I have to thank my Twitter friend, February Grace, for suggesting this topic. But to be honest, I didn’t think I would have any words of wisdom to share. I haven’t written consistently over the years, and I don’t have a novel published. So, why would someone want to read about my experience with the writing process? I suppose there’s a blogger or writer out there that is new to the writing game, like me, and perhaps my words of wisdom might help someone. Here are some things I’ve learned about the writing process:
- Don’t worry about writing every day. One “rule” I constantly heard about writing is that you have to write every day. I do agree with it on some level, but life gets in the way. Don’t punish yourself if you don’t write every day. It’s not a “rule” you have to follow. That brings me to my next point…
- Make time to write every day. While it’s not essential to write every day, you do have to make time to write. Take a moment to plan out your writing time for the week. In the midst of working your daytime job, family time, and downtime. Surely, you can spare ten to fifteen minutes a day to write.
- Free yourself from distractions. Nothing kills the flow of creativity more than distraction. These days, with the advent of technology and social media, distraction is a given. But it can be overcome. There are programs on the laptop that keep writers focused on writing. The most ideal thing, however, is to stow them away. If that means writing your work out, then do so.
- Find a writing community. Writing is a lonely profession. But that doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Quite the opposite. You need other people to hold you accountable, to encourage you, to be honest with you. Social media sites like Twitter and Google Plus are excellent for finding writers like you starting out or writers who have been through the process of getting their work published.
- Read a lot. As Stephen King says, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time to write.” Reading is key to being a good writer. It’s important to read books within and outside your genre of choice. You’ll notice similarities and differences on how writers construct sentences, how they world-build, and how they use characters to tell their story.
- And finally, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. This is perhaps the most important words of wisdom I can offer. You may have authors you want to emulate, and it’s easy to compare your work to someone more experienced. But don’t. In the end, you’ll end up being miserable, and doubt yourself more than you have to. Everyone’s process is different. Everyone’s journey is unique. You can only be you, not anyone else.
These are things I’ve learned throughout the years. By no means am I an expert in the writing process. I’m still trying to find my way. I have to remind myself to read and make time to write and to not compare myself to others. But, I hope these words of wisdom encourage you to start writing, if you haven’t already.
What say you? If you’re an experienced writer, what pieces of wisdom would you include? If you’re a new writer, do you find these tips helpful?