When you decided to start writing, did it come naturally or did you do a lot of research first? Did you look up how to write?
Did you read blogs (like this one perhaps?), find websites, listen to podcasts or watch videos on YouTube? Maybe you went a bit less digital, and actually bought a book about writing?
I know I sure did. I did many of these things.
But I made sure to actually start to write as well. Just get into it, dive deep down and see where it took me. Some of my first few short stories are actually pretty decent. And others are absolutely terrible.
So I took some advice. Small chunks at a time. “Yeah I’ll try this.” “Oh, this sounds clever!”
But at the same time I tried to hold back. Writing isn’t science, it’s art. No one can tell you what’s right or wrong. If it works it works.
I think my point is, don’t feel pressured in to taking people’s advice (except for my advice obviously, wink wink), because people are going to be throwing it after you. However, there are plenty of best-selling debut novels out there, written by people who didn’t have to hone their craft for years and years (I don’t mean these people haven’t worked really, really hard for those novels though, don’t misunderstand.)
That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of tricks to pick up along the way. I won’t suggest anything, it’s up to you to find out what works for you. In the end, you’ll have a set of tools that you know works, and you’ll have a pile of tools that don’t.
But don’t be afraid to hold back, to just write and write with no holds barred, not listening to people who say “you should write it like this”, “you have to remember to do this.”
After all, the most important thing is writing.
I think that it is extremely difficult to write fiction that readers will find both engaging and emotionally fulfilling. I “got serious” about writing over six years ago. I’m still not where I want to be in those regards, but I’m a lot closer than when I first started.
Whether it’s taking advice or some other way, I’m pretty sure that the vast, vast, vast majority of people who desire to be authors must embark on a deliberate course of action to learn how to do it.
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Not being where we want to be is what makes us better!