Writing Life

6 Things I Want New Writers to Know

Lately I’ve seen a lot of newbie writers discovering their passion, and it makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.

And proud. There’s a definite feeling of pride for you guys.

So today, here’s a post dedicated to you lovely new writers!

1. YOU’RE AMAZING

You felt the need to write. You had an idea that just had to come out.

And you went for it.

That takes real courage. 

Writing is a scary adventure, but you jumped right in anyway. You’re amazing.

2. WRITING IS HARD BUT HEY, EVERYTHING’S HARD

Writing is amazing. But I’m not gonna lie: you won’t always love it.

Some days the words won’t come easy. Your character won’t corporate. Your plot might go out the window because it’s just so difficult to get right.

But I’m here to tell you: that’s normal!

Growth comes from struggle. In my experience with writing, if you’re struggling, that just means you’re about to make a huge breakthrough.

3. ONE SETBACK WON’T KILL YOU

Every day I see writers giving up their craft because of one setback. Even published authors throw in the towel over a one-star review or a poor piece of advice.

Please don’t let that be you.

There are times when leaving something is the healthiest thing to do. But, while there are some exceptions, one setback or one discouraging day is not a valid reason to quit.

Setbacks will come, and they might be brutal. But you can overcome them!

4. WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE

What do you love most in this world? Write about that.

Write what you’re passionate about.

Write what you know is true.

Even write your favorite everyday objects into your story. (e.g. red lipstick, old books, cinnamon lattes, stormy mornings.)

5. OWN YOUR TITLE

I’m constantly seeing people who are passionate about their writing refer to themselves as “aspiring writers.”

So please let me clear this up.

Writer does not equal published.

A writer is someone who writes. That’s it.

Of course, try not to over-identify with the title “writer” – everyone is more than one thing, and you should acknowledge that. But if you write, and you are passionate about it: call yourself a writer!

6. DREAM BIG

When I first started writing, I daydreamed about book signings and being a New York Times bestseller.

I imagined having a collection of real people who enjoy my books. I loved – and still do! – the concept of being able to call myself an “author.”

If I had dismissed those dreams as too “out there,” I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.

So please, by all means: dream big! Dream wild, massive dreams! And then, work to make them come true.


Some bonus tips:

  • Use Pinterest for your writing, and here’s why.
  • National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) takes place every November, and it’s great for getting your first draft on paper!
  • And if NaNoWriMo is too daunting, Camp NaNoWriMo takes place in April and July with customizable word-counts.
  • Write at your own pace, but challenge yourself.
  • Take your writing seriously.
  • Read well in your genre.
  • Acknowledge that not everyone will like your writing.

And, above all:

  • You can do this!

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