Ways to Start Writing
Since becoming a full-fledged author, a lot of people have asked me how I did it. How did I sit down and write out an actual, bona fide novel? The truth is, ten years of hard work went into finding the one idea that really stuck, and along the way, there were a variety of techniques I tried out that helped get me writing. I’d like to share my reviews of those services and activities now.
- English/Creative Writing Classes.
Talking to a fellow Limitless author who teaches high school English made me realize that I basically owe my entire writing career to my high school English teachers and my grandparents, who were both English teachers themselves. Studying and analysing great literature is the start of any successful writing career. Also, joining a creative writing class can be helpful in some ways. I just finished Intro to Creative Writing at my college, and it wasn’t easy at times forcing myself to write and hearing criticism. I complained all the way through it until I realized during my last assignment that it was helping me further my ideas and skills in a way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
I’m not suggesting a Creative Writing or English degree is for everyone. You can certainly write without one. I’m also not saying you should go out right now and sign up for a college English course. What I am suggesting is that you look back on your English and writing assignments, because that is an excellent way to get the writing fire started underneath you, especially if you’re a book nerd like me. What kind of assignments and pieces of literature did you like? Dislike? Why? What sort of thing could you see yourself writing based on that?
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with good ole NaNo ever since the first time I tried it. In some ways, it pumps me up to write and gets me to crank out a word count even if I really don’t feel like doing it that day. In other ways, sometimes I feel like my writing isn’t worth much during NaNo because I lapse into writing just for the sake of a word count goal. I have a tendency to quit and then scrap all that hard work because what I wrote just wasn’t up to my personal standards. If you need something to jumpstart you into writing (kick you in the rear, in other words), NaNo might be for you. If you’re looking to write an epic masterpiece that’s fit for publication, you might want to try some other technique.
- Word Wars.
This is one of my favorites. All you need is a clock, a group of writer friends, and a word processing program on your computer. You set a time limit (say half an hour) and write as much as you can in that time period. Whoever writes the most words wins. It might sound like a recipe for word vomit, but it’s actually quite fun and productive. My highest word count so far in thirty minutes was 936 during a word war. It helps if you know what you’re writing going into it.
My blog kept me writing sometimes even when I was taking a break from writing fiction. I have sadly neglected it lately because of my upcoming release, but I plan to get back into it soon. The best thing about blogging is that it helps you find your voice. You get to know yourself as a writer and as a person based on what you write about and who responds to it. It also makes a good platform for getting people interested in your books if you handle it the right way.
- Sitting Down To Write.
Once you feel ready, push through the gnawing anxiety and pen those glorious, epic words you long to unleash on the world. Just do it. Write it. It’s the hardest part sometimes, but so worth it.
Thanks Sophia for the promo and the chance to guest post! Have a great day, everyone, and don’t forget to check out Diary of a Rocker’s Kid!