Are you a struggling newbie writer? Are you searching for ways to keep that spark in your writing while grinding out idea after idea with little or no success? Would you love to ditch the confining schedule of a 9-to-5 job and be free to create – and get paid – to confidently say, “Yes, I am a writer!”?
While writing is perhaps one of the most challenging careers, it also can be quite rewarding. Every writer battles the constant struggle between acceptance and rejection – motivation and unnerving despair. To overcome the frustrations you have to keep your drive strong.
But how, you may be asking, can you keep your determination in the midst of rejection upon rejection? You have to keep the course. Only through firm resolve can you overcome the obstacles standing in the way of a successful writing career. You have to get motivated then call upon every resource to become even more motivated! Only then can you say you did your best.
Will it work? I would not be honest if I answered with a resounding “yes”! Writing is a tough job – much more complex and time-consuming than most people imagine. It takes extreme patience and commitment to continue to fine-tune your skills in the hopes that someone somewhere may take notice. But as the old saying goesÃ¢Â?Â¦practice, practice, practice – because in the end you may find all your efforts were not for naught!
Get More Motivated!
Make the most out of your writing space. Whether it’s a laptop set up on the kitchen table or an ancient word processor in cluttered corner – even an old notebook and pen, make sure you have everything you need on hand – writing resources, a good dictionary, paper, some peace and quiet. Post some inspirational quotes or thought-provoking artwork to keep the creative juices flowing. Make your area as friendly and organized as possible.
Open your heart. Try writing from personal experiences; after all, this is what you know best. Sit down a write out a list of all the things you know – are you a parent, a grandparent? Do you know a thing or two about cars? Do you like to sew or make crafts? Are you a teacher, a baker or a secretary? Everything you do – and have done – is a wealth of ideas. And don’t discount the little things, like the anniversary party you just pulled off on a shoestring budget or the romantic evening you arranged with your spouse.
Read, read, read – and then, read some more – you never know where your next idea may come from. Maybe it’s the newspaper or daily devotion. Perhaps it’s a good work of fiction or special report. Read anything and everything. Get a feel for the different types of writing. Take notice of the flow, the grammar, the wording – and don’t forget to see if you have a different point of view you could create into a sell-able idea.
Embrace the occasional distraction. Sure, it can be a nuisance to be distracted, but occasionally a change of scenery or a nice long conversation with an old friend just may spark an idea careers are made from! If you’re careful you’re not letting distractions give you an excuse not to write, then indulge once in a while. Conversely, if distractions become a problem, set down some guidelines. Tell your friends to call on a non-writing time – or let the answering machine get it! Tell your children the rules when you are writing, or get up a little earlier to grab a few moments peace to create.
And when you’ve mastered all this, keep movingÃ¢Â?Â¦
Make time to write everyday. Sure, the thought of leaving you nine-to-five job may make your heart sing, but writing requires a lot of work. By making time everyday, even if its just fifteen minutes, you stay dedicated and motivated. Plus, the more you do something, the easier it gets!
Open your mind. Learn something new. Had aspirations of becoming an astronaut as a child? Thought learning how to make moccasins sounded interesting? Have a fascination about the stars? Get a library card and start learning. Go to your local community college and take a class or two. You may just find your next great story or article – and, you’ve already done some research!
Take notes. Always keep a notebook and pen handy. Keep one in your car, in your purse, in your back pocket – even on your nightstand. Ideas tend to jump right out at your when you are least prepared for them. So don’t lose a good thought, it may just cost you your next big assignment!
Invite others to read your work. This is a tough on for the new writer. Start out with someone you know and trust or join a writer’s group. Be confident in your ever-improving skills, but always be ready to hear the feedback. Good or bad, a little constructive criticism may do more than you think.
Vanquish self-doubt. We all have that little demon inside us called self-doubt. It can literally make or break an aspiring writer. Okay, so your work needs a little work – whose doesn’t? Overcome your demons and move on!
Allow yourself some leisure time. Sure, you love to write – that’s why you do it. But even the most successful writers need a break once in a while, especially when you hit that brick wall (-and every writer experiences this from time to time!). So is writer’s block cramping your brain? Hands and fingers ache from tapping away? Eyes hurt from too much time in front of a glaring computer screen? Take a break. Go for a walk, visit a friend, go shopping, play catch with the kids – renew your spirit. You may be surprised at the results!
Take an occasional risk. Okay, you’ve done all the necessary steps to find a focus for your writing. Say it’s health articles or parenting issues. And you write and write and write, getting nowhere fast! Try something out of your element, like flash fiction (great for keeping writing tight!) or poetry. So you dabble and it’s not your cup of tea – no harm done! But maybe you’ll find it’s just the diversion you needed to get those ideas flowing once again for your niche – or maybe you just found a new one! There’s nothing to say you can’t write a suspense novel just because you’ve had a few health articles published!
Evaluate every rejection. Yes, we all know rejections are never easy. And I don’t care what anyone else tells you, every writer has been rejected – more than once. Even best selling novelists have had their share of “no’s”! And while some rejections offer no advice, take heed to those that do! Most publishers have a pet peeve or two, and learning them and complying is most of the battle. The problem is usually needs are not always standard across the board. But if its say, a grammar problem, you may never get published! So carefully consider all rejections and criticisms. And don’t discard an idea or piece of writing just because one publisher didn’t go for it – go ahead, try another! Or take a look at your work again. Perhaps it could use a bit of freshening up before sending it out again!
Determine your goals. In the beginning this is extremely difficult because you have no pressing deadlines – or assignments for that matter. But careful planning keeps you on track. But these goals require constant reevaluation. Maybe you want to send out three query letters this week – try four next week. Or maybe you just received a rejection from a publication – send another pitch while your name is fresh on their minds. Stumped on what to write about? Don’t leave your computer until you’ve reached a word-count goal. (And don’t be discouraged if what you write you would never let anybody read, you still are fine-tuning your craft!) Add something new to your weekly goals. Maybe it’s a contest or a different niche. Trying something new may not only keep those creative thoughts flowing, it may just land you your next big sell-able idea!
And whereas these ideas are certainly no guarantee to success, they just might give you that extra boost – that extra edge! Writing is such a subjective craft, you never know where the road might lead – so, get ready, get setÃ¢Â?Â¦and write, write, write!