My little list of wisdom to all writers (new or old):
- Always read! Reading your own work (from the past) or work of others, it’s nice to see how far you’ve progressed over the years. It also gives you the insight to see what things you need to improve upon.
- Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. I always edit my work, usually not at the point before posting (how counterintuitive), but I do it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so when I see a stray letter, a stray word, a stray sentence, or a stray detail that ruins consistency (in my writing)… all hell breaks loose.
- Go with what you know, at first. If you’re new to writing, or if you haven’t written in a while: stick with what you know. Get the creative juices flowing by writing about what you already know. For me, I always write about angst. It doesn’t show as much here, but angst is my home. I write angst-filled pieces when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. When I feel like I’ve returned to a comfortable place in my writing mind… read the next line.
- When you’re comfortable: step out of the box. It’s really that obvious. When you’re confident about your work, take a step out. Try something new, but if you feel that something might be too much to handle, fall back to what you know or integrate old ideas with new ideas, but be conscious that the old doesn’t overshadow the new you are trying to showcase.
- Keep a notepad in hand. I have my iPod Touch, but I have a spare notepad in my bag. Why? INSPIRATION IS EVERYWHERE! No, seriously, it is. How so? If I were to look up, I could name you three prompts from what I see, but I won’t or else this will get long. When you write long enough, you end up having a keen eye to your surroundings and you pick up any kind of detail that lead to an entire plot of a story. Example: Canada Day fireworks. I was at the park and watching the fireworks with my family. Then, I thought how really nice it would be if I was there with a significant other cuddling and watching the show. That is now the idea behind my current fanfic: You’re a Firework.
- Don’t write yourself into the ground. You’re probably reading this and going “What are you doing?!” Then, I will say “I’m going to go retire soon!” Don’t work yourself too hard. Write what you can as much as you can. EXCEPT! When you reach the point where you think writing is becoming a job rather than a fun thing to do, you have to stop. So what if you have requests? No one is benefiting from your work if what you’ve done was forced. You will know that, and your readers will know that because when writing becomes a chore… it shows. It damn well shows!
- Have fun with it. Like I said previously, if your work is forced, it shows and it usually isn’t enjoyable to read if it departs from previous work you’ve done. Writing won’t always be rainbows and glitter; you will have writer’s block at some time and you will feel drained at some point, however; writing should be fun. You should be able to take a simple idea and let it grow into something beautiful and something you will be proud of when you finish.
- WRITING WILL TAKE TIME! Really? You didn’t see J.K. Rowling write her book in a couple of days. Although, when you’re inspired, writing becomes something easy and takes less time to do.
- Remember that your work won’t be perfect. Perfection is something everyone tries to achieve for, but the writer will always find a flaw in their work even if the reader found none. Don’t put yourself down if you don’t think your work is perfect because someone out will appreciate your work.
- Take your time. In summary: write about what you know, keep notes of inspiration, incorporate new and old ideas, take breaks, don’t be hung up on the idea of perfection, always keep in mind to polish your work, writing takes time, always read and improve, and just have fun.
When you complete a piece of writing and you feel comfortable and confident about it, you know you’ve done well. You won’t be the only one enjoying it because someone in the world will be enjoying it as well.