Friday, May 5, 2017

Tips for a Writer

Write. I know that sounds so cliche. But it is true. You have to write. Anything. It doesn’t always have to be the project you are currently laboring over. It can be something small, something that may never see the light of day, something that randomly popped into your head. Put it down on paper. Write it even if it sounds silly or you think it is horrible. You can always edit and there is always that faithful ‘delete’ button that sucks your hard work away in a blink of an eye. Sometimes the little things jolt other creative masterpieces. It gets your mind working and keep you from being stuck in the “writer’s block” zone.
Brainstorm. You can do this either by yourself or with someone else. Write down where you want to go and different ways you can get there. Write little scenes that could connect the dots. As I said before, you may never use them, but it will keep your momentum going forward. Explain your story or writing project to someone. Often when I get stuck, I go to someone and explain the problem, story, or character. Half the time they are sitting there listening and by the end of it I have solved my problem without them having to say a word.
Word wars. Typically this is done with two or more people. Set a time and write to see who can write the most in the given time. It forces you to concentrate on the task at hand. I have done these by myself. Each new “war” is done with the intention to beat my personal best. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t as fast as the other person, or if you are not beating your own personal best. Each word is one more word then you started with. That’s progress no matter what pace you go at.
Write for you. This is one I have struggled with for a long time. I am a children’s and YA writer and I hope to one day be published. So in one way I am writing for my readers. But that is not the mentality I need to have while writing my books. Otherwise I will be constantly going back from reader to readers opinion. One person may like this scenario, while another may like a completely opposite approach. So who do I write for? The answer is me. Write for yourself first. Then worry about the others. If you are not happy with the story first, then your whole heart and soul is not in it. The readers will be able to tell. Write it how you want to read it. Not everyone will share your opinion. Not everyone will like your book. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It just means it isn’t their style. I went to a Christian writer’s conference earlier this year and one  of the authors, Tosca Lee, said this, “They are telling you more about themselves than they are about your work.”
So, for the writers out there reading this. Keep up the good work. Push forward a word at a time. Experiment with techniques that work best for you. Adjust your writing atmosphere to allow yourself an environment where you can perfect your craft. We writers live more than one life. We are privileged to live the lives of all our characters and know all the secrets that our readers may never find out. Good luck out there my friends. Write on!