Happy Hump Day!
Today, I’m not going to write a story (I know, I can hear your disappointment) instead, I thought I would give some tips to my fellow writers out there!
Because, being a writer is tough. Sometimes, those creative juices flow like the Nile River and others, its like the freaking Serengeti. Plus, being a writer can lead to a lonely life. We have so many character’s voices in our heads, people think we’re a little nutzo.
So here are a few tips to help you deal with the common problems that all writers face.
1. There is no such thing as “writer’s block”.
When I was in school and tried to write, there would be so many times I would spend hours staring at an empty piece of paper or an empty Word doc. I would think, “Ugh! This writer’s block is going to be the end of me!” It wasn’t until college that I realized something: writer’s block doesn’t exist. One of my professors put it this way: “There’s no such thing as writer’s block. There is such a thing as an apathetic person, a procrastinator, and ‘chair-butt syndrome’.” Basically, if you’re feeling stuck, push through, get rid of distractions, or do something active to get your blood flowing.
2. Get plugged in with a writer’s group.
If you want to get fit, you go to the gym or go to a yoga class. If you want to lose weight, you join Jenny Craig. If you want to learn to swim, you take swimming lessons. The same goes for writing. You’ve got to meet with people that have the same passions as you in order to learn. Plus, these groups have all of the “insider information” to various workshops, seminars, and contests going on for writers and poets. I’m a member of OCWI (Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.) and they are amazing! They meet monthly and give excellent tips for aspiring authors. Seriously, its worth looking into.
3. Use social media.
Follow literary agents on Twitter. Find authors or writer’s associations on Facebook. Check out blogs by publishing companies. Subscribe to a writer’s magazine. These people are in the biz and know what publisher’s are looking for! Plus, just about every publisher, literary agent, and author has at least one way to follow them on the internet.
If you want to be a writer, you absolutely MUST read. If you want to write thriller novels, read them! See what makes a great thriller! If you want to write young adult, then go to your library and ask the librarian for the most popular books. You have to do your market research and see what the public wants. You don’t have to write a story about a human falling in love with a vampire; look at the characters and the story line. What makes people like these stories? Do some digging!
5. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dream.
Being a writer has something I have always wanted to be. As a kid, I’d write books and take them to school and have my teacher read them to my class. I was constantly putting on skits, dressing up as different characters, and making up stories (my parents can testify to that; ha!). I know, believe me I know, how difficult it is to write something, think its awful, and swear off writing. But if it is truly your passion, never give up! Sure, rejection letters may pile up and you may think, “Am I really a horrible writer?” But all you need is one “Yes” and THAT’S what I’m counting on. THAT’S what keeps me going. We can do this, buddy.