11 Things I Wish I Knew For My First Year Of Writing

When I first started writing, I wasted a lot of time worrying about how bad my writing was. I read articles about how to get better at writing and tried to implement as many things as possible, but it felt like nothing was working. 

At times, I hated that I didn’t know what kind of writing I wanted to do. Writing careers feel so out-of-reach when you’re just starting. 

For a long time, the only thing that made me feel better was just not thinking or talking about my failures and pushing forward with the hope that one day something would change (spoiler: it did!).

So in this post, I’m going to share 11 things with you that will hopefully help you understand different aspects of being a writer and more importantly help make the journey feel less lonely than it can sometimes be.

15 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Writer – YouTube
Key Takeaways
1. Embrace the learning curve and don’t be discouraged.
2. Consistency is key – write regularly to improve.
3. Seek feedback and be open to constructive criticism.
4. Set achievable goals to track your writing progress.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others – focus on your journey.
6. Edit and revise your work to enhance its quality.
7. Develop a writing routine that fits your schedule.
8. Overcome self-doubt and believe in your abilities.
9. Read widely to expand your writing style and voice.
10. Network with fellow writers for support and growth.
11. Celebrate small successes and milestones along the way.

1. Writing Is Hard

Writing Is Hard Because It’s Work

I know that sounds like a silly thing to say, but I don’t think many people who haven’t tried writing realize just how much effort goes into putting together a piece of writing as long as this one. 

It’s hard not only in terms of thinking up ideas and drafting and editing and polishing but also in terms of sitting down at your desk day after day, staring at an empty screen until the words start flowing out of you.

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Writing Is Hard Because It Requires You To Be Honest And Vulnerable

It may seem obvious when we’re talking about something as personal as writing about yourself or your experiences.

But honestly being vulnerable with yourself and with other people through your work can be scary, especially if you’re used to keeping things bottled up inside yourself (which everyone is more or less at all times). 

Writing requires that we get comfortable being vulnerable with ourselves before we can tell our stories effectively; otherwise, they’ll just come out sounding fake or forced instead of authentic.

2. You Are Going To Suck For A Long Time

That’s okay. It’s not a bad thing and it’s not a failure. You need to practice to get better. The more you practice writing, the better you will become at it no matter what kind of writing you do or how old you are when you start. 

And even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, every day that goes by where you are writing is another day closer to being awesome!

You won’t get there overnight (or next week, or next month). So don’t get discouraged if things don’t improve as fast as they could be; remember that success is measured in increments rather than leaps and bounds.

3. Don’t Worry About Sucking For A Long Time

You are going to suck. You will suck for a long time, in fact, and that’s okay. You don’t have to be the best at anything; you just have to enjoy it and be willing to put in the work.

The same goes for everyone else there will always be people who are better than you, but that doesn’t mean you should stop doing what you love because someone else is better than you at it (or so good-looking or smart or on top of their game).

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4. If You Like Your Writing, Don’t Feel Bad About That Either

Some people will hate your writing. Some people will think it’s absolute garbage, and they’ll tell you as much.

I get it. It sucks to hear that. But don’t let it get you down!

It’s okay if people don’t like what you write in fact, it’s completely normal that they won’t! Even the greatest writer in history had critics and haters out there trying to tear them down. 

The truth is that most people aren’t going to enjoy everything (or even most things) about a piece of work including what you’ve written! 

And that doesn’t mean anything about how good or bad your writing is; it just means that different things appeal differently to different readers/viewers/listeners/etc., 

So don’t worry about whether or not someone else likes your stuff on an individual level because any one person might genuinely dislike something for personal reasons rather than objective ones anyway.

5. Not Everyone Will Like Your Writing, And Some People Will Hate It

I’ve been working on my writing for over ten years now, and I have made some amazing friends along the way. 

But some people just don’t like my work. Some of them will tell me straight up, “I can’t stand your genre/style/characters.” Others will say it in their heads, but not out loud they’ll avoid any interaction with me at all costs.

And you know what? That’s fine! All we can do is write what we feel inspired to write and hope that others enjoy our stories as much as we enjoyed writing them! If someone doesn’t enjoy a book or story of mine and it turns out they hate everything else I write too that’s okay!

