Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Things That I Wish I'd Known When I First Started Writing

There are a lot of things that I've learnt in the past year. I've learnt how to be more self- aware, in both myself and my writing, as well as to give my writing more meaning and depth.

Some of the things that I've learnt have not only made me a better writer but also a better person. That doesn't stop me occasionally wishing that someone had sat down and had a cup of tea with me and explained a few things to help me on the journey, though!

While I am far from an expert in writing, I've learnt a few key pointers along the way which I feel it's important to share- especially with anyone who has just begun to 'tip their toe' into writing.

Image from www.theguardian.com
  • You will have days where writing is your worst enemy
Just because you're a writer doesn't mean that you're going to automatically skip to your computer everyday with a big old smile on your face eager to write. Unfortunately, there are days where you don't want to write, in fact doing anything but writing seems like an amazing idea! Washing- fantastic! Cleaning- brilliant! Writing- eh, maybe tomorrow...
Just remember that, if you're like almost every other writer, you'll feel the compulsion to write which will soon drag you back.

  • There is more than one kind of writing
When you think of typical 'writing' you tend to think of fiction but there are a lot more options out there. Blogging, for one, is a great way to practice writing about different topics as well as working with a different layout. Others write non-fiction, screenplays along with business writing and articles. With writing, the world is your oyster.

  • You need to write everyday
This is a big one. Now, I'm not saying that you have to write a novel a day but if you set yourself a minimum word count, you will see real progress as well as improve your skill. If you're just starting than a reasonable amount of 150 words a day is a good start before slowly building it up to 300 then 500 and to an amount that really gives you a sense of gratification.

  • Planning is incredibly important- you won't get very far without it
For more on this click here
When a new idea springs to mind the first thing you want to do is run with it. You're filled with excitement and are eager to get the words on the page but without proper fuel, you'll soon run out of steam.

  • Take a notepad with you everywhere.
Seriously, everywhere- even to the supermarket. Inspiration can strike at any time and it's important to be prepared. Many ideas can come to you in the middle of the night just as you're trying to go to sleep and won't leave you until you write it down.

These are just a few points of the many that I have learnt but the biggest of them all:

You are already a writer!

You're not an 'aspiring' writer, you're not a 'wannabe' writer- if you make the effort to sit down, put your hands on the keyboard or put your pen in your hand and actually write then you're already a writer.

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If you could sit your younger self down and give yourself some writing advice, what would you say? let me know!

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