When it comes to writing we have a wealth of information at our fingertips, and there are so many ways we can learn, can grow, can improve.
Of course, while this is wonderful, it is easy to get bogged down in with all the writing advice, the different techniques and the rules that we should memorise and apply to our writing, and often it can feel a little overwhelming.
That’s why these 10 lessons are great to print out and pin up on your wall - they are quick reminders of the things you should be doing as a writer to keep you positive, active and engaged!
1.Write for your readers, but mostly for yourself
To be an effective writer, you should write with readers in mind. However, the joy of writing comes from writing for yourself, because you love it. Never let go or compromise on that.
When I first considered writing my story, others told me to write for myself, including my psychiatrist.
2. Stick to your writing routine as if your life depended on it
Try to write every day. If you can’t, make sure you have a regular writing schedule and don’t let anything stop you from keeping to it.
I've really been trying hard to follow this idea, though I don't exactly have a set time in which to work on my writing. I like to do it when I have the time and the energy. I say whatever works best for you.
3. Use others as inspiration, not to get you down
Comparing yourself to others won’t get you anywhere, instead let your favourite writers inspire you, and let other people’s success motivate you to find your own!
That's what I've been doing, though I must admit I have had thoughts that my story won't be as good as others I've read. I have had times when I felt I was not good enough, but I have not let that stop me form writing my story.
Try all sorts of different things with your writing, different types, different genres, different voices - it’s half the fun of the job, and you never know when you’ll find something that makes you feel like you’ve struck gold.
I definitely want to do this. I started writing a YA diary novel set in the 1980s that I need to do more work on. I'm also considering taking some online writing classes that focus on writing different genres. There is one on writing for YA and one on writing for kids, as well as one on writing fiction like a pro.
5. Find friends, fans, and mentors - and always appreciate those who help you
While writing on the surface, may appear to be a lonely task, writers actually rely on a whole team of people to help them. Family and friends, editors and book designers, publishers and agents, readers, critics and fans.. Always appreciate, communicate with them and nurture them.
Still trying to find someone who can read my work and whose work I can read too.
6. Learn how to handle rejection
All writers need to learn how not to take rejection personally. It’s easy to think a criticism of your work is a criticism of you. It’s not. All writers get rejected, all writers get criticised - it just means you’re doing your job!
Still not to this point yet, but I already know to expect this.
7. Everyone has bad days, and that’s OK
We all get into a writing slump from time to time, we all suffer from self-doubt - there days where you think ‘what am I doing? Why am I wasting my time?!’ It’s OK to feel like that sometimes - just don’t let it last forever.
Not just writers, but everyone gets this way. Whatever the reason, don't let it last forever.
8. Always write your best
If every time you sit down to write you are determined to do your best, you’ll help yourself in the long run. Don’t aim for perfection, but do try your hardest - this way you’ll spend less time redrafting and more time feeling positive about your work.
Exactly what I have been doing. I'm trying hard not to make it sound perfect, just understandable.
9. Learn what triggers your creativity
Reading, listening to music, going for a walk, having a glass (bottle) of wine. Whatever works for you, find out and then learn how to harness that creativity so you always feel as though you are brimming with ideas and moving forwards.
Reading definitely triggers my creativity. I've been waiting to go somewhere different to find inspiration. One of the online classes mentioned above is on travel writing. That might be interesting to learn about before going somewhere new. Drawing or watching movies are other things that trigger my creativity.
10. Learn from your mistakes and just keep trying
At the end of the day, the writer who doesn't give up is the most successful - so learn from your mistakes, get over your setbacks, and never give up!
So there you have it, 10 simple but effective lessons every writer should keep close to their hearts. What would you add to the list?