Writing a book is like no other experience in the world. It’s a mix of emotions, like joy and fear, excitement and anxiety. There are also things that you will wish someone told you before you started writing your book. Here’s what they are:
|Embrace the challenges of the writing journey.
|Setting a writing schedule can boost productivity.
|Don’t wait for the “perfect” time to start writing.
|Editing and revising are essential for polished work.
|Seeking feedback helps refine your writing.
|Building a supportive writing community is valuable.
|Writing what you’re passionate about enhances your work.
|Emphasize character development for engaging stories.
|Research adds depth and authenticity to your writing.
|Persistence is key in overcoming obstacles.
|Balancing creativity and structure is crucial.
|Read widely to expand your writing horizons.
|Self-care and breaks contribute to sustained creativity.
|Celebrate your achievements along the writing journey.
Writing Is Like Dancing
It’s not a sport, but you do have to exercise and practice to get good at it. You also need to be flexible and able to change your routine if your body won’t let you keep doing the same thing over and over again.
You might have bad days where you feel like nothing works for you, but that doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong it just means that today was not the day for your dance steps! Permit yourself to take a break from writing if that’s what feels best in the moment, then come back tomorrow ready for new ideas and fresh inspiration.
Each of us learns different ways of dancing; some people learn by watching others perform their moves on stage while others prefer reading up on books about dance theory before picking up their first pair of ballet slippers (or laptops).
Some people are extroverted enough that they can walk around with headphones playing music loudly so they don’t miss any steps while others need quiet space around them so they don’t get distracted by other dancers’ mistakes (or even worse: other dancers’ successes!). There are no wrong answers here; just find what works best for YOU!
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Writing Is A Skill And Craft
Writing is a skill.
It can be learned, and it can be improved with practice. You’re not born with the ability to write; you develop it over time by learning how to do it, just like you would learn any other craft or trade.
And yet, when people talk about writing as though it’s some kind of innate talent (which is nonsense), they tend to forget that this applies even more so for them than for those who haven’t yet developed the skill of writing.
If you’re reading this article, chances are pretty good that someone has already told you something about how writing works but if not, here’s what I’d say:
Writing Is Also A Craft
A lot of people think of “craft” as being synonymous with “art,” but there’s no reason why that should be true; crafts are just skills that require specialized tools and materials to make things (like carpentry).
Writing requires specialized tools like computers and pens; but more importantly (and unlike carpentry), writing also requires specialized knowledge about storytelling techniques to ensure your story comes out right!
There are rules governing everything from character development down through plot points; if ever there were an activity where one could claim mastery without having first learned its principles then surely it would be here!
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Write For Yourself First
It’s tempting to think about what other people will want to read, but don’t do that. Write for yourself first. I was so focused on the audience, trying to guess what they wanted and writing something “accessible” that I didn’t enjoy my writing until it was finished.
Write something you are passionate about and excited about (and interested in). If you are bored with your book because it seems like a chore, then neither your readers nor agents/editors will be excited or interested either!
Decide How You Want To Write Your Book
Choose a writing style that is comfortable for you. If you’re an extrovert who loves the spotlight, that might mean choosing a fiction format and writing in the first person.
On the other hand, if you’re an introvert whose idea of heaven is hiding in your bedroom with a good book and some coffee, then perhaps nonfiction would be more your speed and it could also give you some valuable experience with interviews and research.
Choose a writing style that will make the most of your skills. If editing is what gets under your skin (or into it), then consider starting with nonfiction work where editing is easier but publishing can be harder; conversely, if composing words excites you more than editing them does, go ahead and write fiction!
Choose a writing style that will make the most of your strengths. Do people frequently tell others about how smart or funny or thoughtful they are?
Then maybe those things aren’t so many strengths as they are expected behaviors; instead focus on what makes YOU unique: Are there other ways in which people respond well when interacting with YOU? Those may be areas where YOUR strengths lie!
