Tips For Fellow Writers ~ Part 1
• Just because your story doesn’t seem popular does not mean it’s bad. There will always be the stories that get a zillion comments (and sometimes the stories aren’t even that good). Don’t compare yourself to other writers, you’ll only drive yourself crazy.
• If you aren’t getting the amount of readers you want to have, try broadcasting your work more. Tweet, post, link, reblog…do your thing and spread the word. Tell your friends, they’ll tell their friends. Agatha Christie didn’t start off as the Queen of Crime, after all. It takes a long time to get people to see you and your work.
• Listen to the criticism but take it with a grain of salt. Some CONSTRUCTIVE criticism (i.g someone saying that you use too many run on sentences and you do) is good. It’s healthy. It gives you perspective or brings to your attention things you may have missed on your own. But the fact is, there will always be people who don’t like your writing. They’ll think you are too lengthy, too descriptive, too simplistic, too boring…it goes on and on. When the comments stray away from factual criticism and become more personal complaints, just ignore them. People don’t have to like what you write, everyone has different tastes.
• There will be the days that you look at the page and think to yourself ‘I can’t write today’. That’s incorrect; you CAN write, you just don’t WANT to. When you’re stressed about something else or distracted by a busy day, writing may be the last thing you want to do. The ability to write is like a muscle; it needs daily training to strengthen. Even if you don’t WANT to write, do it anyway. Force yourself. Even if it physically makes you want to scream, just keep writing and it WILL get easier. Words will start to flow faster and better as time goes on.
• All the same, let it not be forgotten that writing is freaking hard and there won’t be a time when it is completely easy. It’s so hard. Excruciatingly hard. You may even start crying it’s so hard. You may personally want to grab a sledgehammer and destroy your laptop because just looking at what you’ve written makes you miserable. Every writer goes through this and like any storm, it’ll peak and then drop off. The storm will pass and you’ll be able to face your writing again. I promise.
• Getting inspired by what you read, watch and listen to is great. Really, it is. Just be sure that after reading ‘The 100’ you aren’t saying “I want to write a dystopian novel about teenagers”, but then later that day you watch Star Trek and say “I want to write a story about space explorers”. There is such a thing as getting inspired by something and then there is another thing called getting conflicted by something. Go with your instincts. Stick with your ideas that don’t change after every time you read or watch something. The ideas that stay in your mind, they’re the solid ones that will last.
• Enjoy what you are writing. If you’re only writing to please a crowd, chances are the crowd will be able to tell that it isn’t genuine. You’re going to be devoting time and energy into this story, so you have to personally enjoy the story first. An author’s enthusiasm for the topic will be evident and more endearing.
• Your characters are going to be living in your head for a long time so you have more than enough opportunities to create believable ones. Nothing is worse than being halfway through a book and thinking to yourself, 'There is no way these could be relatable people’. No personality is one dimensional in real life, so why should it be in fiction?
• Edit without mercy. Unnecessary character? Cut them. Unnecessary wording? Cut it. Unnecessary scene? Cut the whole thing. One of my favourite books on writing (The Elements Of Style) has the infamous and impassioned phrase, “Omit needless words!”
• There will be days that you look at your writing and think that you are the 'WORST WRITER IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!’ We’ve all had these moments. I get them daily. When you feel a quell of hysteria rising, just remind yourself that you aren’t alone in this. Fellow writers get this and we ride it out. You will be just fine. Take a deep breath and put your writing in some perspective. Never jump to the worst conclusion immediately.
So that’s all I’ve got for you fellow writers today! I’ll work on Part 2 soon. Hopefully some of these tips helped. If anyone needs any tips or help with writing, please don’t hesitate to ask!