10 Things I Wish I Knew As a Novice Writer

10. As Writers We Don’t Choose to Write, We Have to Write!

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Photo Credit: Lisa Fotios

1. Learn The Basics of Writing Before You Even Attempt a Writing Career

I cannot stress this enough, even if you feel that writing comes naturally to you (and maybe it does, that’s good!), it is important to learn and understand the mechanics of writing — such as sentence structure, parts of speech, punctuation and grammar, and so on.

2. Review! Unclutter! Edit Again!

A writing piece is almost never done after the first draft is complete. I don’t know how many times I’ve emailed a pitch to a magazine pub, or posted a piece online that I thought was done only, to have a new idea come to me, or even worse, find a typo in the copy. This happens to the best of us, and I still struggle with this sort of thing even all these years later.

3. Take Critiques About Your Work With a Grain of Salt — Even More so From Those That You Are Emotionally Involved With

I’m not saying to totally disregard what critiques say about your writing, but those who know you, or those that your are emotionally connected with to some degree, their opinions are typically biased and should be taken with a grain of salt.

4. Diversify! Diversify! Diversify!

It’s wise to create multiple revenue streams if you plan to make a comfortable living as a writer. If you want to write books, I suggest you also consider seeking freelance writing gigs and/or speaking engagements.

5. Transform From Introvert to Extrovert!

Most writers I know, including myself, are introverts by nature. Nevertheless, introverted writers need to work on becoming more outgoing so that they are ready at any moment to speak enthusiastically about their writing and what they are most passionate about.

6. A Writing Career is Never Easy!

It’s very easy to romanticize the writer’s life but most times it is far from glamorous, and is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do.

7. Beware of Any Publisher, Agent, or Editor Asking You for Money in Order to do Business With You!

There are plenty of unjust wicked individuals and companies out there who prey on both the vanity and naiveté of an aspiring writer. Thankfully, reviews about these types of companies are now just a click away on the internet.

8. Read Voraciously!

It’s been said, “to become a better writer you must write”, and I would agree to that statement, but I would also add that reading is just as important to becoming a better writer as the act of writing is, if not more so.

9. Develop Your Own Unique Voice and Learn How to Ignite Creativity!

Staying in the same vein of thought as in tip number three above, if you listen to the critiques and feedback of other writers too much you could end up losing your own unique style or writing voice.

10. As Writers We Don’t Choose to Write, We Have to Write!

I don’t know about you, but view writing as not only a form of personal expression, it can be very therapeutic, but it’s also about a lifelong journey of self-discovery. For instance, if I stop writing I begin to feel a huge void within me, as if life doesn’t seem as fulfilling.

Now Over to You

Do you have some tips or advice that you think you might want to write to your younger self?

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