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If You Are Writing Non-Fiction, Do The Research First
Research is the foundation of good writing, and it’s also a great time saver. Not only does it help you write better, but it can save you time in other ways as well. For example:
The research will help avoid common mistakes and pitfalls when writing your book. If you don’t take the time to do your homework on what others have done before, then it’s likely that at some point during your writing process (or even after publication), someone may point out that there was something wrong with what you wrote all along (whether intentionally or inadvertently).
This can happen because people often repeat things without knowing they’ve been said before and if they haven’t read any of those other books or articles themselves, they won’t know any better either!
The research will also help avoid common misconceptions about things like best practices for publishing eBooks vs paperbacks vs hardbacks; which types of companies are best suited for particular types of jobs; etcetera ad infinitum ad nauseam [etcetera ad infinitum ad nauseam].
Outline Your Book, But Be Flexible About It.
This is a phrase that I never heard from anyone until after I had finished writing my first book. However, it might have been the most valuable piece of advice that I got during the whole process of writing my first book. If you ask me what the single most important thing is to remember as you write your book it’s this: don’t get too attached to your outline!
The reason for this is simple: as you start to write your manuscript and gain momentum in your storytelling (which will happen), there will be times where something comes up in the middle of writing that makes perfect sense but doesn’t fit into what was originally planned.
This could be a new idea or topic that came out of nowhere and now seems essential for inclusion in your work (or maybe it’s just something fun that would add some color). Whatever it may be, don’t resist these impulses go with them!
Trusting yourself enough to allow such spontaneity into your project can lead to better results than sticking strictly to an outline created beforehand.
Writing Your First Draft Is About Getting The Words Down
- You don’t have to be a great writer. You just need to write.
- You don’t have to worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation in your first draft. Just get the words down on the page, even if they are all over the place and make no sense. (I certainly skipped some of these steps when writing my first novel.)
Don’t worry about how long your first draft is in terms of word count because it doesn’t matter yet! The only thing that matters is getting those words down on paper (or screen).
If you have 100,000 words written when you finish a first draft that’s fine you can always cut them back later in editing but if all you manage is 1,000 words then that’s fine too!
Either way, what matters most right now is getting those 1k or 100k out there for others to see instead of keeping them locked inside your head forever more.* Don’t judge yourself as a writer during this time either; instead concentrate on making sure everyone else knows how amazing this book will be once it hits stores/shelves around town!
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Learn How To Receive Criticism Without Being Defensive Of Your Work
You may indeed be an expert on the subject of your book, but it doesn’t mean that every reader will agree with you. There are going to be readers who don’t like it at all! It’s important to remember this as you write that some people won’t like what you wrote and start learning how to take criticism in stride.
Don’t take criticism personally or feel attacked by it if someone says they didn’t enjoy something about your book or found a part confusing or difficult to read. Instead, focus on what was said and see what improvements can be made moving forward (i.e., “I want more details,” “I wish this part was explained better”).
Don’t Expect People To Understand Everything You Pour Into A Book Just Because They Read It
You will not be able to craft a book that every person who reads it understands. Your writing is going to be full of things that you know, but your reader may not.
You have to leave room for your reader’s imagination, which means you can’t just tell them everything about the story or how it ends up.
You need to give them enough information so they can fill in the rest with their imagination, but there’s no way for anyone else to know all the things that are inside your head when you write a book because no one else has lived and breathed this experience as you have.
Some people think that if someone doesn’t get everything about your book then they’re stupid or don’t deserve an explanation from you which isn’t true at all!
It takes time and patience (not really) before people understand things they’ve never learned before; reading should be fun! So don’t feel bad if some people don’t get what makes literature so special: we’re all learning new skills every day!”
There Comes A Point When You Cannot Make Improvements To Your Book By Editing It Alone Anymore
The best way to get feedback is to ask for it.
I know that’s a lame and obvious statement, but I think people often forget this or don’t take it seriously enough. It’s not enough to just ask someone if they like your book; you need to ask specific questions about what they like or dislike about the story and characters.
