Having recently written my first novel, after two years in the making, I thought I’d put down a few things I learnt along the way.
1. Don’t think it’s beyond you. Everyone has it is them to be creative, you just have to find something you are passionate about and be true to yourself.
2. Never worry about what other people will think. Writing is a passion, a way to express yourself. I wrote my book for myself, not concerned about whether others would enjoy it or not….although I’m delighted to say they did. Whether it’s a blog, review or short story write it because you want to.
3. There are various ways to write, methodical and planned or spur of the moment. If you suddenly find the incling to write, just do it. You’ll be amazed what you can compose if you simply let it flow. I personally noted down the basic premise, characters and plot and just let it develop from there and before long I was well on my way.
4. Don’t review what you have written time and time again, you will always be self critical more than anyone else. I spent a few weeks reading over what I wrote and getting distracted by the details rather than completing it.
5. Persist. If you get writers block or stumble don’t be afraid to consult others, it’s amazing how supportive people can be and the end result will far out weigh the hiccups along the way.
6. Take inspiration from what you know. Be it places, people or experiences; readers enjoy what they can relate to or interest them. I used locations I knew, it added authenticity to the story.
7. Have someone you trust proof read and check it. It’s not always necessary on shorter pieces but well worth listening to the thoughts of someone who will not simply compliment you for the sake of it. If like me when you write anything you get so familiar with the text that you know it inside out, don’t expect everyone else to get it the same way. Having someone else sense check it can be a great way to advise when you need to expand on something or be clearer.
Bottom line is just enjoy writing, expressing ones self is embeded in all of us yet few have the courage or drive to do it, be it in the written form, music or on stage. Not everyone will appreciate what you create but in years to come I for one will be proud to have something I’ve accomplished.