Cause it's so much fun to piss everyone off, I figured i'd just keep verbally vomiting so you don't have to. lol
This one will be short. But it's still the truth. Well, MY truth anyway.
You need to have integrity as a writer.
And you need to stay true to yourself and the stories you choose to tell.
I know you want to write a book that connects with people. And i'm sure by now you've read all the "popular" self-published books just trying to figure out what those books have that yours doesn't. But what you don't realize is that it's all a crap shoot. I'm not kidding. Timing, what's trending, who is buying and reading books, exposure, what else is out there, how over or under saturated the market is, what people want, what they're sick of reading, where the moon is aligned in your sun sign, etc. Whatever sold two weeks ago might not sell two weeks from now. Readers are fickle. You shouldn't be when it comes to your writing.
The biggest thing for me personally is- I know that I could take the route of writing in a certain manner, or about certain topics for shock value simply to make a buck, but that would be completely disingenuous of me. I'm a smart person. I know what sells in the same way that marketing genuises learned that sex sells in advertising. I could do all sorts of things to ensure that people will talk about my books once they've read the last chapter. But I can't do things that don't feel real to me. That doesn't mean that my stories won't break your heart, or have painful topics in them... because they will. But what it does mean is that you can rest assured that the story came from my heart and not my wallet.
Listen, I want readers to love what I write, but I want to know that my story came from the right place. I don't write for the money. I write because of the way it makes me feel to put my story on paper. And for the way that people react to it. No matter how few or how many the number- the genuine feeling you get as an author is the same.
So my advice to future writers out there:
Just be you.
Write the stories that make you FEEL like you are being true to your calling.
You will find your groove. You will hit your stride. And you won't feel like you sold out to do it.
There's nothing more beautiful than being successful doing something you genuinely love to do.
Now go do it. :)