Ask them why they feel that way and if there are specific passages where they felt confused, bored, or excited by the storyline or dialogue.
If you can get feedback from 10 people, then you have a lot more information than just one person telling you that their favorite part was when Steve punched out his boss because he got fired for showing up late after getting drunk at lunch with his buddies again…every day!
Everything Can Improve With Feedback And Editing
Let me tell you about editing. It is a process, and it does not have to be done linearly. You can make changes as necessary at any point during the writing process and even after your book has been published.
Sometimes, things will improve with each edit other times, they won’t! But don’t worry about it too much because there will always be another chance to make improvements when you start thinking about the next book in the series or when your publisher asks for revisions after publication (which happens more often than not).
What I want you to take away from this is that editing is an ongoing journey of discovery and surprises. Don’t be afraid if things change along the way; just keep working at it until you get where you want to go!
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Editing Is A Journey Of Discovery And Surprises
Editing is a journey of discovery and surprises. When you are writing your book, you think the story is so clear in your mind that it is going to flow from pen to paper without any problems.
You may even get past the first draft without realizing that some things need to be changed or cut out altogether. Editing will show you that what you thought was an important part of the story might not be necessary after all or maybe it needs major work before it makes sense with everything else.
It may also make you see things in characters that weren’t there before! It’s a process where every step can bring discoveries to light, so don’t expect anything predictable at all!
It’s Pretty Hard To Get Everything Right The First Time Around, So Don’t Be Afraid To Revise And Rewrite
The writing process is a process. You will probably think of things you want to change when you are done, and that’s okay. It’s normal! You don’t have to get it perfect the first time around.
One thing I wish someone had told me was that I needed to revise and rewrite my book multiple times before it was ready for publishing. Writing a book is like building something: it takes time and effort, some trial and error, and maybe even some failures along the way (sorry, I’m making this analogy too easy).
You may have heard of famous authors who wrote their books in one draft without any edits or revisions but those are outliers with their own set of challenges that most people don’t face when writing a book (or anything else). Most of us will need multiple drafts before we feel like our work is ready for publication!
The first thing anyone needs to know is that writing a book is hard work. It might sound easy – sitting at a computer and typing away for hours on end, right? Wrong!
Writing can be grueling and exhausting, but it’s also incredibly rewarding when you finally put your finished product in front of readers who enjoy it. So here are some things I wish someone told me about writing books before I started my first novel.
7 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Writing Short Description: Gain valuable insights from a seasoned writer’s perspective on 7 key aspects of the writing process.
8 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Writing My First Book Short Description: Discover 8 essential lessons and tips to consider before diving into the process of writing your first book.
For Writers Who Have Trouble Starting Short Description: Overcome writer’s block and learn strategies for getting started on your writing journey.
And here’s the “FAQs” section with questions and answers:
How can I overcome writer’s block and start writing?
Writer’s block can be challenging, but there are techniques you can try to get started. Experiment with free writing, setting a timer for short bursts of focused writing, or changing your writing environment to spark creativity.
What are some common challenges in the writing process?
Writing can come with hurdles like self-doubt, lack of motivation, and difficulty maintaining a consistent writing schedule. Seeking support from writing communities, setting realistic goals, and practicing self-care can help overcome these challenges.
How do I find inspiration for my writing?
Inspiration can be found in various ways, such as reading widely, observing everyday life, exploring different perspectives, and delving into personal experiences. Keeping a journal or idea notebook can also help capture sparks of inspiration.
How can I improve the quality of my writing?
Improving writing quality involves consistent practice, revising and editing, and seeking feedback from peers or mentors. Reading diverse literature and studying writing craft can also enhance your skills and storytelling techniques.
What should I do if I feel stuck in the middle of my writing project?
Feeling stuck is a common experience. Take a step back and reevaluate your plot, characters, or structure. You could also try writing a scene from a different perspective, or even take a short break to gain a fresh perspective before diving back in.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.