Hey guys, like I said last week, I have the coffee all ready to go (I got a steaming cup of Black for you, Adele) and another post for you guys to all bear through. (I know you’re only here for the imaginary free coffee, but I can dream that you’re here to read as well.) In case this is your first time reading this blog or you haven’t decided that you want to be annoyed with a weekly update, I promise I make the best imaginary coffee on the internet and that alone should be reason enough to hit the follow button. Anyways, just so I can tell my family that I really do write for my blog, (They think all I do is scroll through Facebook and window shop on Amazon.) let’s get started.
Writing is one of the best/worst things a person can do. Being a writer is even harder than just writing, because instead of writing something because you have to, (i.e. most of us college students) you have to want to write. Here are a few things to avoid when you first decide to become a writer:
Only Writing When You’re in the Mood- This is probably the most important thing out of this entire list. If you only follow this piece of advice, then you will still be a thousand miles ahead of where I was when I first decided to be a writer. Writing is not always fun, and sometimes it is really frustrating. Whether you are stuck in the middle of a scene, don’t know where the story is going, or are just exhausted with other things in your life, you still have to write.
I write everyday, sometimes its a few hundred words and sometimes its a few thousand. Set some minimum and hold yourself to this. There are plenty of things that will try to take your attention away from writing, but it is up to you to ensure you are always making progress.
Not Staying Focused- When I first began writing, I wanted to do more than just write, I wanted to have already written my book, got published, work on advertising, and so many more things. I remember researching ISBN’s before I even finished my book. It isn’t a bad thing to be informed, but it is important to understand what part of the creative process is most currently in place. If you are still working on a rough draft, information about setting your book’s price isn’t as important as tips on how to write compelling characters. Sometimes it is more important to actually be writing than reading a blog. (If you’re still reading this, thank you so much for being distracted. I’ll get you another cup, so you don’t click away.)
Getting in a Rush- This is one of the hardest things to overcome. Writing a book takes time; writing a good book takes even longer. Just because a rough draft is complete does not mean the book is complete. Don’t rush your way through scenes because you want to get to the “good” parts, don’t forget about editing or revision (they are way more important than the rough draft in my opinion), and don’t settle for less just because you don’t want to wait.
If you are going the traditional publishing route, waiting is a huge part of being a writer. I guarantee that if you rush through the revision phase, you will notice an error the second that you submit your piece. Now you not only have to go back an edit it again, but that publisher will likely reject you. It is better to make your product the best that it can be than to send it out prematurely.
Not Taking Feedback- This is another huge hurtle for new writers. Every rough draft sucks. You can go read rough drafts of Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker, and you can see that even a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author’s rough drafts still suck. It is important to find feedback, learn how to apply it, and use it. You might be insecure and think your writing is terrible or you might think you are the best storyteller since Shakespeare, but most likely its not anywhere near as bad or as good as you think. The only people who can accurately judge your work, and give the advice to make it better, are non-biased strangers.
Thank you guys for your time and I hope you enjoyed the post, the caffeinated beverages, and my occasional interjections. If you want to read more please check out some of the other posts that I briefly hit on during this one, or hit the follow button so you can get an update when I publish next week. Thanks again, and next time I’ll try to get some doughnuts to add to our coffee.