Writing Wednesdays: Top Ten Tips for a First-Time Writer – via authorbethreekles on Tumblr

A little while ago, Anonymous asked me what my
top ten tips for a first-time writer would be, so here they are…

1. Write
the book you want to read.

2. Be
passionate about the book you’re writing

You’ll be way more motivated to work on the book and to finish it, and you’ll
be less likely to give up than if you’re writing something dry and flat just
because you think it will sell.

3. Find
a way of writing that works for you.

(By this I mean, if you’re busy with school, then maybe you can find time to
write in free periods, or for an hour at the end of the day before you go to
bed? Maybe you need to set yourself a goal of 500 words a day, or just write
when the mood takes you.)

4. Find
a writing community.

Whether it’s a fanfic site, something like Wattpad, or you just follow some
writing blogs on Tumblr. You don’t necessarily have to share your writing if
you really don’t want to, or be actively involved, but just having these
communities will keep you motivated. That said…

5. SHARE
YOUR WORK!

It doesn’t have to be with your mum or your best friend or anyone you know.
That was why I took to Wattpad so much: there, I was just Reekles. Nobody knew
anything about me. They didn’t even have a picture of me. They read my book
just because it appealed to them, and not because they were my friends and
being polite to save hurting my feelings. Trust me when I say that even seeing
three people reading your work and having one comment is a massive confidence
boost. Be as anonymous as you want, but share your work! It can really help.

6. Read.

Read books in your genre. Read books with the kind of character you’re writing.
Read books just because they look good and you want to read them. Reading
around will help you develop your sentence structure, your vocab, give you
ideas of other characters and tones and whatnot. Just read a lot. Totally worth
it.

7. Don’t
give up. Don’t. You. Dare.

I BELIEVE IN YOU, NEWBIE WRITER! I BELIEVE YOU CAN WRITE THE BOOK. YOU CAN DO
THE THING! Sometimes it can feel like you’re wasting your time and the book
you’ve started writing is going nowhere, but give it a chance. Maybe it’s just
that the last few chapters/last scene you wrote aren’t working, and you need to
rewrite them. Maybe it’s a bit of writer’s block. Maybe you’re just not feeling
very inspired right now. Maybe you’re simply too busy with work or school or
whatever and don’t have the energy. None of that means that you should give up.
And on that note…

8. Learn
to deal with writer’s block.

You will encounter this. (Some people think it’s a myth, but I personally am a
wholehearted believer of the dreaded writer’s block.) It may seem
insurmountable. It may last for a few days, or months. You can check out my
post on dealing with writer’s block and different ways to try and overcome it,
but again, don’t let it kill your motivation and bury it six feet under. Keep
that passion for your book going!

9. You
will be your own worst critic, and that’s okay.

There will be times that you feel like you’re wasting your time and your
writing sucks and the plot is just a rehash of this idea from a movie and your
characters are clichés and you would never get a book deal out of this. I know
I’ve felt like this sometimes, but you can’t let it stop you. This is where
sharing your work online can be a huge help: it proves that there are people
out there, even just one or two, who value your work, and proves that you’re
not wasting your time. (And heck, if you like writing, who can tell you it’s a
waste of time?!)

10. Learn
to be your own biggest fan.

Champion yourself! When you’re feeling a little down about your work, try
reading over a scene you’re really proud of. And don’t feel guilty for feeling
proud of your own work! Let yourself think that this book is the best thing
you’ve ever written. Let that drive push you to finish your book. Love your
characters, your plot twists, the subplots and the metaphor you threw in that
you just adore. Even learn to love those cliché lines or the bits of dialogue
that made you laugh out loud when you read back over them. I don’t mean that
you have to be big-headed, but just because you can be your own worst critic
doesn’t mean you can’t be your own biggest fan, too.

I hope those have helped those of you who are a bit hesitant to start writing a book, or maybe have started but are still lacking in confidence and not sure what to do! Good luck with all your writing endeavours! xo

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