Thursday, December 20, 2012

Starting Out As A Writer...5 Things You Should Know

Writing is a fascinating journey filled all sorts of amazing discoveries. As I travel along my particular writing path, I’ve learned many things—some small and seemingly insignificant and other things of great import. Someone recently asked me to describe the five most important things I learned to date. The following points are what stood out for me.

Everybody has a story to tell. Whether they choose to share it is a different matter. The important thing is every person has their own unique perspective. That perspective comes out in the writer’s voice. The plot may be familiar, but the mood, theme, details and overall presentation will be unique to each storyteller. 
Nothing beats a solid plot. Some people sit down and simply write. They allow the words to flow, unimpeded, content to see the story and characters take shape without much forethought. I need a map, a careful, studied progression of clear steps moving from point A to B to C. I take comfort in knowing where the story is going and why. What’s important to figure out is the writing process that best suits a writer’s particular style. Knowing saves time. And the outcome is worth it.

Practice makes perfect. Or…the more you write, the better the outcome. Make time to write daily even if it’s only for thirty minutes. Know when to criticize and when to turn off your internal editor. Establish a writing goal. Then write. You’ll only get better.

Staying connected is important. It’s easy to get lost in a story, whether you’re reading an absorbing book or writing one. After an engrossing day intertwined in the lives of fictional characters, it’s important to get back to reality. I have a husband and family that need me. We keep each other grounded. The same goes for friendships with other writers. They keep me focused in the right direction. The benefit from their support and feedback is essential to growing as an author. And it’s true. You learn so much more when you help somebody else.  

Getting published takes longer than you think. For me, a year seems a reasonable time to write a book. But what is a manageable time to one person may be unworkable to someone else. Since writing is what I do, to the exclusion of any other full-time work, it isn’t too difficult to meet my deadline. For some people, completing a one hundred thousand word novel takes years. Whatever the challenges and obstacles which pop up—and pop up they will—just keep writing. Write until the work is ready for submission. It’s the only way to getting your book published.

Thanks and see you next month. Joyce



Big Mike said...

Good points. What amazes me is the differential in each author's voice, their flow. I've read and listened to over a hundred authors since I started at club meetings, readings, gatherings and the muse of each has their own unique tongue.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Annabel Aidan said...

Yes, Joyce, we have to remember that we have to show up every day and do the work. No excuses.

There's no such thing as "no time to write", whether writing is part of your day or all of it.

We all have 24 hours in a day. How we CHOOSE to use it differentiates us.