Here are my top tips for writing. They have really helped me out since I started writing on a regular basis:
1. Tell yourself you are a writer. I came out as a writer in September of last year and the more I say it the more I believe it. Check out my first blog post. You heard it here first!
2. Try and write something, however little, every day. Try Helen’s 100 words a day blog. I have found it really works and stops writing becoming something you dread.
3. Try and stay away from the TV/Facebook/You tube (its easier said than done I know) – these are my biggest distractions of all time. I have to sit in my room where the telly has not got very good reception, but I am currently addicted to Lauren Lukes makeup videos on You Tube. Having said that its nice to have breaks and they can sometimes allow for ideas to come through when they are not being forced out.
4. A laptop is good to have or a computer as if you are like me it is impossible to read back my own writing. Internet is great for research, just as long as its research for your writing and not what eyeshadow you should be wearing that day!
5. Be organised – Y writer is a great tool to use. I read about this on Paige’s blog and it has helped me organise the novel I’m writing. It was in such a mess so thanks to Paige for blogging about that (and to Calistro for pointing it out). This is a tool for editing but as my novel was looking like a tarantino movie I had to use this while still in the writing stage.
6. Write a blog or keep a diary – whatever you like. I have noticed some You Tubers even do it. I don’t look too great on camera so I don’t think I will be doing that any time soon.
7. Join the community – you have no idea how many people there are in your shoes. I thought I was the only one who wanted to be a writer but couldn’t and I’m not. I have had so much help with my writing be it advice, encouragement, links to competitions, useful website etc. The most helpful person I know (I have never met her in person I should note) is Calistro so a big thank you and shout out to you if you are reading this.
8. Enter competitions. I have entered a few now and although I haven’t won any its built up my confidence and I have had some advice from one editor in particular who wants to publish one of my stories.
9. Always keep a notebook handy. You have no idea when inspiration strikes. You can be in the bath, half asleep in bed, on the toilet, standing up on the bus. It always happens to me in those places. I think its because I’ve switched off and not really thinking about anything which allows the ideas to come to the surface. (obviously I know you wouldn’t have a notebook while on the toilet but keep one as close as possible.
10. Learn to take criticism and advice. You can join writers forums where you can post stuff and have it critiqued by fellow writers. If this is daunting for you (like me) you can ask a friend or relative to read your work and tell you what they like/don’t like. My sister and my mum are my target audience so I always ask them to critique my work.
I have loads more so I will keep adding these for anyone who is interested. Please comment with your top tips too!
PS As a kind of a MeMe I tag anyone who wants to post their top ten tips (let me know if you do so I can come over and learn a thing or two!)