Advice: Life and Writing

an elderly couple holding hands and watching their granddaughter

Writing isn’t for everyone. It may be too daunting to even start when looking at how far you will have to go. You need to decide it writing is even worth it to you.

And thats okay!

Everyone has to start somewhere. What you need to decide, is what you are willing to do. One way to achieve your goals is the SMART method

Smart Goals

Goals are the object of a person’s ambition or effort that aim accomplish a desired result.

How do you know if the goal you choose is the right one?

Make sure that any goal you have (for writing or otherwise) follows the SMART guidelines listed below.

Specific: You will need to set a specific goal for what you want.

Measurable: Your goal needs some what for you to measure if you are succeeding so you can evaluate your progress

Attainable: Be realistic and honest with yourself. Are you going to be the next JK Rowling? Nope, but selling 50,000 copies is certainly possible

Relevant: Is your goal worthwhile to what you really need?

Timely: Decide on a target range of time for when you need to accomplish your goal. If it takes longer than anticipated, adjust.

How not to write a boring book

Learn as much as you can and practice as much as you can. Read great books for inspiration, and analyze how great authors create meaningful stories.

If you are brand new and want to learn how to write stories, I recommend looking over these sections:

Another important tip, is to learn about your genre and read similar stories to the one you want to write. This is crucial if you plan to write to a niche market.

There are certain tropes and expectations that every genre contains. Romance novels all have love conflicts. Mysteries are all about solving a case using clues.

If you can write your unique story with your genre’s standards, you will increase your chances for success.

After all, people love things that feel familiar but are different.

Writing OCD

Have you ever just stared at your screen for an hour going over every single detail or implacation that one line of dialogue could impact.

Worrying about one sentence or paragraph or result of a characters action will delay you more than anything.

When you get frozen – and believe me you will-

Do your best to remember that no book is written the way it is published. Most books go through countless revision to perfect its contents, and many times there are still mistakes!

Do not worry about specifics too much for your first draft. It’s called a rough draft for a reason.

You will be editing and changing parts of your story. Just try to get your story down

Be patient with your progress and results. As long as your story is unique, interesting, and makes sense, readers will enjoy it.

Start doing a little bit more everyday

Terrified of the idea that you will need to start a website?

I sure was!

It took me months to craft this website into what it is today, but I did.

And you can too.

Be brave and do a little more than you did yesterday. Just like trying anything new, you always start knowing nothing and gradually get better at it.

Get your basic thoughts and ideas down and them go back and edit in everything you do, otherwise you will get stuck with the endless possibilities that can hold you down with everything you do

Keep an idea book

One problem that many writers face, is getting side tracked.

How many times do you start with one story only to get a passionate rush with the thought of another one?

Stop writing the story you are stuck on now and switch to the one you are motivated by?

Thats where an idea book comes in.

You can use a notebook, diary, journey, or even google docs (I use it for literally everything)

Any time you get an interesting sotry idea, or think of a new story you might want to create, write it down.

By putting it on a piece of paper or organizing it in your files, you can tell yourself that if and when you might need it, it will be there waiting.

Its also a great way so come up with ideas for your current story. Something might not fit into your story now, but that doesn’t mean it wont later.

Never Give Up

Writing for a living is hard work.

But if writing is your passion and your dream, don’t let anyone tell you to stop.

Write and fail and write and fail and keep writing and keep failing!

Fail so hard it hurts.

Then get back up and keep going because nothing should ever stop you.

Be patient with yourself and your progress.

Good Luck!

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