Advice for New Writers

Keep writing. It seems simplistic, but the advice is solid and has put me where I am today. I view creativity as a muscle. You need to use it. The process can seem slow in the beginning, making it difficult to find your voice. But discovery only comes through practice, a lot of it. Writing is all about the voice: the way you tell a story, build characters, and transport a reader. It can be a gift for some, but like any talent, it has to develop, and that takes a lot of hard work. Do not expect everything you write to be golden. Many seasoned writers will tell you there are days when everything flows, and days you’d like to set your computer on fire. But never delete anything you write. Save it all. You never know. There could be one sentence tucked away in something that could one day spur you on to your first novel. And old stories or journals can be a treasure trove for highlighting your evolution as a writer. If you don’t think you’re getting anywhere, go back and read your first efforts. It will prove eye-opening. The difference from my first novel, To My Senses, to my latest, Damned, shows me how each book I write changes the way I write. Every editor, every reviewer, every beta reader, and every proof reader will help develop your style. You will learn from the mistakes reviewers criticize you for, and what editors teach you about grammar and flow. Your journey as a writer is always evolving. It’s another reason why you must keep writing. You can’t change unless you move forward. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to your writing, try to set aside a piece of your day to jot down your ideas. Most writers I know, spend their evenings after the families have gone to bed, tucked behind their computer. It isn’t easy to push on into the wee hours of the morning, but anything worthwhile requires sacrifice. And if writing is your passion, then you will happily give up your time to pursue it. Expect highs and lows along the way, but if you stick to this one rule, you will succeed.