Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 4

Sticking To One Genre Of Writing

Be open to writing other things besides novels. It’s interesting to read and listen to some writers whose basis for measuring other writers’ writing career depends on published novels while leaving novellas, short stories and poetry behind for those whom they term ‘amateur writers.’




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A ‘writing career’ is first all about writing and earning a living through your writing. Then the second aspect of your writing career is choosing to specialize. Focusing on one area narrows your reach. Some writers struggle to acknowledge themselves as one because they have don’t have published novels in their catalogue thereby underrating their creative channels.

A good number of magazines publish fiction and you could boost your income by getting short stories and poems published.

There are possibilities that if you have more publishing credits under your belt you will find a publisher for your books faster.

While waiting for the jackpot of writing that earth-shattering novel that would sell for a movie – which would probably take years, if ever, you could tap into the goldmine of short stories, novellas, poetry etc.

Get pragmatic! Check here for more writing tips.

So, tell me, what are your thoughts? Do you prefer sticking to a certain genre of writing?




Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 3

Read The Bestsellers With A Critical Eye

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Cultivate Excellent Reading Skills

To become an excellent writer, it doesn’t go without saying that you also have to cultivate excellent reading habits.

No, it’s not enough to read only blog posts and the current rags, but make time for more than the cursory reading of best sellers.

Reading is like an apprenticeship and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with learning from the high achievers of the literary world.

Many people want to become the next big or upcoming author, yet it will amaze you how many of these people don’t bother to read the authors that are successful. I’ve had a number of closet writers tell me that they don’t read best sellers because most of them are rip offs and crap.

Some time ago, I mentioned in a blog post that I was reading A Prisoner of Birth: by Jeffrey Archer, and another blogger went full frontal attack on J. Archer and how he hires a team of writers to do his writing. How he has probably never written a full novel blah, blah.

To say the least, that was a put-off that left a negative impression.




The Quirky Excuses For Not Reading Bestsellers

  • The notion that best sellers are rip-off’s and crap

If the idea of hiring a team of writers to hash out an idea into a book is a crime, then I’ll probably become guilty of such crime myself – hopefully, sometime in the future.

We all know that writing series of best-selling novels is not an easy feat. I’ve not written one yet, but from my writing experience, I can imagine how mentally draining and flat ass working hours are spent constructing such engaging novels.

If a writers life could be made easier by engaging others to help out with a project, then I say ‘good for them,’ besides, they are providing some income to these ghost writers as well as providing grounds for the background writer to hone his/her skills.

When someone takes the pain to describe a best seller as crap, they usually offer lame statements like:

“Oh, I read classics.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf, Fitzgerald and the host of dead writers out there, but the problem with this argument is that you can’t enter the huge ever-changing marketplace of books if you don’t know what the trend is and what buyers are looking out for.

Reading classics is brilliant, but a good number of them are not that hot now and you are certainly not going to attract a lot of millennial plus other living readers by writing Shakespearian prose. Your first lesson is to learn how to write for the people buying books now.

If you’re a romance writer, explore best-selling romance novels from writers like Jude Deveraux, Nora Roberts, Johanna Lindsay, Lisa Kleypas, if you’re a horror writer, delve into some Stephen King, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz and co.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Learn by reading the best works in the genre of your interest and this includes reading their début novels that helped them to break into the business.

The critical study of these will be time well spent that would help you break in, too and in the long run.

  •  The ‘I have to be original and uninfluenced by them,’ retort.

There’s a popular saying that everything has been written about everything. Well, as long as I haven’t written mine, that’s not true.

I’ve heard severally the argument of having your own voice and not losing it and the notion that reading these best sellers might make you start writing like them. Oh, how I wish! I would count myself lucky if I should write like the greats.

This shouldn’t be a problem. Your diverse reading, experience and individuality counteract this notion and except you are stealing someone’s work, learning how to chart your story from those who have excelled in it is certainly not a bad thing.

Check here for more writing tips.




Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 2

That Single Title Won’t Make You Rich

Here’s the thing, very few authors make money on their first book. In the writing life, a year is nothing. Writing, writing career, published, books, titles

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You did it. Finally, you’ve published that book. Your sweat, blood and gore went into it. Now it’s time to sit before the fireplace with a glass of wine and rub your palm in anticipation of counting all the dough that will roll in.

This is somewhat embarrassing, but most times our first book and I daresay several titles after hardly causes the Richters scale to shift in our bank balance.

I have to admit that after I published my first poetry book I had high expectations in my bubbly dream world, but soon enough, reality slapped me awake. Quitting one’s hustle and day job was not going to happen quickly.

Anticipating that you’ll be paying bills with your book advance and ROI from your book may not happen by the end of the year or even many years to come.




