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#goodbye2016 #welcome2017 #writing #reflections #lessons
Welcoming 2017 with new energy
A writer constantly puts his/her creative brain to use. And at times, the self-doubt creeps in and sets them back. While such moments do last long at certain times, it becomes imperative for the writer to come out of it as quickly possible and learn from reflecting those doubts/mistakes. Here are top ten such reflections as we bid goodbye to 2016 so we can keep some new and fresh goals for 2017 as writers.
- Don’t think about results
This is a typical problem for anyone that starts new in anything. While in many startups and any businesses, it is required to have a business analysis to achieve certain goals for their business and nail down the Return On Investment(ROI); for writers, it is not helpful thinking. Rather, just focusing on your writing, characters, story plot and the word count helps a lot and makes you move forward. Refrain from thinking, would this book sell at all, would there be any readers, Is this just a waste of work etc. That is very common for writers to think that way, especially when you have not established yourself as an author brand yet. Just stay focused on your writing alone and that will definitely bring you good results sooner or later.
- Set realistic writing goals
There were and there had been a lot of ideas and direction around setting writing goals. But setting realistic goals is the key. Realistic varies from person to person based on their personal lifestyle, interests, passion etc. Something that is achievable is realistic and is individualistic in nature. Without having a goal will lead you nowhere, again, having some great goals may lead you somewhere, but having a realistic one will lead you to the right destination.
- Seek inspiration
Inspiration is something that every man needs, even the CEO of a company. Because it is human nature to have ups and downs in thoughts based on several changing factors in life. In today’s world especially with busy lives and constant hustle bustle, it is very much needed. Inspiration does not really have to be related to authors/writing, it could be anything, a famous person, their life story, goals, how they achieved etc. Take some small percentage of your time to read something inspiring or talk to a friend about a good topic or have a nice conversation.
- Remember, initial drafts are always crap
Just because we have written or told stories as a child to our friends and they praised does not mean we can come up with an immaculate first draft. Even the most famous, smart people had to try everything more than once. So, keep in mind, there is nothing wrong for coming up with a crappy first draft, nor it means you are not capable. Keep in mind, all first drafts are not good. Continuing to write is the key to developing a good, readable manuscript. Keep writing even if your first few paragraphs don’t make any sense. You are bound to improvement and arriving at a final great finished manuscript.
- Editing is a never ending process
Editing definitely ends at some point, we as writers have to create a measure and achieve it. It is long and tedious. Especially for the writer, it feels never ending because you are never satisfied with your script. There are certain baseline levels that can be set (again they vary from person to person). For example: set the draft aside for more than 2 weeks and when you come back to it, if the first read feels fresh and satisfactory, then you can stop. That could be one measure. For some, it is 5 rounds of editing or more. It depends on where you want to set the bar and move ahead with it. But, just remember, as an author, it is sometimes overwhelming to do many revisions and be happy with it.
- Decide your point of view during the start of the manuscript
This is something new or first time authors frequently miss. There are a couple of ways to determine which POV to use if you are in doubt. Maybe write the first two chapters in both ways using the first and the third and observe the flow of your thoughts and style. Whichever one feels good, go with it, but don’t write the entire manuscript in a POV that you are not sure because there is no quick and easy fix in word or any other writing software. Your 70K words or more will have to be re-done entirely and will be laborious.
- You have a unique writing style
Don’t compare with the popular or famous author’s writing pieces or style. Each one of us that has the writing spirit and spark also has a unique style of writing that is dear to each one of us. So use your own style of writing confidently and try not to imitate to any particular author’s.
- Quality wins
No matter what, in the end Quality of your work will win. Sooner or later, it has to win if you persist to pursue your passion consistently and never give up. The first two books may not sell well, it could be for very many reasons; story plot, style or even that many people don’t know you well as an author. But remember and continue to improve your writing, learn from your mistakes and keep developing a good quality script. Eventually success returns.
- Always audience first
When developing your script, there is always a tendency to keep thinking about your friends, family etc. Thinking what they would think or they may not like etc. Remember for each and every book there is a particular type or audience that is interested in reading your genre book. Depending on your niche, genre and style of writing, there is your audience. Decide them first and write for them. You will come up with a very good book.
- Take criticism positively
There will be criticism. No matter what. Just like there are two sides of a coin, there is always a possibility for people to dislike what you have written, especially with fiction writing, based on your plot and scenes. This is quite normal even for the most popular and famous authors. So, just stay relaxed, don’t lose your focus and learn from that criticism and continue to write.