So you want to be a writer? Or maybe you’re already a writer, but can’t seem to get that novel written? Or you’ve written a few books, but the thrill is gone. Is there a trick, you wonder, to writing a great book, or even finishing a so-so book? Why, yes—there are three tricks, actually, that veteran writers like me keep top secret (shhhh!):
The list probably isn’t the romantic, idealistic answer you were hoping for, but I wrote this book with the idea of dispensing daily inspiration to get you to think about your story—and to write. Because I know from experience your motivation will give out before your imagination will. This book is structured to ease you through the life-cycle of creating a full-length novel, from broad stroke advice and self-evaluating questions, to more specific tips when you get to the planning and writing stages. I’ve also included pitfalls to avoid, lessons I’ve learned and techniques to help you manage your writing time.
If you like guarantees, writing isn’t for you. That said, if you write a novel and put it out into the universe, I guarantee you will:
And that’s cool. Ready? Let’s do this. ~
I’m not sure if writers are prone to dark moods, or if people with dark moods are attracted to the writing profession. Most writers are introverts, so that already puts us behind the sociable bell curve. And most writers sit down to the computer with some baggage, i.e., insecurities that what we’re writing isn’t good enough. Some writers feel compelled to write because of an unhappy childhood or other experience.
Whew…we can be a morose bunch!
It’s natural to have some reservations about the work, about letting other people read it, about revising when we don’t want to, about unflattering feedback, rejection, and bad reviews. Top it off with the fact that writing is such a solitary experience, and it’s easy to turn inward and let those doubts multiply. Anxieties can manifest in bad writer behavior—pouting, lashing out, jealousy, anger, or shutting down. Writing is a personal journey, but you don’t have to take every reaction to your work so personally, and you don’t have to play out the stereotype that writing a novel is a long-suffering, angst-ridden endeavor.
Writing might seem like a passive, soft, or even easy vocation, but the truth is, fiction-writing isn’t for sissies. You have to develop a thick skin and unshakable confidence—not in the belief that everything you create will always be right, but in the belief you’ll always be able to revise and make it right, or your next attempt will be better. Writing a novel can be a mentally draining process because you put so much of yourself into it. But keep things in perspective—writing a novel should be a positive, happy, enriching experience!
I feel compelled to add that for some people who struggle with sadness, grief, and low-grade depression, writing can be a therapeutic tool; personally, writing has always been my salvation during life dips. That said, writing isn’t a replacement for professional therapy, so if you have any inkling that you might be in a dark place you can’t emerge from on your own, please reach out to the appropriate experts. ~
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