Every aspiring writer has his own frustrations and Achilles’ heels. Others have to take a smidgen of insomnia for the sake of writing. Even successful writers have to battle the blank page at one point. You see, no one has become a successful writer accidentally. Writing is a great and miraculous calling. It demands energy, imagination, discipline and routine. Here are a few simple tips that any aspiring writers are expected to follow.
READ CRAFT GUIDES
You can learn a lot from craft guides especially on elements like setting or characterization. Also, they help you set goals for yourself, or how to market your work once it’s published. You might find the featured books above useful. Read and learn.
To develop yourself as a writer, you must learn from others who are better than yourself. Read another writers’ work. Pay attention to what works for you and what doesn’t. Making time for reading is just as important as making time for writing. Stephen King says that if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or tools to write.
WATCH TV AND MOVIES LIKE A WRITER
It cannot be denied that some of the best writing and storytelling happens on the screen. Pay attention to why you like what you are watching, why you’re willing to invest hours of your life in it. And why you’re not, if you turn it off at the first commercial break and never come back. Also, check out the details like the structure, elements and pace that you think which work for you and which don’t.
As a writer, your worst enemy can be your own life. You can get distracted from the internet, television, people, and work that can make it impossible for you to actually sit down and get your writing down. So, set your writing schedule. Protect it like you’d protect any other work schedule. Saying NO to interruptions is crucial for a writer. Always carve out time in your day to devote to writing.
LEARN TO SELF-EDIT
Learn self-editing. It is just as important as writing. Pay attention to your spelling and grammar. Yes, that’s what editors are for. However, if you do it traditionally, you will never get close to an editor without a very clean manuscript. And if you are going to pay someone to do it for you, it will save you from embarrassment, time and money if you turn in to your editor a clean copy.
WRITE LIKE IT’S YOUR JOB
“Writers need to write so readers can read. It’s like how people need to breath air in order to survive. A reader has it easy as they flip through pages yearning to know what happens next. The writer of the story is where the struggle lies. Any great story was not written overnight, or in a week. Stories are the blood, sweat, and tears of a dreamer who sees the world in a very different light.” Jessica Cote, The Struggles of Writing a Story.
William Faulkner also once said, “If a story is in you, it has got to come out.” So, write to your heart’s content. Determine what are your writing goals and how are you going to carry them out.
SET UP YOUR SPACE
Game of Thrones author, George R.R. Martin has a dedicated writing computer that runs DOS, which has no spellcheck or auto-correct features, and can’t connect to the Internet. Without these nuisances, he found himself more productive. As for you, set up a space where your brain instantly knows it’s writing time. Pick an environment and time of day conducive to focus and the creative process. If you think your topic needs research but Internet is your number one distraction, then do it the traditional way— encyclopedias and library.