are your chapters about the same length? Do you have an equal number of exercises per chapter? Does any part of your book lag for the reader? A common place where the pace drops is in the middle…can you pep it up with a call to action, or your most applicable example or exercise?

Good as Hell: Make your writing the best it can be! Take time to self-edit before you share your draft with your beta readers. Invest in an editor to help you shape your idea and polish your writing. And as Lizzo would say, “Give your growth time―it took me 10 years and I’m still not 100% there.” You can write a book you’re proud of, but you need to work in enough time to revise it.

Truth Hurts: If you’re writing a memoir, you’re going to come face to face with some unsavoury truths about yourself and others. Embrace the vulnerability. Readers don’t just want the good bits—they want a full picture of you, warts and all. Like Lizzo says, “I finally realized that owning up to your vulnerabilities is a form of strength.” 

About Damn Time: Why does publishing take so long? Generally, if you’re using a traditional publisher, it takes about one year to write and edit the book, and one year to produce, market, sell, and distribute the book. Those two years can feel like FOREVER but the on-sale date is closer than you think. If you have a book coming out next year, start building your pre-order campaign now.

Finally, spread it around! Support other writers by sharing their work and buying their books. There’s enough room for everyone to succeed in this business. “If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine.”

If you want more, here are some book recommendations based on Lizzo songs.

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