Advice For a Newbie Writer

Newbie Writer

This is week 4 in our ‘Blog Hop’ and the topic is ‘Advice for Newbie Writers’. Please click on the link at the end of the post to see what other writers are saying. :-)

Writing is a joy. When I was a little girl I dreamt of becoming an author. I used to picture myself sitting down and churning out books. I thought all you had to do was sit at a computer, and turn your imagination into written words. I couldn’t wait to start writing.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. I’ll share my story and give you some advice as you pursue your writing dreams.

I didn’t do anything about my passion for writing for many years. Until one day, after my ex husband cheated on me.

First, I reverted into my shell. Next, I cried and wallowed in self-pity. But that didn’t help the heart ache.

A few days later I sat down quietly by myself. Words started forming in my mind. I grabbed a pen and some paper and started writing. Within a few minutes I wrote a poem about the pain I was feeling. At that moment It was like someone had turned on a creative tap in my head.

That was the start of my journey with writing poems. I wrote many more over the years. Some had nothing to do with emotional pain. One was published in London & Home Counties titled Grandma’s Brew.

Even though I wrote poems because of emotional pain, I enjoyed writing them. I remembered my dream as a little girl, and knew that writing was part of my life. My passion for it grew. I enrolled on a Creative Writing Course with The Writers Bureau to help develop my skills. But family commitments took priority and I wasn’t able to complete the course.

In 1996, I broke up with my second husband. He stalked me and refused to accept the fact that the marriage was over. That experience was quite traumatic. I picked up the pen again. I wrote an article about men who refuse to come to terms with the end of a relationship. The editor commissioned the article, and it was featured in an inspiring magazine for women. The happiness I felt when I saw my first article, ‘When He Won’t Let Go’ in print was amazing. 

I took another long break from writing, because of relationship problems and moving houses.

I started writing again in 2011 when I set up my first blog Miraculous Ladies. I also wrote for Writers in Charge as a team member. And in April 2013 I gave up my teaching job to pursue a full-time career as a copywriter and blogger. I’ve started writing my first novel and I’m really excited about that. My childhood dream is finally coming to pass, by the grace of God.

My tips for newbie writers:

  • Exercise your creative muscles by writing every day. Practice whenever you can. It doesn’t have to be a full story or article. You could start by writing down your thoughts in a journal. They could come in handy later for a story or article ideas. The most important thing though is to write. The more you write, the better you get.
  • Carry a notebook and pen around with you. It’s useful for recording ideas as they come to your mind. As quickly as they come, they disappear. Capture those ideas so you don’t lose them.
  • Take a writing course to brush up on your skills or to help develop new ones. I’m still completing writing courses. If I think they’ll help develop my craft, it’s worth investing time and money in them.
  • Join a local writing group to meet other writers. It’s great to share ideas and get feedback on your writing.
  • If you’re planning a career in writing, you could consider joining a freelance support writing site like The Freelance Writers Den. They have lots of useful resources, bootcamp eCourses, advice, support from the owner, moderators, other members, advertised jobs on there and more. It’s a great site if you’re looking to take your writing career to another level and earn money.
  • Read, read and read some more. Reading improves your writing. It increases your knowledge. Plus, it’s a good way to learn from other writers who inspire you.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you have to put your writing on hold. Never give up on your dreams. Sometimes, the circumstances of life may force you to stop writing for a while. But always remember this. There are many great writers in the cemetery. They died with their dreams. Because they didn’t pursue them while they were alive. You only have one life. Make the best use of it.
  • Be inspired by other people who carried on writing despite great challenges or disabilities. Helen Keller is one of those people. Although she was blind, she wrote books and articles and travelled the world to raise awareness of blindness.

I hope my story and tips will help you on your writing journey. Writing for pleasure is enjoyable and rewarding. However, writing for a living is not easy. So, if you’re pursuing a freelance writing career, then planning, preparation and improving your skills is the key.

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What have you struggled with as a new writer? Do you have a mentor to guide you? Please share your comments in the box below.

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June is a freelance copywriter and blogger. She's also the owner of DivineCopywriter.com and MiraculousLadies.com. June is passionate about sharing knowledge to inspire and motivate you. Subscribe to Arise Single Christian Mummies to get awesome updates. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

32 thoughts on “Advice For a Newbie Writer

  1. Thanks June for sharing your path to writing. It is inspiring.

    I also liked your comment about reading (SO important) and not getting discouraged.