You might even strike gold and have an agent sign you on, but the challenge of successfully shopping it around and selling it is still a huge probability.

In some cases, when the agent is unsuccessful, they drop you, which is devastating to any writer. As a matter of fact after such unpalatable news, some writers hibernate from writing another word for several years.

Slogging away on a book and revising it for months on end is hard work and the rejections simply make the process discouraging and leaves you with the feeling that you are just wasting your time.

Keep The Slogging Going

Here’s the thing, very few authors make money on their first book. When you read success stories of authors breaking the bank on a first book, keep in mind that there’s a back story. They probably have many years of slogging it out, rejections and many drafts stashed away in their files. If you research the big-earner indies like H.M. Ward, Meredith Wild, C. J. Lyons and co., they have dozens of published books out there.




In the writing life, a year is nothing. Think of several years and write because you absolutely love writing. Write because without writing your life would be incomplete. Don’t write with the thoughts of becoming an overnight success. Even The Stephen Kings and J.K. Rowling of our world had their disappointments before the breakthroughs.

On a serious note, you may need to do something different to earn some income and fill in the gaps while pursuing your writing career.

Whether you are self or traditionally published, till you have several published titles in your kitty, you’re not likely to make enough money to live your dream life.

 

 

Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 1

Sabotaging Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off

Writing, Learn Rules, Writing Career, Mistakes, Memoir

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Yes, we all learn from our mistakes, however, we don’t have to make all the mistakes before we learn. We can equally learn from the mistakes of others.

In the pursuit of our writing careers, there are mistakes that have the potential to truncate it even before it begins. I am not excited to say that I have made a good number of them and still working to dig myself out of my errors.

I am equally ashamed to say that I fall into the category of writers with piles of half-finished stories and essays yet to be polished and sent to potential publishers.

The great thing is that though these mistakes might derail your quest for a while, with the right approach, you can get back on track.

Writing ‘A Pipe Dream.’

I’ve met a lot of would-be writers who are either ‘working on a book,’ or planning ‘to start working’ on one – when they can find the time – and most of them have worked on that elusive book of theirs for years and years that they’ve even forgotten what the story was about in the first place.

Interestingly, they don’t share their attempts with anyone. They also hardly bother to read guides, blogs or articles that could help to improve their writing career. If you are such a closet writer who fails to show your work to anybody and unable to compare it to what’s obtainable out there, you are living in that highly deceptive fantasy land that your work is fabulous.

For some reason, lots of nonfiction writers think that writing a how-to book, a memoir or an autobiography is easier to write than fiction and this is far from the truth.




Writing nonfiction requires careful structuring — especially a memoir. To slap up a haphazard chronology of one’s life never makes for a compelling reading. I started writing a memoir and in the process of writing my memoir, I asked myself severally  ‘why would anyone want to read my memoir, what value does it have to offer?’ Needless to say, I am still writing this memoir, but rethinking my approach because the first attempt was as boring as ever.

You may need to burst your own bubble that you’re a self-taught writing genius oozing with all the talent in the world and that you don’t need to learn a thing or two about writing as a profession.

As long as nobody reads your work – no, not your long-suffering spouse, mother, agreeable siblings and friends – I am sorry to let you know that those everlasting works in progress of yours may never see the light of the day to make it to the top of the bottom of the bestseller lists on Amazon, New York, and wherever  you fancy, once you wake up and decide to share it.

Your attitude of ignorance might be a good one when you’re taking those first steps of venturing into the writing field when the tendency to self-doubt is at its peak. You create your first draft and learn the rules later because there are times when learning the rules first could be inundating and simply creates more doubt. However, learn the rules and the rope, you must.

If your hope is to publish eventually, spending years in the closet will simply not work in your favour. That sets you up for disappointments and possible scamming – yes, it happens.

There are scammers ready to thrive on your delusions.  Do your research before jumping into the marketplace to avoid the harsh realities of the University of writing hard knocks.

 Quick Tips

Google your interest area to find out how many similar books are out there. Read as many as you possibly can and approach yours from a fresh perspective.

If you do hope to publish your work at some point, you have to pay attention to this field of interest that you’re trying to enter. How do they perform in the market? Who are the target readers in this spectrum?

On a final note, don’t be afraid to get your work out there into the public eye. Criticism can only make it better and you could be delightfully surprised.

Let us know if you have published. What’s your experience been like? Do you plan to publish?  You can share insights in the comments and add titles/links of your published work if you have.

I hope you find this article useful. Check here for more writing tips.

 

Leave Them Out – Essential Writers Tips

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Leave Those Boring Parts

As an aspiring writer working on that anticipated bestseller of yours, a vital writing tip is not to start writing a story simply because you think that the genre would sell or for the sake of other odd reasons that leaves you struggling to fill the pages with thick, unnecessary prose that would bore your readers to sleep.




