Tips from an Unpublished Writer #1

I know what you’re thinking.

“Why in the hell would I want to take advice from someone who’s not published?”

Well, the answer to that is simple. Why not?

And quite frankly, that’s the first tip and quite possibly, the most important tip. Some would have you believe that the most important tip is to “write every day”.  Others will tell you the most important tip is to “write even when you feel like you don’t want to”. I cannot argue with those. They are absolutely important, perhaps important enough to be classified as 1A and 1B. But I would submit to you that an even more important tip is this…

Connect with, learn from and listen to other writers…whether they are published or not.

Many moons ago, I was a private investigator. When I began that career I had ZERO experience. I’d watched and studied people well enough throughout my years, but there is more to the job than that. And so I was trained. I worked with virtually every investigator within the agency in the first few months. Some had years of experience, some had months of experience and a few had only weeks of experience. But I absorbed everything I could from each one of them and through that I found what worked for me. Additionally, I found myself running into obstacles that often times only another investigator could comprehend, understand…or care about. By surrounding myself with other investigators, by developing a support system connected by that common thread, I became better at my job, more secure, more productive and in the end, more enthusiastic about my profession.

I’ve found the same with my writing. When I was writing poetry, I found that to be a very cathartic, solitary act. It helped me get through the day. Once I moved toward short stories and novels, well, it was certainly a solitary act, but I had no real clue about what I was doing. My writing improved though when I joined a writing group. It improved when I spoke to and listened to other writers…and it did not matter to me if they’d written for a day or several decades. Their thoughts, their words, their mere presence was simply invaluable and inspiring.


We live in a world where we can easily become distracted by the business of life. Actually, when you think about it, we live in a world where we can easily become distracted by the meaningless and trivial events of life. A sure fire fix to help you re-focus is to place yourself in a position where you are surrounded by folks with similar dreams, goals and challenges. Find out what works for others. Find out how they’ve managed to work through obstacles and distractions. Develop a support system connected by a common thread and then you’ll find a system that works for you and continues to motivate and inspire you on a daily basis.

Then move on to 1A and 1B.

Whether you publish or not, you will at least be secure, confident…and happy!



About My PoeticJustus

Look, I'll be honest. These "about me" sections drive me nuts. Basically because I'm awful at self promotion. Ok, not so much awful as, uncertain. I mean, what do I say? How much do I share? Do people really care? Here's what I'll do. I'll share some info and you can just decide what you like and what you don't. Deal? Cool!! So, I am Chicago born writer moonlighting as a mental health professional. Now, my paycheck and bank account would tell you that the opposite is true. But in my heart, I'm a writer. I have a few characters that I am very passionate about and some stories to tell and in between there, I have thoughts to share. Some are serious, some are funny...ok...most are funny. Nothing brings me more joy than stirring up the pot, pointing out hypocrisy, and getting people to think outside the box and challenge their long held beliefs. I don't want to change your mind or your habits...just think of me as the Devil's Advocate. So hey! Sit back, take a read, and feel free to let me know what you think. See ya around cyberspace!! Dennis
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s