    Leanne Ross
    ( readfaced.wordpress.com & @LeanneRossRF )

    • Thanks for your comments Leanne. I didn’t realise the importance of reading until I took writing seriously. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  2. June,
    Just love this – your story and your advice. I love this the most:
    “But always remember this. There are many great writers in the cemetery. They died with their dreams.”

    Fear has kept too many inspiring writers from writing. God says, “Do not fear”. So we need to take one step and then another.

    Blessings,
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

    • Janis, fear is a big obstacle. Sometimes I let it get the better of me by thinking I’m not a good enough writer. That’s until I remember that God gave me this talent. And all I need to do is ask Him for wisdom and guidance. Focusing on Him is so important for me.

      Thanks for your comments. God bless.

  3. June, thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m always amazed at how God takes our pain and uses it for His glory. If we sat in an attic and just wrote, we’d very quickly run out of interesting things to write about. It sounds like you have a wealth of ideas :)

    • Yes God does that all the time. And it’s good because it reminds us that He is in control. Plus it gives us great testimonies to share with others. I have too many ideas sometimes and I tend to flip from one to the other. That’s not good. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

    • Thanks Janice. My life is a testimony and it’s influenced my writing a lot. :-)

  4. June, some very good advice here. I often wish I had remembered to take a notebook with me when I go out. I’ve been known to ask shop assistants and cafe staff for pen and paper. They always help.
    You have a very positive attitude to everything that’s happened in your life – I know it’s God, supporting you.

    • Bobbie, if it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be here now. I’d be in the grave. It’s funny, but I didn’t realise how much He loved me, even when I was living in deep sin. But despite everything I went through, He was always there for me. God is my life-line and I thank Him for what He’s doing in my life.

      About the notebook and pen, yes, it’s always good to have one. Ideas come at the least unexpected times. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  5. Great advice! Many of these are the same as what I listed. I’ve also put my writing on hold at times (such as during university when I was just writing papers). Writing courses are definitely helpful and are readily available these days, online or at local colleges/universities or through local libraries and writer’s groups. :) Thanks for sharing and dropping by my blog!

    • Thanks Bonnie. Yes I find writing courses really useful. The more you know the more confident you’ll be, especially when applying for writing jobs. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. :-)

  6. Great advice, June. I appreciate your story and the way God used painful circumstances to bring your childhood dream back into your life.

    • God is awesome. When I first started writing, I didn’t even realise that God was at work in my life. But my dream was born through the pain. He used those sad times to put me on the road to my destiny as a writer. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  7. I have been writing since a child as well and started out with poetry. Your advice is wonderful!

    • Thanks Patti. Writing poems was a great healing therapy for me. I appreciate your comments. :-)

  8. All great advice, especially “never give up”. I wrote for fifteen years before I was published. I had many thoughts of quitting over those years. I’m so glad I stuck it out.

    -RB

    • It’s easy to give up when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. But persistence does pay off. I’m glad you stuck it out. That’s encouraging! Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  9. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with us June. Great advice – very well thought out and written. I especially loved the idea of being inspired by those who pursued their dreams in spite of overwhelming challenges – something we all need to remind ourselves of when the going gets a little rough.

    • I think we all need to be inspired sometimes. Writing is not an easy task. But it makes it easier knowing that others who faced difficulties made it because of their determination. We should learn from them. Thanks for stopping by Sara. :-)

    • I know! The twists and turns of life’s journey is amazing. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  10. I love how you kept coming back to writing, June! And your post reminds me that I need to start carrying around a notebook and pen again (I’ve got out of the habit!).

    • It seems that no matter what I did, writing was always there waiting for me to come home. :-) I’m glad I didn’t give up. Although, trying to make a living as a writer is tough. There are days when I wonder if I’ve made the right choice. But I’ll hang in there and do the best I can. Thanks for your comments Violet. :-)

  11. June, you’re younger than I am… when I wrote as a child, we had no idea about computers. I had a little portable typewriter and thought that was pretty fancy :) Thanks for sharing your story, and I’m glad you’ve found a way to encourage others with your writing. I appreciate what you said about accepting those seasons when we can’t write. We don’t need to despair and think “it’s over!” because it’ll probably come back again in due time.

    • Janet, I’m not that young. I remember the typewriters. :-) I love encouraging because I believe writing is a gift that should be shared.

      What you said about not despairing when we have to put writing on hold is so true. Once you’re a writer, you’ll always be a writer. It doesn’t matter how many years you take off from writing.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a good weekend. :-)

        • I think it was a blessing meeting you. I’m glad you commented on my blog. I believe God put people in our lives for a reason. Enjoy your week. :-)

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