Oct 21, 2011

Wannabe Writers Advice #1

Maybe I'm not published. Maybe I'm still in my 'garage-band faze' of writing, but that doesn't mean I haven't started learning stuff along the way.  I'm no newbie to writing anymore...so this column will help share what I've learned. Here goes...

1.  Willingness.  Above all else, the first thing you need is willingness.  You have to decide and decide with conviction that, yes, I want to write a novel!  This isn't quite as easy as it sounds.  How many people think everyday 'I could write a book' and never do?  Plenty.  Finding the motivation is really hard because there are so many things getting in the way, such as...
  • Time.  I just don't have the time.
  • Failure.  What if I fail?  What if I write it and never get published? 
  • Lack of Ideas.  All my ideas suck or have already been done.  Too bad I didn't think of Twilight before Stephenie Meyer did.  
  • Worry over what others will think.  I'm embarrassed that my friends and family won't like it.  
You're never going to write anything if you can't get past these things.  As for time...set aside one hour each week or 15-30 minutes a day.  Then when your writing time comes write.  Do nothing else but write.  As Maggie Stiefvater would say "butt in chair".  Force yourself to sit down, open a word document (not the internet!), and make your fingers type!  Words will accumulate over time.  I promise.  Personally, I love to write on Sundays when my husband is watching football.  As for failure...try to push those thoughts aside.  They're toxic.  I'm still un-published and what keeps me going is the idea of someday.  Someday.  Someday everything will come together, I'll finish my book, I'll find an agent and I'll publish my book.  Or I'll just self-publish if I have to.  As for the ideas...no idea is original.  Especially, a girl falling in love with a vampire.  Ha!  Everything has been done before.  It's you and your life experiences that will make old ideas original.  As for the worry...that one's tricky.  I still don't let my husband read any of my writing.  SO, I tell him one day.  One day I will let you read it.  When I'm ready.  As for everyone else...I just don't tell them about my writing.  I blog instead. 

So once you get past all the doubt and you decide you're ready to start your novel the next thing you will need is...

2.  An idea.  I think too many people get caught up on trying to find the 'perfect idea'.  But your idea doesn't have be brilliant.  It can be about vampires or witches or whatever.  Do you think J.K. Rowling was the first person to write about a school for wizards?  No.  And she won't be the last. 

Ideas come in all forms.  Some come from dreams or books or movies or fairytales or other people or even The History Channel.  Take what you can from all over and then piece it together. 

3. The follow through.  The butt in chair part.  You have the motivation and now the idea.  All that is next is executing the plan.  And trust me; that's the hard part. 

Look for more Wannabe Writers Advice posts in the future. 
For now, here are some helpful websites: 
How to write a novel. 
Maggie Stiefvater posts:  7 steps to starting a novel (a must read),  kick-butt how to post, prepping
A million bad words

1 comment:

Jessica S. said...

Great post! I bookmarked it to prepare me for NaNoWriMo. I'm gonna have to look at those links too. :) Thanks!