So you want to be a writer

There are a few things that you should know first. The glamorous life of a writer is not always so glamorous.

1. You can not write a novel in a 9 days like your favorite New York Times Best Selling Author on your first try. Like she said, she didn’t sleep in that period and ignored her family holed up in a room. I imagine she also had a detailed outline that she followed closely that was already plotted out, and most likely she’s been doing it longer than you have. Making the decision to write is easy, actually writing takes time, dicipline, and dedication. (And more than likely that wasn’t what she sent to her editor. first drafts are never best drafts)

2. You must determine your style. are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you outline every character, chapter, and arc of the story? Or do you know the main points and fly by the seat of your pants? Do you need everything in an organized fashion, with time lines, post it notes and detailed flow charts? Or do you have rumpled pieces of paper with scattered notes all over your desk? The only style that is right, is the one that works for you. Because we are human, we are all unique, don’t let someone else tell you how you should write, listen to their advice, see if it works for you, but ultimately you must determine what makes you productive.

3. Be passionate about what you write about. Believe in you subject, yourself, and your words. When you put your heart on the line it’s OK to listen to the critique of those who might not understand it. Ultimately you decide whether they are right or not. You decide to heed their words or stand by your own. Don’t apologize for following your heart, and don’t regret if someone changes your mind. All it is, is perspective.

4. Do NOT be afraid to take chances or risks. I’m not saying to jump in blindly, but don’t let fear or rejection hold you back. I’ve heard aspiring authors say that they would never give their books away. This philosophy to me is nieve. When you are an artist and especially just beginning you should want as many people to experience your creation. Not everyone is going to get rich off of their first novel. Not everyone’s story is Amanda Hocking or Stephanie Meyer. You have to work every day and even though some may consider them over night successes, it took them a while to get there. And they took a few chances and risks.

5. No matter now hard it gets don’t quit. This is what separates the say-ers from the do-ers. It’s easy to come up with a concept; it’s hard to┬áimplement┬áit and fill in the points from the beginning to the arc, to the end. Sure, step away from it if it becomes too much; I stepped away from The Ocean for sixteen years, but I regretted how long it took me to come back to it. There are enough things in your life that you will regret, don’t regret chasing your dream.

So go out, write and create, good luck and I look forward to reading your words.

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