The Debut Author Pledge

It’s my debut year.

Deep breaths.

A couple months ago there were several twitter threads from veteran writers and writers finishing their debut year. They gave a lot of advice. They also gave a lot of real talk. Some of it was hard to hear. Some of it was inspiring. All of it, led me to my word for 2018.


I started writing almost six years ago and now I have a book coming out. Even three or four years ago, if you would have told me I’d be here, I would have called you a liar. And so with that thought in mind, I want to go into this very special year for me with the following pledge.

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The Debut Author Pledge

  1. I pledge, above all else, to do what is necessary to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy this year.This means I will:
    • Look up from my phone and connect with nature, people, and myself.
    • Take social media breaks when needed.
    • Keep lots of healthy food on hand.
    • Take plenty of walks.
    • Stay away from sites, threads, and conversation that I know will feed my anxiety.
  1. I pledge to remember what I can and can not control and try not to beat myself up over things that fall into the second category.
  1. I pledge to speak up for myself if I am unhappy, confused, or concerned about anything. But then to be peaceful with whatever happens after I do so. (Remember Pledge #2.)
  1. I pledge not to worry about lists. If I’m on a list, great! If I’m not, oh well. (Again, remember Pledge #2.)
  1. I want to say that I pledge not to read my reviews, but I know that might be a hard one to keep. So instead, I pledge not to let my reviews go to my head. For every bad review I read that hurts, I will read a one-star review for a favorite book to remind myself that this is all subjective. For every good review I read that swells my head, I will read a five star review for a book I hate, to remind myself that this is all subjective.
  1. I pledge to make time for the things that make me happy. Hot cocoa, game night, long walks, snuggles, good books, knitting, swimming, cooking. Whatever it is.
  1. I pledge to celebrate every good milestone along the way. Even the tiniest ones. Because there is so much waiting and rejection in this business. I want to celebrate every bit of goodness.
  1. I pledge to not compare myself, my book, my sales, my publicity, etc. to other authors.
  1. I pledge that whenever I fail at pledge #8, I will remember the moments I thought this book would never see the light of day, and remember how lucky I am.
  1. I pledge to remember who I’m writing for and do my best to connect with them.
  1. I pledge to remember that even if my book only touches on person’s heart, it’s still worth it.
  1. I pledge to take one day at a time and not worry about things in the future that I have no control over today.
  1. I pledge to keep writing and creating.

So how about you? Want to take the pledge? What else would you add?


Amanda Rawson Hill grew up in southwest Wyoming with a library right out her back gate, which accounts a lot for how she turned out. Her debut novel, THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC, will be published by Boyds Mills Press September 2018.