Friday, January 27, 2012

5 Things I Learned While Writing My First Novel

Some people, well actually, there's probably a lot of people who wake up one morning with the sudden urge to write. Then, there are those people who seem like they were born to write. I would say I fall into both of these. I knew I was a great writer with some talent while I was in High School. My English teacher constantly told me how great she thought I'd do with writing amazing books. This is what inspired me. I began writing Poetry at first. But this didn't seem to scratch that itch for the lack of better words. One assignment I had while in school was to write a short story. This is where I realized that I love to write. Although life had taken me in a different direction, I still wrote when I can. As an example, in a journal.

Several years after writing this short story, I became a mother. One day while my baby sister was visiting, we decided to go through old boxed in my apartment so I could get a little organization within the apartment. She came across this short story and read it. She told me it was really good and that I should continue it into a longer story. This inspired me. This was in 2005.

I begin plotting out a more structured outline for the entire story. Wanting to expand it. While writing it, I've learned some very valuable things during this time that I'd like to pass on to those who are looking into writing more.

So here are the 5 Things I Learned While Writing My First Novel:

1. Never Give Up- This is one thing that I seemed to struggle with at first. It seemed like no matter how much time and how much I poured my heart into it, I had this little voice within telling me I can't do this. I'm not a writer, I only think I am. It sounds crazy but it's true. There were times I felt it was nothing but trash. Did I quit? No! I didn't. I pushed myself to continue and I planned even more. There were times where I hit what they call a "writer's block." There's ways to over come this. I'll be posting these ways a bit later on in another post.

2. Create Deadlines- This is one thing that I had to get used to. I didn't want to be just a writer. I wanted to be a great one. I think that when it comes to writing, deadlines are a must. As an example, when writing, create a deadline for when you want to finish the work your currently doing. This helps with self discipline which is I think is a must within the writing world.

3. Set Goals- This set was very easy for me but it also ties in with number two. Set the goals and a deadline for when you want to meet this goal. Here is a suggestion- "Write (insert number) words per week." This is a goal and it has a deadline.

4. Write, Write, & Write- I don't think I can stress this enough. I think the more you write- the better you get at it. This pretty much talks for itself. But it really doesn't matter where or what you write. As an example, when I feel overloaded by my novel, I turn to my blog. I also take a break from writing and find time for me. This is when I feel the most relaxed about writing and where my best idea's come from. If you find it hard to write, take a break and read. Read anything. A book.. a magazine... a newspaper... anything!

5. Don't let others get you down!- This is, in my opinion, one of the most important. I've had people tell me that my dream of being a published author is crap and I'll never reach it. I've had them tell me that my dream of writing in general is just a front for not actually doing something with my life. Well, these only put more of a desire within me for wanting to reach my main goal. These people don't realize they're not hurting me, they're helping me. Use the negative words for inspiration to write. One thing I feel as a writer you need to learn, is this: Words are words. Do not write to impress. Write to express. If you can understand this, you're off to a great start.


Anonymous said...

These are some great tips. I don't know if I'll ever be a writer...I've never had anyone telling me my writing is great, but I can dream. And be inspired by people like you and some other authors I've met online.

Thanks for linking up here too with the Getting to Know You hop!!

Your comment made me smile hugely!! I'm glad you like the hop. I know we've tried hard to make it a good one :)

RaeBeth said...

@Spilled Milkshake: Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm glad you could make it over. I'm glad that I've inspired you. That made my day reading this. I'm glad my comment made you smile. :)

Heidi Leanne said...

Great suggestions! I have been working on all of them lately. And yes, the more you write, the better you get at it. Just in the last 4 months where I've thrown my heart and soul into writing I have seen such huge improvements in what I write. It is exciting to see the results of all the hard work.
We'll get there one day! Nobody can get us down! :)

Rosann said...

Great tips! I can totally relate because I just published my first book, UnEMPLOYED Faith, and the entire time I was writing I had to fight with my own inner voice telling me I wasn't smart enough, good enough, or worthy enough to be a published writer. The other thing I would add is to have a plan before starting to write. I sort of stumbled into the writing of my book, not realizing that's what the end result was going to be. I thought it was going to be a blog post, but it was too long. Then I thought, Okay...maybe a special report. But it was too long, so then I just realized it was a book. Then I had to go back and rewrite parts of it so it was actually formatted as a book with table of contents, chapters organized a certain way, and something significant to offer the reader. (in my case, coping tips)...


Suzanne said...

My main worry is the flooded market. Everyone is a writer these days. It's quite discouraging if one hopes to be successful in their career.


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