So I was asked recently by Webucator what sort of advice I would give to a writer who was just starting out. Writing really isn’t for everyone. It’s a ton of hard work and often doesn’t pay well. I don’t pay the bills with my writing. I have another job.
But advice is important. I wish I’d had writing advice when I started out, even back when I was in middle school and high school. I would have loved some support and advice, especially since I often got stuck with where I needed to go with my work. At least I finally got that once I was in college!
So here we go!
- Don’t be afraid to talk to others about your ideas. My friends are some of my greatest sounding boards. They can give feedback if your idea makes sense. And more importantly, they can give you that little boost of confidence that might drive you to completing your project.
- Writing may be solitary, but you don’t have to be alone. This seems a little weird, right? When you write, you’re basically on your own. But I’ve started working with a writing buddy. We keep each other accountable and provide encouragement. A few kind words here and there can really, REALLY make writing easier.
- Starting is difficult, but once you’ve got that momentum… This is the one that really got me when I was younger. I was really bad at building momentum on projects, so I never completed anything. Part of this is due to ADHD, the rest was because I really just didn’t know what I wanted from stories. But if you already have that awesome idea and you have it outlined and you know what you want to do? Just start. Start writing. Build momentum. You’ll finish.
- Don’t wait for inspiration, go and find it! I used to wait for ideas to smack me over the head. This didn’t really leave me with much to work on. If I wasn’t inspired, I wasn’t working. Then I remembered that there’s a huge amount of inspiration everywhere in life. If I’m stuck? Sometimes I take a break and watch an episode of a show. Sometimes I go for a walk. Sometimes that’s all it takes for me to get my writing juices going again.
- Nothing has to be perfect. This is one I’m still working on. Perfection isn’t something that’s really attainable, especially not in a first draft. That first draft just needs to be written – and that’s all. Kinks and issues can be worked out in later drafts and editing and revising. Going back and fixing things can make you lose the all important momentum. So just keep writing. Let go of being perfect.
What advice would you give to a starting writer?