Whether you’re new to the writing world or have been writing for quite some time, the only thing you probably want to do is spend time writing your masterpiece, essay, manuscript, collection of poems or stories, or screenplay. While the main ingredient to any writing career is writing, there are certain things you need to learn as an aspiring writer.
Get ready for a wild journey, one that consists of putting your life on paper. Follow these tips to help you throughout your writing career.
Learn all the rules and break them
You have to learn the rules before you can break them. After all, if you break them without knowing them, then you will come off as an amateur. It’s important to put your own spin on your work, but it’s just as important to discover what has and hasn’t been done yet.
And not just on a grammatical level, but on creative writing practices, as well. For example, many writers will say to write first and edit later, but that advice doesn’t work for everyone. Learn the rules and then apply the ones that work for you.
Your sanity (and ego) will appreciate a writing community
Writing is a very isolated profession. While not everyone writes at odd hours like early in the morning or late at night, you still should distance yourself from people when you’re in the act of writing so you can focus, enter your world, and write about it.
Writing is hard because you’re creating something new from scratch. Writers historically go through tough rejection, so a good writing community will help to ease the pain because you will have a group of people supporting you, sharing their work while you share yours, and you’ll be able to talk about writing and all the pain and fulfillment it provides.
A writing community might help you become a better writer. Most importantly, it will help you to not feel discouraged.
Your first draft will be garbage—because everyone’s first draft is
Aspiring writers will read a book or essay and get discouraged because of how good it is. It’s important to remember that what you’re reading is a finished project. More times than not, you’re reading the second, third, or even 10th version of a book or essay.
Your first draft might not be good, but that’s what the editing process is for, and it will get better every revision.
Create YOUR schedule
Aspiring writers tend to read about other writers. They want to learn about a famous writers’ rejection, how they tackled writer’s block, and even when they sit down to write. You will read about how writers work in the morning. You’ll also read about night-owl writers.
The important thing to remember is that, what works for one person, might not work for the next. You have to create a writing schedule that you can stick to. If you’re not a morning person, then pick a different writing time, despite many experts saying how beneficial it is to do work in the morning.
Read a lot
Take it from world-famous writer Stephen King: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Some of the reasons why reading is so important for writers is that it inspires. It shows what’s possible on the page. It shows what good (and bad) writing looks like. It takes the reader to new worlds.
Don’t push yourself to burnout, but do push yourself
If you’re constantly locked up in your room writing, then you will likely burn out. On the other side of the equation, if you don’t write enough, then you will never finish your manuscript. Know your limits.
There are an unlimited amount of ways writers tackle burnout. For example, some writers change their atmospheres by going to coffee shops and libraries, while others have non-writing jobs thanks to their Associate’s Degree in nursing or skills as a barista. Other writers limit their writing time. Some take breaks throughout the day.
There are an unlimited amount of things a writer should learn, especially when first starting out. What it all comes down to is what you put on the blank canvas and that you’re writing. Whether you aspire to write for companies that specialize in mortgage loans and finances or are trying to write the next great literary novel, enjoy the process, for it’s the most important part.