Top 7 Tips for New Writers
1. Write. This seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised. Most of the writers I know (including myself) are world-class procrastinators. Even though we love to write, we’ll often do anything but actually sit down and write - browse Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, chat with friends online, tidy our desks, sort through files - you name it. For any number of reasons, it can be daunting to get started, but it needs to be done. You need to plant your butt in the chair, eliminate distractions, and write. Find a time that works for you, a place that’s comfortable and quiet, stop making excuses, and just write.
2. Read, and read widely. I’ve always attributed a large part of my intelligence to my love of reading. I have eclectic tastes and will read pretty much anything. My favourite genre is contemporary young adult, because that’s mainly what I write, but I also regularly read paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, and mystery, both in young adult and adult books. Reading is to a writer what exercise and practice are to an athlete. It makes your mind sharper, gives you inspiration, and lets you see what’s out there so you can be sure to write original stories.
4. Become part of the writing community. Blog about your writing, join Facebook groups, tweet using the hashtag #amwriting. Here’s a sad fact: it’s hard to find support among non-writers. I’ve heard so many people say that they started writing a book and expected their friends and family to be really interested and supportive, but they weren’t. It can hurt and be discouraging, but you can’t let that stop you. The online writing community is wonderfully supportive. You can also check locally for writing groups or critique groups that meet in your area.
5. Think outside the box. They say write what you know, and while that’s good advice to a point, if you’re a writer you likely have a vivid imagination - dream things up. Create your own worlds, don’t be afraid to take chances, and write what makes you happy, even if it isn’t necessarily considered conventional.
6. Research and learn the ins and outs of publishing - both traditional and self-publishing. Learn how things work from beginning to end and what kind of work is involved, especially if you’re self-publishing and have to do things on your own. Before I published my first novel I spent months reading every blog and article I could find that had to do with self-publishing. I wanted to know what I was getting into and make sure it was the right decision.
7. Never give up. It’s easy to get frustrated, it’s easy to make excuses, and it’s easy to doubt yourself. You’ll likely have days when you think everything you write is absolute garbage (and there’ll be days when it may even be true), but you can’t let that stop you. If writing is what you really want to do - if you’re passionate about it - you won’t let anything or anyone stop you. There might be naysayers - whether it’s friends, family, coworkers, or just random people you meet and tell ‘I’m a writer’ - but the only thing that really matters is how you feel. If you love writing and feel like it’s something you have to do, you’ll do it no matter what.
Waiting for the Storm
The Game Changer
Blue Sky Days