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!