Writing advice is everywhere, especially when you are a novice writer. Everyone is an expert, even Lucy from Peanuts. How do you know what to follow and what to ignore? The simple answer is to listen to your inner voice and to trust your instincts. Let’s look at a few examples.
One of the most asked pieces of advice people ask is, “How do I become a writer.” In one camp there are the intellectual people. They say that you must study grammar and writing via classes and workshops. While I understand their concept, when it comes to creative writing (novel/prose/poetry) that logical approach doesn’t work. William Shakespeare didn’t take classes at Oxford to become a writer. He wrote his experiences and what he observed in Elizabethan times.
Another camp are what I call the free spirits. I fall into this group and my simple answer is, “If you can write something down on paper and share it with others, you are a writer.” Writers write. You either are or you aren’t. It’s not as complicated as people make it out to be.
“I never have time to write.” This is a big issue for many writers and trust me, I understand. I have struggled with this too and I can tell you that what works for me may not work for you. Each writer’s life is different and each person has their own time perimeters.
I read an article a long time ago talking about writer’s block. It showcased 20 writers and their helpful tips for overcoming writer’s block. One of the tips really made me see writing in a whole new light. They said, “I always tell my writing students to write 300 words every day. It is basically a page and everyone has time to write one page.”
I thought about it and it soon became my writing goal. I promised myself to write 300 words every day. I put a sticky note up in my writer’s nook and looked at it every day. I can tell you all that I was true to my word and kept that promise. I wrote 300 words each and every day. Some days I did more and some days I struggled to make those 300 words. I did it and I felt so proud of myself.
Think to yourself, what word count would be appropriate for me. Don’t say 1,000 words if you cannot do it. Commit to a word count and make sure that it is not too lofty. Don’t make it too easy for yourself, either. This is a writing goal and it must propel you forward.
Time management is another key tip I learned from that article. Being a writer is all about time management. Many of us do have a day job, families and responsibilities. Making time for writing can be hard but when you make it a priority, it becomes easy. Schedule a block of your day/night in your time management planner and call it “writing”. Tell your family/friends/roommates so that they know not to bother or interrupt you.
My writing time is in the afternoon from 1-4 pm. I chose that time of the day to write because it works best for my life. I shut off all the distractions and I concentrate on writing.
Writing advice is everywhere and it can be overwhelming. Trust me, I have been there. The best advice I can give you is to read everything out there, figure out what works for you and then trust your inner voice. It will always guide you and never steer you wrong.
Remember the writing profession is constantly evolving. Learn something new today.