6. No One Was Born Knowing How To Write Well

No one was born knowing how to write well. Writing is a skill that requires practice, just like any other skill. You will get better over time if you keep working at it, and the only way to do that is by doing it more often and paying attention to your work as you go along.

You’ll learn from your mistakes as well as from others’ mistakes. Reading and watching other people’s writing can be invaluable for learning about what works and what doesn’t in fiction (and even nonfiction). 

Don’t just settle into a rut where nothing gets done or changes; look around at what other people have done before you, see how they’ve approached subjects or characters in different ways than yours did then try putting some of their approaches into practice yourself!

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7. Everyone Has Different Tastes In Writing And Will Love Different Kinds Of Things

First, you need to realize that some people will love your writing and some people will hate it. It’s not always easy to write for someone else. You might be able to write something that some readers find uninteresting and other readers love it. 

This can be difficult because if you’re trying to please everyone, then there’s no way that you’ll succeed at this goal.

Some people like short stories while others prefer novels; some people prefer nonfiction while others prefer fiction; some people enjoy reading historical biographies while others enjoy reading fantasy novels; etc. 

There are so many different kinds of books available today, which means that there is no one set type of book or genre out there for everyone!

8. It’s OK If You Don’t Know What You Want To Write Yet

You don’t have to know what you want to write yet. It’s not just that I didn’t know, either. I still don’t know! 

I’m writing a book right now and I’ve been at it for over two years, but I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it is that my book needs for me to be happy with it when it’s finished. 

This can be intimidating if you’re in your first year of writing because that means that you have no idea if this whole thing is going to work or not. 

You might feel like a failure because all those other authors who seem so confident and successful probably already had their next projects lined up before they even finished the last one.

In reality though? They might not have their next project lined up yet either or maybe they do, but they aren’t sharing their plans with anyone else just yet (for various reasons). 

The point is: don’t worry about what other people are doing with their careers; instead focus on what YOU want for yourself and go from there!

9. It’s Not Always Easy To Find A Writing Career Or Even Make Money From Writing

Writing is a skill that can be learned, but it’s not always easy to find a writing career or even make money from writing. 

Many people do not succeed as writers. If you’re hoping to become a writer and make money from your work, here are some things I wish I knew before starting my journey into this field:

Writing is not an easy job. Before you start making money as a writer, you’ll need to invest time and energy into honing your craft.

There are many different ways to make money as a writer depending on who/what needs what kind of writing done (e-books vs articles vs blogs vs books). 

Writers need to know their audience well so they can create content for them accordingly – otherwise, no one will pay attention!

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10. It’s Not Enough To Just Be Dedicated

It’s not enough to just be dedicated. You have to be smart and creative too. You have to know when you’ve made a mistake, or when someone else has made a mistake, and how to learn from that mistake. 

You need to know how to recognize when something is working for someone else so that you can use it in your work (or at least avoid doing what they’re doing).

11. Working Hard Also Means Doing Things That Don’t Seem Fun Or Glamorous

One of the most important lessons I learned in my first year as a writer was that working hard also means doing things that don’t seem fun or glamorous. 

It’s important to be willing to do the boring stuff because it is often what helps you make progress in your career and become a better writer.

Not only does this mean doing things like writing drafts or editing them until they are perfect, but it also includes doing things like researching topics that interest you or networking with people in your industry. 

Sometimes these tasks can feel tedious, but if you want to succeed as an author then you must be willing to do them!

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I hope this list has helped you realize that it’s OK to not have everything figured out. I also hope it has helped you see that you can have fun with your writing and still be a successful writer. 

Remember, there are no rules for being a writer except for working hard at what you love! So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Further Reading

Explore more insights and advice from fellow writers:

15 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Writing: Discover valuable lessons and tips from a seasoned writer’s personal journey.

11 Things I Wish I’d Known About Writing 11 Years Ago: Gain wisdom from an author reflecting on their writing experiences over the years.

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Writing a Book: Learn from another writer’s insights about the journey of writing a book.


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