This is the special post I talked about yesterday 😀 The blog Teens Can Write, Too runs a blog chain every month, and I decided to sign up for this month’s.
Anyways, I better get into the post. The topic this month is “What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started writing?” Now, I’m not limited to one thing (Or so the post says 😉 ) so I’ll actually be talking about a list of things I wish I had known.
I started writing when I was about seven or eight (To the best of my knowledge. I don’t really remember exactly when I started. I know that I was more serious about it when I was 12 because my current story started right after I watched X-men Origins: Wolverine. That’s the whole reason my main character is named Logan. Regardless, he’s nothing like his namesake.), and I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I liked stories and I wanted to make some. Now, I’m over double that and managed to finish my novel just last month. I’m hoping that maybe some of these things might help someone else take a little less than half their lifetime to finish a book =P
1) Listen to your friends. Now there will probably be those ‘friends’ that somewhat discourage you from writing. Y’know, those people who are like, “No way you can do that!” Don’t listen to them. I’m talking about listening to the friends that encourage you, support you, and can get annoying from telling you to stop procrastinating and go write. Yeah, them. When they tell you that, they know a lot better than you do.
2) Write consistently.Writing is like exercising for your imagination. You need to do it consistently. I’d advise every day (with a day off per week). I stopped writing for a while after Nanowrimo ended last year and I lost my skill and speed insanely quickly. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Simple as that.
3) Don’t not write just because you’re afraid of what’s coming (Or because you don’t know where you’re going).I was stressing about writing the chapter overview for my second book, half because I didn’t have much of a sense of direction, and half because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a good sequel. In the end, I got the chapter overview done in like three hours and the novel itself has been rolling along pretty well. If you don’t know where you’re going with something, set aside the time to think about it and seriously work on it. Also, some help brainstorming might be a good idea 🙂
4) Don’t overwork yourself (Pace yourself, but don’t be lazy).I ended up giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome because I didn’t pace myself. I had a deadline and crammed all the work in in like four days. Now, I have trouble writing for long periods of time. (I can go for quite a while, but it hurts after a few hours). Lasting physical damage isn’t really worth being lazy for a while, in my opinion.
5) Writing is hard.When I was younger, I thought writing would be easy. It’s not. It’s a pain sometimes, and a lot of the time, I really don’t want to do the actual typing. Sometimes it’s ridiculously easy, but most of the time…it’s totally not. Also, writers’ block isn’t really a good excuse…I found that out by finding a few ways to get rid of it. Now I don’t have my primary excuse anymore XD
6) Beginning writing will suck. This doesn’t mean you suck.It’s like anything else. You need practice to get better. Your first draft(s) will probably be terrible, and you’ll probably cringe at them in a little while. Don’t stop because of that. The only way you’ll get better is to fight through it. You can totally do it 🙂
7) Let your characters develop.I like to say that characters will write themselves. You start with a base of what you want, and as you write and your story develops (and as you grow up yourself =P) your characters will probably change a little bit (Or a lot, in some cases). Everything will work out, and it can be reversed if you don’t like it. My characters went through a ton of different forms before what they are now. The old versions were pretty terrible, and now I’m really happy with what they turned out to be.
8) Don’t worry what other people think about your writing.This one is a hard one for me. I’m always terrified to share my writing with others because I’m worried what they’ll think about it and me. What really matters is if you like it or not. That isn’t to say ignore opinions, since sometimes they can really help you, but you can’t write your entire book based on everyone else. If you like it, write it.
9) There are a ton of other writers out there.You are as far from alone as you could be. There are a ton of absolutely amazing people out there. I’m lucky enough to live with the three most supportive people I could, and I know a few other awesome writers, too. I also found a ton of cool people during Nanowrimo, and I know that there are plenty of other places to find writers, as long as you actually look for them. They aren’t exactly a particularly rare type of person =P
10) Last but certainly not least, IT’S ALL WORTH IT!!!All the difficulty of it, all the long hours spent burning your eyes out with your computer screen in the middle of the night trying to finish, everything. It’s worth it. Holding your book in your hands and knowing that you did it is the most encouraging, incredible feeling ever.
I think I’ve rambled for quite long enough now =P I did forget to mention that good music is also amazing to help get you through tough parts (or anything, really), but I really don’t want to mess up my nice list and make it eleven instead of ten.
So, what’s one thing you wish you knew when you started writing?
Talk to you soon, and happy writing, everyone! 😀
Here’s a list of all the other people who participated in this awesome blog chain!
24th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ – The topic for August’s blog chain will be announced.