The Diary Of A Young Writer has officially reached 100 blogs! It feels like a big birthday, and to celebrate, I thought I would share with you what I have learnt so far…
I can say with absolute certainty that your first attempt at writing a novel is going to suck. Sorry, but it’s true. It takes a lot of hard work and many rewrites to get a passable or dare I say ‘good’ novel, and even then, your first novel will not be as good as your fourth or twentieth novel. It’s just how it is, you have to keep writing, and keep writing.
Reading is important. I can’t stress enough how important reading novels in your preferred genre is. Reading will definitely help your writing and you need to read a lot. A couple of books a year is not enough, you need to read more than that if you can, and the more the better. Reading has definitely helped my writing, I now take a few minutes to study how other authors put sentences together, and to appreciate beautifully written lines.
You need to find your ideal writing space, and then stick with it. This may be your bedroom at home, or at your local library or some other quiet space. I know that I need to be on my own somewhere quiet. I personally don’t think coffee houses are good environments for writing because they are generally loud and full of distractions, but they do work for some people. The point is, you need to find somewhere where you can write comfortably.
You have to get feedback. Editors are the angels of the writing world, but if you haven’t got an editor or can’t afford to pay for one, then let other people read your work and give you feedback. Ideally you should try and find beta readers who aren’t your friends or family, as your friends and family may find it hard to give you honest feedback.
You have to be open to criticism and have a tough backbone. It can be hard to hear negative comments about your work, especially when you have been slaving over it for months or years, but it is part of the writing process. You need to set aside your feelings and look at your work objectively, even if it means rewriting your novel from scratch.
Time has flown by since I wrote my first blog on this platform. I still remember typing it out, wondering what I should write and how to write it, and whether or not anybody would even read it. I have become familiar with my strengths and weaknesses. I know I am a perfectionist and I also know that I am over critical of myself and work. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can be a bad thing if it stops you from writing. Writing is a skill at the end of the day, and with all skills it takes a lot of time and effort. I still have a little voice at the back of my mind that tells me that my writing isn’t good enough and that it will never be good enough. It has been a struggle, but I know that my writing has improved over the years from writing blogs and novels. That age-all advice of ‘practice makes perfect’ is, to some extent, true. You must practice and keep practicing in order to improve, but remember that it isn’t a race and there is no time limit.
If there is one thing that I can say I need to work on, then it is my social media presence. Posting up content on social media and engaging with readers is important and it is an area I need to improve on. I will be working on vlogs for YouTube, writing more content for my website, blogs and posting more on Instagram. There is a lot to do, and writing is only half the story.
The Diary Of A Young Writer is a place for young writers, poets, script and screen writers to share their thoughts and experiences. How they write, why they write and general advice for aspiring writers. If you think you could write a blog for us, please send us an email with the subject heading ‘Blog for DOAYW’ to firstname.lastname@example.org