Every author was, at some point, a wanna-be author.
That was me about a year ago. Even though I have been writing my entire life, I only recently finished penning my first novel. Yes, it only took about 50 or so years for me to get serious (or maybe brave?) about this mission!
It was a labor of love and also one of dedication.
But now that the monumental task of writing that first draft is behind me, I actually feel like I have something to offer other wanna-be authors. I have narrowed it down to three secrets that all new writers should embrace.
1. Find Other Writers
You NEED writer friends. You might not realize this at first (I didn’t), but you do. Writer friends will listen to you speak about your characters for hours as if you know them. They will suggest plot changes you never thought of. They know the lingo. They will read your work and give you critical feedback. Most importantly, they will motivate you when others don’t know how to.
Where do you find these writer friends? Just about anywhere. You might know other writers already. Ask if he/she would be willing to be part of your writing support network. You could attend a writing conference (and get friendly!). Ask at your local library. Check out online writing forums such as AbsoluteWrite, Scribophile , and of course NaNoWriMo. Just find them.
Need some more ideas? Read this.
2. Be a Student of Writing
This is the year 2018. Since the Internet was basically invented in the 1990s, it’s been around for almost 30 years. And information has been added to the Internet every second since then and the rate continues to accelerate. According to a recent Forbes.com article, we are creating “2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day.”
That’s a LOT of data, and I don’t even know what a “quintillion” is!!
So with all this ever-evolving information floating out on the web, I Googled the hell out of “how to write a book.” And I learned. And I got motivated. And then I wrote my damn novel. So that now makes me a new author!
Here are just a few sites that have offered an invaluable nugget or two to get me where I am. Perhaps they will help you as well!
Start with his How to Write a Book Guide, but be sure to check out his site for other free, downloadable guides. And sign up for his email list. Lots of down-to-earth tips and motivation!
Sign up for emails and get a slew of articles sent to you. Everything from how to establish an author brand to how to write a query letter. The site also has writing prompts and author interviews, if you need additional motivation. Want to spend money to make money? They offer tutorials, webinars, and even an annual conference.
Just found this one recently, and it looks promising! It has an “idea generator” and an “emotion thesaurus,” so what’s not to love?!
Everyone talks about Scrivener as the best writing software out there. Clearly, it has a lot going for it, although there is a large learning curve involved. Instead, I suggest giving Novelize a try. Granted, it can’t do anything close to what to Scrivener can, but if you just want simple novel-writing software with outlining and note-taking capabilities, this might work for you. Novelize’s BIGGEST feature? It’s a web-based writing app, so you can access it from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Take advantage of the 17-day free trial. And let me know what you think.
3. Get Motivated
Find bloggers that you connect with and read their stuff: for inspiration, for ideas, for camaraderie. Write motivational sayings or a meaningful mantra on Post-It Notes and stick them all over your house, your desk, wherever you need it. Make yourself accountable by telling family and friends that you are writing a book.
Some of my favorite sites:
Tall Poppy Writers – Excellent book reviews and giveaways, author interviews, and some interesting blog posts. Check out the “Writing Isn’t Sexy” blog. Not only that, this blog is written by a slew of female fiction authors, a.k.a. “The Poppies.” (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of becoming a Poppy someday!)
Austin Kleon – Not a traditional novelist, but funny as hell. His blog is one part art, two parts history lesson, and 100% entertainment.
M.Blazoned – She’s not a writer, but she’s a mom. Who is hilarious. And real. And hilarious. She and I really should be best friends! I read her stuff when I want to feel that we are all in this crazy merry-go-round together. In short, I love her.
And last but certainly not least, nobody can drop an “F’ bomb like Mark Manson. He wrote a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I haven’t read it yet, but he’s got me thinking already! This dude has a way of writing that pulls my brain from my skull, rolls it around in sand, and leaves me picking the grains out for hours. I don’t know what that means exactly, but the guy has a way with words. Wish I could write shit like that.
And finally, a few terrific blog posts:
Short video for inspiration!
Now that you know the three secrets every wanna-be author should know, there is only one thing left to do. GET STARTED!!
Don’t Go Yet…I have a small favor to ask…
If you are an author (and if you are trying to write a book, you ARE an author!), what sites have you used to hone your craft? Please share in the comments below to help other fledgling writers.
OK…now you can go! XO