There are a million and one pieces of advice out there for writers. You can learn a lot if you look around. The web provides amazing advice, blossoming communities and ample resources for writers to enjoy. You can easily educated yourself on every aspect of writing, but some times knowledge isn’t everything and often times it is action that teaches us the lessons we need to learn. If you must educate yourself through written word and obvious advice than below are a few pieces things that every writer should know.
Important Things Every Writer Should Know:
- You are not alone. There are literally thousands of writers out there on the web, which can be both a blessing and a curse. A curse because of the constant competition and lack of individuality, and a blessing because of the strong support network you are able to build with other people who have the same common interest as you. (Most of whom are more than willing to help out a fellow writer in need of guidance.)
- The basics are the basis of your career. As tempting as it can be to throw the basic writing principles to the wind and simply start writing, proper word usage and even comma placement can make or break a piece if you truly hope to get published. If you are writing simply for your own pleasure, or personal page, than by all means write any way you want to, but if you hope to get your writing published then it is best you refresh your mind before you actually write.
- Being a successful writer takes time, lots of time. No one creates a best-seller over-night, (Not even James Patterson, who seems to come out with 10 damn books a year) making a name for yourself in the writing world takes time and effort on your part. The truth is that practice and persistence are the key to success in the field. The writer you were at the beginning will be very different than the writer you will one day become.
- Education isn’t everything. The truth of the matter is anyone can write, all it really takes is a talent for words, a way with storytelling and a desire to write both down. Education only helps with style and the basic foundations of the art, it has absolutely nothing to do with the raw talent that some writers are simply born with. You could attend the best schools in the country, but if you don’t have ‘it’, you just don’t have it.
- Despite the fact that there are thousands of writers out there your story will always be uniquely yours. The magical thing about writing is that every story is different. Even when several writers are given the same plot, characters and even story line, each one creates a different story. The creative mind is a magical thing and is one of the reasons that writing is so amazing.
- You hold the power. The only person to blame if you are not content in your writing is yourself. It is not your schedule, your audience or your reviews that make your writing, it is you. If you want to be a successful writer you need to make that choice and stick to it like glue. Stop making excuses and start writing. Talent, skill and creativity are only half of what makes a writer successful, persistence is the other part. So get in gear, and get writing!
- Loosen up. If you take every rejection you receive personally you are doomed to a life of misery. If you want to make a name for yourself you better toughen up. Getting editors to look at your works is difficult, getting it published is even worse. You are going to get ten times the rejections than you do acceptances, don’t take it personally or you are set to sink yourself. Instead take each and build upon it, edit, revise and try again. Keep moving forward and never give up.
- It’s not just about the writing. Oh the joys if it were simply about writing. What a simple life that would be. Unfortunately the writer is not just a writer, they are an editor, a publicist, a marketer, a blogger, a designer, a reader, a speaker, a lawyer, a trouble-shooter and a person with many needs. In today’s world they are an even greater number of things. With the world wide web and the popularity in online publishing, a writer has to be somewhat of a technical genius as well. It is a busy, complicated, stressful life, but given the effort it is worth it.
- It’s a bit about ‘who you know.’ As I said above, writers make up a large community, which can be an excellent source for networking. Being a successful writer sometimes has to do with having the right connections. The best thing you can do is communicate with other writers, through communication with others you will learn about new opportunities, job openings and different venues for your talent. Make friends, get to know other writers and learn as much as you can.
- Clarity is king in the writing world. The number one thing for a writer to remember is to write what you mean. If you are clear in what you are saying, it will be clear to read, and that is the key to good writing, not the only key, but an important one just the same.
- Live to write, or write to live. Though being a good writer and writing a lot are great ways to find success, you must remember that in order to have something to write about in the first place you must have lived your life. So get out there and travel, learn and enjoy life so you have stories to tell and things to write about.
- Keep in mind that the worst thing that can happen is that your writing will be boring. There is no point in stressing about what you write, because the worst case scenario is that it will suck, people will think it’s boring, and no one will want to read it. Really, who cares! If you are happy with what you write, you put effort into it, and you are enjoying the time you spend doing it, what everyone else thinks is not important. So get over your silly fears and write what makes you feel good.
- Lastly, Stop reading advice about writing and get writing. Tips, tricks and advice are great, they will probably teach you something, but the fact is that unless you actually write something, you will never be a writer. So get out that pen, or sit down in front of your computer, and get writing. Start a piece and finish it. Write from your heart and edit until it is perfect. Remember that the choice is yours and only you can stop yourself, so if you really want to be a writer than you better write something down.
Until Next Time…