My Tips for Writing
Here are a few of my pointers for writing and you will be able to find more on my Blog as I share my experiences and writing journey with you.
Everyone works differently, but here are some basic tips:
1. Writing is like breathing – it is something you have to do. If you want to make a career out of it or publish something, you need to firstly decide what it is you want to do and then set yourself goals. I am a strong believer that without goals, no matter how small, you will never achieve anything (and that goes for life too). If you’re not sure what you want to do, short stories are a good thing to try and they are a good discipline for tightening up your writing and making every word count.
2. Do your research and read a lot. We are lucky to have so much useful information on the internet, but also read books similar to those you would like to write to see what works.
3. Make time to write. Find a little space that’s yours and set aside time to write and stick with it. It is so easy to find something else to do and you have to be firm with yourself. I can’t write until I’ve done my chores, so every Monday you will find me cleaning and doing personal admin duties, so I can relax and spend the rest of the week writing. Things don’t always go according to plan, but if you don’t start off with one, nothing gets done.
4. Join a local writing group where you can feel comfortable and get feedback on your work. However, it’s non productive if everyone is polite and always say nice things, but by the same token it’s also demoralising if someone is rude too. You need a good balance of constructive criticism from people you trust. I didn’t write for two years after a lady ripped my story to pieces in a very brutal way. She was right and after I had licked my wounds, I agreed with what she had to say, but the way she said it knocked my confidence. It may take a few attempts to find the right group for you, or if there isn’t one, why not start one at your local library and join up with other like-minded people. You need feedback in order to improve.
5. Sign up to the online National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in a month. It doesn’t matter what you write or whether you reach 50,000 words or not, it gets you started and the support of others in the same boat is quite effective. The secret is to just write and not edit, so that you have a first draft to work on afterwards. Often the hardest part is getting something down on paper in the first place. The real work is in the editing and if you try to get it word perfect from the beginning, it will take forever, if at all.
6. Lastly, don’t give up! If you want something badly enough, you will get there.