A good reader of my blog asked me if I had tips for an aspiring writer, and I promised to dedicate an entire post to that.
Remember that in our quest to enjoy a simple healthy lifestyle, we make an emphasis on discovering your talent and putting it out there. We talk about that here.
So, do you feel like you’ve been called to be a writer? Because if that’s the case, then writing is what you should be doing, what you should be focusing your attention on. Writing is one of the things that mean a lot to my life. I know I was born to write.
And here’s something interesting. I used to write a lot when I was younger. I would sit with my notebook and write for hours everyday. And it didn’t feel like work. It felt like something I wanted to do and I never wanted to stop.
And then as I grew older I wrote less and less. I know why. When I was younger, I was innocent and driven by my passion. I didn’t care about whether or not my writing would have an audience. I wrote because the words were in me and they wanted to come out.
And then as I grew older, I tainted the innocent act of writing with notions such as ‘you should have an audience.’ I started going on the internet and learning there were people who might not even like my work.
That was too much information for me, information I didn’t want to know, information I didn’t need to know. So then I began to write less because I had embraced these limiting factors which inhibited my creativity and made me feel less excited about my writing.
Almost every aspiring writer today faces the same problem. We’ve lost our innocence. We’ve listened to so many opinions that have dampened our zeal for writing. Today we write with anxiety because we are worried there might be people out there who won’t like our work.
We write with fear and uncertainty because the internet says the odds of making a living as a writer are against you. You hear of those few people who are living as established writers and wonder with a heavy heart if you’ll ever be one of those people. And because the internet says the odds are against you, you have thrown in the towel but are in denial about it. So, now your writing is suffering.
But today I present 11 tips every aspiring writer must know. These tips will take you back to the zeal you used to know when writing.
- Tip#1: Dismiss what you’ve heard from other people about whether or not you’ll make it as a writer
And I mean that. Every aspiring writer should dismiss everything they’ve ever heard about whether or not they’ll make it as a writer because I’m willing to bet it wasn’t good. Decide if writing is truly your passion, because if it is, then you’ll know you were called to fulfill it no matter what other people say.
- Tip#2: Stop googling ‘can I make a living as a writer?’
Seriously, stop doing that. How have you been making a living until now? Because you have to continue with that and write every chance you get. Google is nothing more than other people’s opinions. That leads us back to Tip #1: Dismiss what you’ve heard from other people about whether or not you’ll make it as a writer.
If you are an aspiring writer and you know you were born to write, then don’t worry about whether or not you can make a living as a writer. Write with faith, and everything will sort itself out.
- Tip #3: OK, now start writing
And I’m not talking about now and then or once in a while. I’m talking about writing as often as you can, and as much as you can. Go back to that zeal you had before your mind was polluted by other people’s opinions. When your writing was passionate and free.
- Tip #4: Stop waiting for inspiration
I wish I could go back to that time before I knew the meaning of the word inspiration, because then I had no excuse to not write. An aspiring writer who says they are waiting for inspiration was never a writer in the first place and can’t carry that title long term. I know because I used to be that kind of writer.
Two months ago, I finished an 80 000-word novel I’d been working on since 2014. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the time it takes you to write a novel. Don’t feel like you have to rush. But at the same time, don’t stall because you are waiting for inspiration. I took that long to finish my novel because sometimes I waited for days, sometimes weeks for inspiration.
Now I’m working on a new novel of a similar length. I started it a little over a month ago, and I’m already halfway done with my first draft. I had a vague idea of what I wanted the novel to be about when I started and nothing else. Every day I take to my computer with no idea of what I’m going to write, but I manage to put words on my screen every day.
- Tip #5: Write about what pleases you, not other people
An aspiring writer sometimes worries about writing to please other people because they want to sell their work. I don’t like that because it makes writing less personal. Write about what makes you happy, and that way you’ll give writing your everything. Then readers will definitely appreciate your work.
- Tip #6: Start a blog
Now, this is one tip I heard over and over again for years. I didn’t understand it until I started my own blog. Now I wish I could shake someone’s hand, but whose? Starting your own blog as an aspiring writer is one of the most fulfilling things.
If you are worried about sitting for months before your work is completed, then blogging will take care of that because you get to put out posts while you are working on your longer project. It’s a perfect balance that keeps you working hard at both pursuits.
Soon I’ll dedicate an entire post to starting your own blog and what to expect.
- Tip #7: Finish your work before you try to get published
Getting published would definitely be nice. But don’t obsess about it. Finish your work before you try to get published. Don’t waste valuable time and energy looking for publishers when you haven’t yet completed your work, especially if it’s fiction work.
And another important point under this tip: don’t query any agents before you complete your work. If they ask to see your work and it’s not ready, that’s bad. Polish your work before you even think of typing the word query.
- Tip#8: Create your own routine
Don’t worry about Stephen King’s routine, or the routine of that famous blogger whose blog makes $10 000.00 monthly. You are not them, you are you. As an aspiring writer, you should create a routine that works for you. If you can’t write in the morning because you are swamped with work at home, and you best write in the afternoon because you are free, it’s OK, work with that. Don’t copy anyone, appreciate your own uniqueness.
- Tip#9: Keep your work to yourself if you can’t handle rejection
I’m talking about when you are still working on your project. If you know you’ll only be demoralized by people’s rejection of your work, then keep it to yourself until it’s finished. If it’s rejected then, you are likely to improve it if it’s finished than if it’s not.
- Tip #10: Don’t let rejection bring you down
This follows on tip #9. If an agent rejects your query or a publisher says your work is not the right fit for them, then don’t worry. There are many other agents and publishers out there you can contact.
Work on the comments you get to make your work even better. Don’t stress about anything. You are a writer and nothing and nobody is going to change that.
- Tip #11: Read
Every aspiring writer should read a lot. Read other people’s work. If you have your own voice, then you shouldn’t worry about copying someone else’s. Reading will broaden your mind, help you see what works and what doesn’t. Plus, reading is fun.
The final word
If you are an aspiring writer, you must begin to act like the writer you were called to be and write. Don’t worry about anything but write. If nobody appreciates your work now, someday someone else will. In the meantime, your passion for writing should keep you going.
Thank you for reading this post. If you are an inspiring writer please tell us your story. Which tips work for you? Please share with us by commenting.
There’s a lot information out there to help the aspiring writer.
For more tips, read this great article by artplusmarketing.com.
Take tips from established writers here.
starrigger.net also has incredible tips here.