25 Mistakes I Made Before Getting Published

I want to save you 10 years of frustration. Let me put that another way: I’m writing this book because it’s what I wish someone had handed me 10 years ago.

I was in college, and I had a dream: I wanted to be a published author. I didn’t know about blogs. I didn’t know about platforms. Heck, I barely knew anything about writing. I just knew: I had stories to tell. I had things I wanted to say. And I didn’t have any clue where to start.


So began a decade long, frustration filled journey. I wrote five books in that time. I started about 25. None of them went anywhere. I wasn’t happy with my writing, and I was ready to throw in the towel. So, I gave up.

For about a year, I didn’t touch writing. I didn’t try blogging. I didn’t do anything at all. After 8 years of frustration, I’d had enough. The books were wrong: this wasn’t easy. The blogs were flukes. The success could only come to a few.

So I stopped. I quit blogging. I quit writing. I quit trying.

But as the months went by, I started to get the bug again: I needed to write. So, I said to myself: “Okay, we’re going to try this again. One. Last. Time. And we’re going to do it RIGHT.”


So, I read everything I could get my hands on – books, blogs, personal advice – everything. And over the course of those months, I set a new path for myself. I looked at what I’d been doing square in the eyes and said: “IT JUST ISN’T WORKING.” So, I got honest. I compared what I was learning to what I was doing, and I realized – I’d been trying to cut down a tree with a dull saw.

That year sharpened my saw. That one year is what saved me another 10 years of frustration. And it’s the year I discovered 25 Mistakes I was making that were keeping me from being published. It was that year that I began scribblepreach.com. And a year later, something incredible happened…I had publishers coming to ME. Magazines, websites, and yes, a genuine BOOK publisher all approached me that year.

I went from 10 years of frustration, to getting the offer of my dreams…and I didn’t even have a book proposal!

How did it all happen? While it would probably take a lot of in-person sessions to tell you every single thing I learned, neither of us have time for that…right now, anyway. So, I thought I’d recap, briefly, 25 of the most crucial mistakes I was making before I became a published author. I chose these because:

1. They were the BIGGEST mistakes.

2. They were they EASIEST to correct – you won’t find a whole lot of technical stuff in here. Just little stuff that makes a big difference.

3. They were WIDESPREAD – I chose mistakes I see a lot of other burgeoning authors making as well.

And all of them fell under one of five basic skill-sets you need to become a published author: Style, Work, Attitude, Mission, and Platform. Or: S.W.A.M.P. Which is perfect, because for years, that’s exactly how I felt – I was stuck in the writer’s SWAMP, and I couldn’t get out.

So, if you’re stuck – I’m here to offer you a pathway. It’s not instant. It’s not everything. but it’s a clear-cut path to your destination….and it’s the difference between being published 10 years from now or 1 year from now.

Now see that little sign-up form to your right? Fill in your e-mail, and this will show up in your inbox. It’s as easy as that. 

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You’ll remember the content. There are lots of rules in Strunke and White, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. However, even a cursory read through the questions in this guide once a week will help ingrain them. If you happen to use the checklist after blog-posting, even better

You’ll see your tendencies. All writers are weak in some way – this checklist, even if used once a week – can reveal those naturally tendencies we all have to drift into lackadaisical writing.

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You’ll hone your inner editor. Editing isn’t for every stage of the writing process. However, those who regularly practice good editing learn to write naturally in accordance with the basics. Use this guide often, and good writing will begin to come naturally. In other words, you’ll give your editing self less work!

You’ll keep first things first. How do I know if my writing is good? What should I look for? What do I need to improve? While this guide isn’t definitive, it is a definitive starting point. Start with these basics, and the rest will be icing on the cake.

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6 Comments

  1. I would also love this book, and I subscribed by email however I never received it. Is it too late to get it? Thank you.

    • Not too late, crystal! It should have come with your subscription. If you need another copy, you can email me.

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