Hello everyone! First let me say a huge thank you to Danielle for letting me stop by today and blog with you all! This week I sent her an email asking whether I should do book release promo stuff or writing advice. She said, writing advice, so blame it on her that I’m going to bore you all to death today!!
Usually when I write a blog or give a chat talk about writing I start with an intermediate level selection. It occurred to me that I’ve never actually given advice to readers who are trying to break into the writing field. So today, well, today we are going to discus TEN TIPS. Like the topic states, these are only tips. There is no right way or bad way for you to start writing. No one can tell you how you should write or what you should write. Those things you have to figure out on your own. However, there are lots of things that other writers, readers, agents, and editors can tell you. Let’s start here:
1. No story is useless. If you have an idea floating in your brain, write it down. Even if you never look at it again, you’ll have an idea and can play with it if you want.
2. Goals- God I hate goals!!! I think this is my most hated topic. Really, goals suck because human nature tells us we should shoot high. But then if we don’t meet that goal, well, it’s a huge let down. After two years of writing I’ve found I no longer set goals. Not in the traditional sense anyway. What I like to do is buy a book, put it on my Nook and tell myself that after I reach ten thousand words I can take a few days off and read my shiny new book. I hide my Nook with my daughter until its time. She’s a great watchdog over it as at six she loves to read the read-to-me books. By setting a reward point for myself I’m allowed to write at my own pace, when I can, and then take whatever time I need to read my reward. Usually, 10k is down in a few days if I’m working a few hours each day. Otherwise it takes longer but I get it done.
3. Are you a plotter, pantser, or both? Never let anyone tell you that you have to be one or the other. I fully admit I am a plotter who plots each chapter and tries like hell to stick to my plot guide. However, there are a few books that I’ve written where the plot guideline just didn’t work out. I tried to make it work, but the flow of my characters wasn’t matching what I’d written so I trashed my plot guide and finished the books as a pantser. Blending is just fine, make it work for you.
4. Writing friends and/or groups. When I realized I wanted to write I searched the internet for authors I loved reading so I could read their blogs. What I found was that most had joined different writers organizations. I checked out several and found that because I wanted to write romance the most, I fit better with the Romance Writers of America organization. There I found a local group and started attending meetings. We meet the first Saturday of every month at a local library for a meeting followed by a program. Our programs are always writing related and I love going and talking to my writing friends. I also joined several online writers groups. This is a great way to meet others who can share their experiences with you.
5. Keep a grain of salt with you. By now, if you’ve done 1-4, you’ve realized that you’re getting a lot of different advice and opinions. When I first started writing I listened to everything, tried a hundred different things, and cried, a lot! But having competed on different levels in the equine industry, I remembered that I had always taken things with a grain of salt and needed to do that now also. People are all too willing to give you tons of advice and tell you over and over what you need to be doing. However, you are the only one who can decide if that advice is right for you. Don’t be afraid to say, “thank you, I appreciate it.” And then never use that advice. That’s ok. You can do that if the advice doesn’t work for you.
6. Keep a tablet of some kind around you. This is my most prized tip. It’s the simplest of simple too. I’ve learned over the years that I might have days of writing thousands of words a day and then something comes up where I can’t get my hands on a computer. Then I feel a huge amount of guilt over not writing. I began keeping a legal pad in my purse or truck. Since then, no matter where I am, I have the ability to write or plot or just tinker with my story. It’s a huge amount of freedom and I never face writers guilt.
7. Professional jealousy. It happens to the best of us. One day you are writing away and then the next, you’re green in the face with jealousy. I’ve experienced this and nearly every writer out there has too. My critique partner and very dear friend will be the first to tell you that when she got her three book deal to Kensington I screamed and cried with joy for her. Yet, a few days later it hit me. Why not me? Where’s my contract? This is just human nature. I quickly got over the whines and told Rebecca that it had happened. She laughed and told me when I got my contract for my first novella she was jealous too. It happens, you just deal with it and remember that it’s okay to feel a bit green faced as long as you don’t hurt any feelings while being Hulk-like.
8. Find your inner big girl panties and put them on. Rejections are a part of writer life. You may get two hundred rejections before you ever get a maybe or a yes. It sucks, it pisses you off, and you struggle with what to do. Well, you step up. Put those rejections behind you. You may find a certain book just isn’t right for the market right now, move on. Don’t dwell and don’t wallow. Get them big panties out and where them with pride!
9. Published authors are published for a reason. Just because you read a story and it sucks to you doesn’t mean it sucked to the editor who bought it. Remember this because it’s very important. What it means is that you’re taste is not the same as that particular editors taste. So, if you hate everything a certain editor publishes, it’s probably a waste of your time and her/his time for you to query that editor. Research the heck out of each editor you submit your work to, it saves time, stress, and heartache.
10. This list is too damn long, STOP READING AND WRITE!!
These are in no way any set of rules that one writer must follow. These tips have helped me along my journey. What are some things that seem to help you?
Thanks everyone! And I will be giving away FOUR books today. If I only have one commenter than that lucky person gets ALL FOUR. If I have more than that, we will just see how it goes! But FOUR books will be given away at midnight tonight, making someone’s weekend smoking hot! Have a great day and keep writing. Tell your story!
And of course, inspiration never hurts:
Yes, This is Joe before True Blood!!
For more information about Sayde Grace and her work please stop by her website, http://saydegrace.com You can always find daily updates about her on Facebook and twitter.