Becoming a writer takes so much more than putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. You will have to endure tears, sweat, a large amount of stress induced by attempting to write which will lead to constant cravings for chocolate, and rude people who don’t believe in you.
I advise you to keep Jesper’s zemeni rifle near by to shoot a hole through their statements. But, play nice. You won’t be able to write your first novel in prison.*
To ease the pain for you, I have brought together 6 tips to help you on your writing journey. You can thank me by sending me a free copy of your book once you’re published.
I believe in you. Also, devouring your book would be ever so delicious so good luck.
*Or, will you?
1. Have Faith In Yourself
You have so many story ideas inside your extremely stressed brain and all you want to do is let them out. So, what do you do? Write. That’s the first step.
Will it be easy? No. I know that you have school, family, and basically, just life to deal with and everything will try to stop you from writing.
But, will you stop? NO! You are capable and the saddest thing would be to let those ideas die.
Can you imagine how many beautiful words you can write with that idea? It could be a book, sitting on the shelf of a bookstore one day. People would review it on Goodreads or on their blogs.
PEOPLE COULD EVEN FANGIRL OVER IT! And, to be honest, that would be the greatest feeling ever. You could be someone’s favorite author, the person who wrote something that enchanted them and inspired them to begin their writing careers. The person who represented them and showed them that they were also important.
But, none of that will happen if you don’t believe in yourself.
Yes, people will tell you you can’t make it. You will get writers block and it will feel like that’ll be the end of your writing. You will have moments in your life when things get out of control and you want to give up.
But, as long as you love that gorgeous idea inside your head, you will be able to continue on. In the end, it’s not only the world that deserves your story, but you. You need to see that you can do it. That you have potential and your words are magic, so delightful and heartwarming. Or emotional and heartbreaking. You’re the captain and you can steer that ship of yours wherever you choose.
Don’t you see? You can achieve so much when you believe in yourself.
2. Write Something You Love
Most often, you will discover what you love to write from what you love to read. When I first started writing on Wattpad, I used to write about people who could fly ( inspired by Maximum Ride), girls named Annabeth Burn (inspired by Rick Riorden’s Annabeth Chase) and badboys (ok, so this one was just an embarrassing trend on Wattpad and I followed along).
THIS IS A GOOD THING! You’ll be more inspired and it’s definitely a great sign if you read something and you love it. It just makes sense that you’d want to write something similar as well.
When you write what you love, it’ll be a little less hard. Or, maybe it’ll be the hardest thing ever because you are writing something you love and you have to make it PERFECT.
On this writing journey, you’ll have to learn that imperfection can be perfection.
I still write what I love to read. I read Six of Crows in 2016 and over winter break, my entire story idea changed from Dystopian to Fantasy. I read Crooked Kingdom in 2017 and reread Six of Crows during Nanowrimo to inspire me to keep writing. Now, I’m currently working on that same story, but I’ve fit in a heist. Sue me, but I’m in love with the whole heist idea and can’t get it out of my head.
3. Participate In Nanowrimo
So, umm, something magical happened in 2017: I WROTE THE MOST WORDS I EVER WROTE IN MY LIFE. I did Nanowrimo in November, almost died of sleep deprivation (because writing is more important than sleep, of course ), and wrote 50, 026 WORDS.
I WAS SO DARN PROUD OF MYSELF, MAN!! I rewarded myself by devouring an intense amount of mint and chocolate chip ice cream and Nutella and sleeping for a full night.
The forums are amazing and the encouragement that you’ll find there is beyond amazing. I wrote on the Young Writers Program, being 16 and all, and TRUST ME, YOU WILL MEET THE MOST AWESOME WRITING BUDDIES OF EVER. Go sign up right now!!
We pushed each other on, spent tons of time talking about books, and IT WAS A BREAK FROM THE WRITING. Because, eventually, you’ll start to hit writers block and you’ll get behind. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT WILL KEEP YOU GOING! You can’t do it all alone and that’s what I learned this Nano.
Having such an amazing community will definitely pump you up to write more and you will feel so proud of yourself at the end of it, whether you “win” or not BECAUSE THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE IS THE GREATEST THING!
4. Read More
So, me mentioning that books inspired me with my writing totally WASN’T an accident. I started out as a reader and worked my way up to become a crazy, writer lady, cackling to herself in front of the computer in the living room past midnight.
READ AND READ AND READ AND READ. Devour as many books as you can. Devour books that you love. Dystopian books! Historical books! FANTASY BOOKS! Good for your writer brain, I know this from experience.
Reading is good for you and will turn you into a deranged, potato that constantly flails in public for no reason and talks about people who don’t exist. DEFINITELY A REASON WHY YOU SHOULD READ! Don’t let the haters get you down! Flail as much as you please!
Lately, I’ve been suffering from writers block. But, yesterday I started reading The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill* and I got all the story ideas for my work in progress.
DO YOU KNOW HOW GREAT THAT FELT? I haven’t written anything related to my book in 3 days and one day of reading got my BRAND, NEW IDEAS.
*So, I forgot that I wrote this post about a week and a half ago and just found it again today. I already finished reading The Girl Who Drank The Moon last week.
5. Communicate With Other Writers
The reason the forums on Nanowrimo were so good for me was because I was writing alongside with other teenage writers. I usually write by myself because I’m the only writer in my family. The support my family gives me is amazing, but it’s still not enough to understand why I sleep with my sketchbook next to me to write down ideas in the middle of the night.
Whether you use the Adult Nanowrimo or the Young Writers Program, you’ll find someone to talk to you during the Nano month or outside of it. You can sign up for Camp Nano during April and July.
JOIN ME BECAUSE IN THREE MONTHS I’LL BE REWRITING MY DRAFT FROM NOVEMBER!!
6. Take Breaks
And, last but DEFINITELY NOT LEAST, take breaks. You deserve them.
You don’t want to tire out your beautiful brain. Writer burnout is awful and you don’t need it to bring you down.
Go out with your family once in a while. Do that thing you’ve been procrastinating on. READ A BOOK. Do something dangerous and slightly illegal. Go for a walk.
It’s ridicilous to say this now after all the times I’ve told you to write and write and write, but it’s true. You need a time-out sometimes.
Also, taking breaks could inspire you to be better with your writing once you come back. I TOLD YOU THAT DOING SOMETHING SLIGHTLY ILLEGAL COULD INSPIRE YOU. That’s why your character is engaging in rebellion.
CHAT WITH ME!
SO, WHAT’S YOUR WRITING HACK? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU DO TO GET YOU TO START WRITING? ARE THERE ANY RITUALS YOU HAVE?? HAVE YOU EVER DONE NANOWRIMO? WHAT DO YOU LIKE WRITING AND HOW MUCH HAVE YOU WRITTEN?