You are either at one of five points in your writing career.
1. You have always wanted to write a novel, novella or short story. Put about 99% of the world´s population at this stage in the game.
2. You have written part of or a complete novel, novella or short story.
3. You have written and published at least one novel, novella or short story, – whether through traditional publishing or self-published and now you are looking at that daunting blank page and wonder ¨What do I do now.¨
4. You have written and published at numerious novels, novellas or short stories – whether through traditional publishing or self-published and now you are looking at that daunting blank page and wonder ¨What do I do now.¨
5. You are in the process of writing a novel, novella or short story.
From the moment you turn on that laptop and type in the words ´Chapter 1´ you have entered a world that is full of pain and joy – and a lot of the actions we take and thoughts that go through our minds while in the act of creating a world out of our imagination are not unique …. we are all plagued by doubts, bad habits and negative external influences that can derail our journey to the bestseller list.
There are some inevitable truths and it´s better to accept them from the get go. Why fool ourselves. It´s also a good idea to remind ourselves of these issues from time to time even after we have achieved a certain skill level.
Our work is likely not to be what we hoped it would be when we begin. Only by doing it again and again will we become the writer we envision ourselves being.
People are going to laugh their asses off when you tell that that you are or want to be a writer.
Just because you managed to write a novel doesn´t make you a novelist.
Some of the story ideas that come to us are going to be bad or unworkable. If we get tied down to one idea it could mean wasting years in vain.
It might take you years to discover the genre that is best for your particular voice of style. In the meantime, write what you want to write.
If you write with the goal of becoming a bestselling novelist overnight, you will likely not succeed and will make yourself miserable. The best writers write because they have to write. It is their main path to peace and balance. If you have to force it, chances are that writing is not your thing.
Listen to your critics, beta-readers and editor.
Don´t listen to anyone who tells you that your work is great – especially your early work and first drafts. Or your mother.
Keep track of your output but don´t worry if you write faster or slower than anyone else.
Write for two people – yourself and your readers.
Get in touch with other writers. Find out how they do what they do. Then develop your own method.
Gramma is a bore. It was invented by an elite group of people with evil intentions. Read a lot and look for how your favorite authors masacre the language. Feel free to do the same or worse. As long as you are communicating, it is all good.
You are not the next anybody except yourself. If you copy another person´s work, you will only be a copy.
Read constantly – preferably outside your genre and preferably writers whose prose rings true to you and whose talent you admire. If you read pulp fiction you are not going to write contemporary literary fiction. You are going to write pulp.
To end today´s thoughts, I recommend reading this page full of quotes on the art of writing by Ernest Hemingway.
David Gordon Burke
Find my Books here.