Moira here welcoming you back to yet another #SensualSunday post. Hope you’ve all had a wonderful week, and are enjoying your weekend. Here in Canada we got a three day one, so need the extra day off.
Today I thought I’d tackle an “easy” post, ha! I’m gong to be talking about writing tips for every author, new and old pro. Some will be more applicable than others, and you are welcome to pick and choose as you want. You can even add to it in the comments should you have something I’ve forgotten, which is more than likely. So, here we go…
Top Tips For Writers
- Routine – This is extremely important especially in your early years, or any time there are disruptions in your life. Everyone should have a routine that works for them. No one can tell you what will, or won’t work for you, but when you find something that works for you stick with it.
- Materials – Whatever your book is about ensure you have all the materials you’ll need (research, names, places, dictionary, etc) at your fingertips. Having to get up and go looking for something will disrupt your writing flow. As writers we do not need any extra distractions in our lives.
- Consistency – If you write with music, or not, and it works for you do so each time you sit down to write. This is part of your routine and will help keep you to your routine. The same can be said with time of day, some folks work better during the day, others at night. This part is often determined based on your day job, unless you are lucky enough not to need one. Either way, do what works for you as with all things.
- Distractions – We all have them, but try to minimize them. Pick a time, and a place where you can work with as few distractions as possible. This includes things like turning your phone to mute (unless you are expecting a specific call), and removing yourself from all social media tidbits. Turn off all notifications because all they will do is, that’s right, distract you.
- Breaks – While we all want to write while the muse is on fire, and the words are flowing you also need to give your body a break. Even getting up from your seat for two minutes to stretch is enough. Our bodies were not designed to be in that crazed hunch, pounding at the keyboard for hours upon hours. This will also give your mind a moment to process what you’ve done, and where next to go.
- Fuel – While writing is exercise and fuel for your mind, you also need to take care of the vehicle in which it resides. But breaking off when your stomach starts its mournful wails for sustenance is a distraction that can ruin all momentum. Be prepared, have some snacks at hand at your work station along with water and whatever else you need. Make this part of your set-up each time you get ready to settle in for a session.
- Time – This is often times hard to find. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new writer, or an old hat. We all have commitments, but you need to remember you also have a commitment to bettering and growing your art. If you need to turn down a dinner date because you haven’t got in your hours yet this week, so be it. Writing is your career, take it seriously and give it the time it deserves.
- Relax – No one writes a perfect novel the first draft. No one! Even the biggest names in the industry have those who come armed with a red pen in hand (aka: editors). Do not try to write perfectly, all you’ll end up doing is stunting your muse, frustrating yourself and your characters, and making a royal mess out of what could have been an amazing work of art. Just write.
- Read – If you are ever stuck don’t sit there grinding at it. The best way to clear your mind is to read someone else’s work. It doesn’t even have to be in your genre either, although as a new author you really should be reading in the same genre as what you are writing – this helps you grow. Immerse yourself into whatever you’ve chosen to read, and let the tension of whatever pothole your writing fell into to be pushed aside. You’ll find your way again, just give it time. Or, the other thing you can do is…
- Talk – Call a friend, call your housemate/partner in life, grab the nearest fur baby and just talk it out. You’re not really doing anything more than using them as a sounding board so you can hear how your problem sounds aloud. Their answer, solutions, suggestions are actually needed, although may prove useful and even wanted. This exercise is to let you verbally explode your frustration with whatever your sticking point might be. It also lets your brain process it by hearing it and therefore, at least in most cases, the answer will be revealed. They know you’re an author, they know that you may not need them to say a word, but they know they are needed to sit there, nod, and even appear thoughtful. It’s amazing how quickly such a verbal exchange can be. And they’ve never said a word.
- Believe – You have to believe in yourself first and foremost. Everyone else will come in time, but if you don’t believe in you or what you’ve written, how the hell do you expect anyone else to? Know what you’ve written is good, great, fantastic, the next best fucking thing since sliced bread!! Okay, too far right? Maybe a little. But you need to believe in your voice, the rest will come.
- Edit – You are your first line of defense for your finished product. Be ruthless. Be cold. Be precise. Be aware. Be diligent. And most of all, don’t let your characters sway you. Before you send your finished product off to a beta reader, a friend, an editor or your publisher, you need to go through it with a fine toothed comb. Look for all the obvious things. There will be more, there always is, know this and accept it but that doesn’t exempt you from doing your part.
- Listen – You will be given critique, you will be given recommendations, and you will be advised on your manuscript. You should always listen to everything. Do you have accept it all? Hell no! But if it is sound, reasonable, and makes your work even better, why the hell aren’t you listening to what those who only have your best interest at heart are advising?
- Rejection – This is NOT the end of the world. It may feel like it is, but it is not. Don’t see it as a door slamming in your face, but as an opportunity to find another way in. Rejections are not handed out on a whim. There is always something behind WHY a work was rejected. And as far as I know, the individual doing the rejecting will tell you, or you can ask because it never hurts to ask. Use it to better your work, to better your craft, and to better who you are as an author.
Well, I think that’s about it for what I have to offer. As I mentioned if you have any additional tips to offer up leave them in the comments if you wish. Now, get out of here and enjoy your Sunday.
XO Moira Callahan