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It's OK That You're A New Writer

I'm no longer a newbie writer, but I still need to remind myself of these 3 tips. If you feel you've been struggling with attempts to do some writing of your own, it might not be that you need to invest in writing courses or personal coaches, but that you need to sit yourself down and have a heart to heart with yourself.

"Yes, yes, self-esteem, Mrs. A, we get it." OK, yes, I'm referring to self-esteem, but just saying the word 'self-esteem' doesn't help some. So let me break it down a little more:

  • "Build with the stones you stumble upon."

Some of the stumbling blocks that you find yourself tripping over aren't just there to block you but are the building blocks you need to get ahead. Those who cut you down are trying to show you where your work could be improved. Those who insist you'll never be rich writing are giving you a gift.

"Mean people are a gift to me? You're joking." Am I? Think of how that drives you to want to prove to them that you can do it? Don't you get that voice inside saying 'Yes, I can!' whenever naysayers are critiquing? We need encouragement in life, of course. But those who say we "can't" are encouraging us to stand up for ourselves and our writing. Don't hide from them. Hearing the good and the bad can keep you on track better than just blind accolades.

  • "Only use positive words when doing a self critique."

Yet, when it comes to looking at what you've done, don't cut yourself down. Nobody knows the work you've put into that manuscript better than you. So be gentle with yourself. They don't know how many times you were interrupted today. They don't know all the other stuff you have on your plate. But you do. So why cut yourself down?

"But, I know it's just not good enough." Honor the process and don't just hit delete at the end of every night. Write it and let it live or die on the page. Keep it. How you'll appreciate all those drafts years from now. Each attempt gets you closer to your goal. You'll be able to look back and see such progress! You're the best you today you've ever been. Hold that precious effort from today and thank your self for the effort.

  • "Focus on achieving small goals."

Setting a goal of a 300 page novel is NOT a bad thing - but staring at 300 blank pages of paper that are waiting for you can be VERY intimidating. Even one scene can have a lot going on for one day. After a while, you may find yourself doing the worst chores to avoid sitting down and feeling immediately defeated.d

"I don't just want to write short stories." Of course not! But why not start small? Challenge yourself to fill one page every day. If that's too much, do one good paragraph every day. And no endless editing! Get it down on paper and if you reach the bottom margin and are on a roll, finish your thought and congratulate yourself. Keep to a small goal every day. One page a day for a year IS the 300 page manuscript of your dreams.

If you are a newbie writer, hang in there. You CAN do it and your stories ARE worth writing. Don't ever let anyone tell you to change the way you write or to stop writing altogether. Be reasonable and realize you're most likely NOT going to suddenly become ridiculously wealthy or famous from what you do - but it IS still worth doing anyway. Let me know what tips helped you. I love hearing from everyone!

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