Writerly Advice

Dear people using the World Wide Web,

I know from personal experience that when you're starting to become an author it's a hard and unsteady path, and so I've decided to post here what I do. I, myself, am in the process of writing so I figure this will be a great way to give step-by-step advice. What better way than to do it yourself?

So, here's my guide to being a writer :D

Step 1) Come up with your idea.
Your idea is the basis of your story (nu-duh) and it's important that you are solid and comfortable with your idea. It's okay to come up with more than one idea, or work on more than one different story. Now, in terms of if your stuck for an idea, I can only tell you what I do, you have to come up with your own strategies.
• Look at your environment and your own life. Personally, I'm curious and have a large imagination, so when something happens I ask 'What If?' That's, like, my signature question, but I'm sure there's always inspiration around you
• What's happening with your friends or family? Maybe, for example, your aunt and uncle are getting a divorce. THAT could be an idea for a story; how do your cousins feel?
• Dreams. I've had a couple crazy dreams which I've used for idea's for short stories and they've come out really well. No matter how phsyco it is, generally it can be used for something :P
My main answer for inspiration problems is - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

Step 2) Seek Advice
I've done a couple things in terms of advice. One of my friends is also wanting to be an author so we review each others work and provide advice. Any of your friends or family, especially if they like reading, will be good. AND that gives you someone to talk to about your ideas. I've also gone and mass-contacted all my favourite authors. Some of them have become like great friends to me, and I ask them for advice on all sorts of things. Whether or not I actually need advice, I make sure to email them everyday to see if they have any useful tips, and it also means your less tempted to give up :D

Step 3) Write EVERYDAY
Whether it's part of the story, or just a list of potential ideas, or even an email about your book or a blog post, make sure it's always in your brain and keep writing, writing, writing. Remember - 'Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% persperation'. What Edison basically said is - WORK YO ASSES OFF, PEOPLE, AND YOU SHALL SUCCEED! You have to have the drive to do it, and be willing to work hard for a long time. If your not, I suggest you quit now.

Step 4) Persist!!
It's so easy to just give up and let the dreams live in your mind, but you have to keep going. No matter what life throws at you, no matter what you might prefer to be doing, you have to keep going. I know that this is hard, and it's just oh-so-tempting to sit down and read another book or daydream than to sit down and type, but if this is something you want to do then you need to keep going. Reach for the stars, unlock your potential. There is so much you can do, all you have to do is persist (and this pertains to everything in life)

Step 5) Keep Going
I know this sounds the same as the other one and, honestly, it pretty much is. I've had a little while where I stopped and, well, it didn't help at all! I just kind of let my mind flow and reach out to my surroundings. So, the other day was really hot and summery, so i put on my bikini, lay down with the window open, and wrote. Then I got bored of that, and went back to one of my other stories. Just write, write, write, write and write. Also, find the right time of day for you. To be brutally honest, my best time of day is from about midnight to 4 am. I go to bed at like 9, read or whatever until I drift off, and then I often wake up between midnight and 4 am. When I do, I roll over, pick my laptop up from the floor, and type. Just find the best time for you

Step 6) Take a step back
I finished my first draft and was EXTREMELY proud, and I got in a rewriting mojo. But someone really smart told me to take a step back. Take a month off, or a week off. Write something else or read some similar stylistic books. Get YOUR book out of your head and look at it in a new light.

Step 7) REwrite

They say that writing is really rewriting and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting some more. and that is SO true. Your first draft is your raw information, its the rock that you mine from the beach. Now you've gotta cut that rock open and see the raw crystal inside. Then you gotta cut all the black stuff off the outside. and THEN (it keeps going, right?) you've gotta polish it so it's clear. THEN you've got to send it off to someone for them to value its worth. And then you wait, wondering if you could've done something better. Then you get it back and make changes. REPEAT. Until you're ready to sell and you think it's the best you could've done. Each time you made changes to your rock, it got better. But it was STILL YOUR ORIGINAL, HARD-EARNED ROCK. So don't be afraid to rewrite like I originally was.

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