5 Tips for Newbie Writers
I love it when people reach out to connect personally. Sometimes they ask me about a specific issue with their daughter, and sometimes they ask about aspects of my writing career. I thought I share one of the latter with you. You may find this helpful if you or your kids are aspiring writers.
Hi Ms. Davis,
I just started to write. What do you do when your brain pumps out too many ideas for a book, so that you are stunted in completing one?
Surely There’s A Better Way
Thanks for reaching out. Congrats on becoming a writer! Here’s a few tips to consider for your writing journey.
1. When my brain is working faster than my fingers, I grab sticky notes, notecards or a small notebook (less than 5 inches). Then I start jotting down my ideas. Putting them down some place insures that I won’t loses them. That allows me to release the thought and get back to what I was doing.
2. I’ve always kept a catch-all container – a folder, a shipping envelope, and a shoe box – solely for keeping all these little gems safe. I just throw the scraps of paper into the container, and forget it. That way, I can resume focusing on my current endeavor knowing my ideas are safe and sound. When my work is done, I can go back and rifle through the little shards of paper, searching for my next great project idea.
3. As for having difficulty completing one of your projects, no matter what the reason, for newbie writers my advice is don’t worry about it. That’s right. Don’t Worry About It! Who cares how far along you are? It’s your journey, and it will take as long as it takes. That’s only an imaginary yardstick you are using to compare your journey to.
When your ego tells you, “You’ve been writing long enough. You should have something done by now,” tell it to chill out. How can you possibly determine how long it will take you to complete your project when you have never done it before? C’mon, cut yourself some slack.
4. When you’re ready to complete one of your fabulous projects, or when one of your fabulous projects tells you it’s ready to be completed, you will complete it. Plain and simple. Until then, remember that any progress is progress.
5. Live in the moment and don’t worry about the future. It will make it easier to focus. Let your creative juices flow!
In the meanwhile, I strongly recommend you join a writing group. Being around like-minded people is very motivating, but even there, don’t compare yourself to the others. There’s an author in one of my groups who produces a book every 3 months. I know another author who worked on a project about her kids for 20+ years. Me, I get one out about every 18 months. Is there any reason for me to compare myself to them? Nope. I’m enjoying my journey, and I can only hope they are enjoying theirs. Ultimately, if you aren’t enjoying the process, why do it? Write on your own terms.
Okay, experienced writers. What advice would you give Surely? Don’t worry if it conflicts with mine. My advice works for me. Your advice works for you, but who knows what Surely needs.
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