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.
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.
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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