As you work on your writing project, make your book one that you would equally find exciting to read. Think of those books that you loved reading. Those one’s you got lost in, then compare them to those novels that you skipped out chunky parts of the book.

What are those parts that you skipped when you read the novels – those paragraphs that had too many words and didn’t add much to the story except more pages? Pay attention to such details and avoid adding such parts to yours.

Check here for more writing tips.




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Write What You Don’t Know – Essential Writers Tips

Writing What You Don’t Know

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Most times, a budding writer is advised explicitly or implicitly to ‘write what you know.’ I’m not sure which writing guru started selling this idea, but you know what, in my honest opinion, writing just what you know is the most stifling sort of encouragement that I can think of and here’s why I think so.

  • Writing what you know’ works, but if you are seeking to grow as a writer, you would find out soon enough that it’s self-limiting.
  • The biggest part of the fun in writing is making things up. Learning new things. Approaching an unknown terrain and finding the truth in the unknown.
  • Writing the unknown is not easy and comfortable, but it would challenge you. It could probably scare you and you may not even know where you are heading with the story, but the journey into the unknown is always worth it because it builds the backbone of the writer in you.

 

Pushing Your Boundaries

You may not know everything, but you do know a lot of things. Of course, it is essential to take inspiration where you can find it, however, your experiences should liberate your imagination and not restrict it.

Set your imagination loose. If your personal experience constrains a story to the point of it becoming lackluster, then you must emancipate your imagination and sharpen it. That’s your job as a writer to keep your imagination relevantly sharpened.

A lot of times, a writers discomfort stems from subjects about sexuality, race, gender or class. The writer feels ill-equipped to write on such subjects because they are not familiar, they don’t resemble him, so he automatically keeps to writing what he knows and sticks to safer grounds.

When a writer finds a subject intimidating, that’s precisely when the writer should explore it. Write what pushes your boundary. Write what fascinates you. Write what you can’t stop thinking about even if it’s not a safe subject.

Tips to help write what you don’t know

Organize your work

You need to devise an effective means of organizing the material that you get from your research. There are a lot of mediums and software programs such as Scrivener, yWrite, Bibisco, Plume creator, Manuskript used to organize information.

However, you need to choose and stick to one for your project in order not to waste unnecessary time switching back and forth. I have used Scrivener. It’s inexpensive and well supported by its makers.

Be Prepared to Dig Deeper

Don’t rely solely on online research. Plug into Amazon and get a list of relevant books. Look beyond your local library and check out University libraries. You may have to spend a bit to get some specific materials. Listen to local channels or international channels that talk about your interest, read, read and read some more. Check out documentaries relevant to your search and don’t shy away from contacting a publisher or writer directly to double-check information.

Research the source and background. 

Before spending valuable time or money on any material, take the time to research the author and the work on the Internet. Look out for reviews and abstracts of their work, check out their social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or website. Your findings would help you decide well ahead of time if the author has the perspective that serves your purpose.

Take note of the little details

You are writing about Africa or India, but you need to know more than the books and articles that you are reading is telling you, use image searches on Google, on YouTube, documentaries and other sources you can lay your hands on. Magnify and freeze-frame the images where possible and study them carefully, the paths, roads, nature, etc. Take note of the date of these images and videos as well as all the publication that you refer to, to avoid attributing something to a period to which it does not belong.

Make your own contacts and tap into others

Google search for related clubs around you and contact them. Consider visiting the place and talk to people. Start asking questions even before you know what exactly you are narrowing down to. People love to talk and they’ll tell you things you could not have possibly imagined. People love talking about their lives, professions, passions and sometimes even their unique stories. This is a free medium that’s fun and offers firsthand unexpected results.




Become an online eavesdropper

Dig into personal blogs, online groups, organizations’ websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, etc. For a fiction writer, these are powerful resources, however, always cross check critical facts.

Ask for help from far and wide

Don’t restrict yourself to asking for research information from only people you know. Local tour companies and guides are a well of information about a particular place that you are writing about and you can write an email requesting information about the area or better still a phone call conversation could answer a puzzling question even as far as New Zealand.

In Conclusion

When you want to break out of a writing rut, remember to take a closer look at your past work. Are your characters typically the same? What of the plotlines, time periods and setting? Are they similar?

If you often find yourself writing about characters who are just like you with plotlines narrowed down to your experiences – though there’s nothing wrong with that –  open your mind to discover something new, fresh and fun.

You just might surprise yourself by pushing your pen beyond the edge.

Check here for more writing tips.

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20 Tips to Overcome Your Writer cum Bloggers’ Block.

Argh! The Writers’ Block

There are days that you would find yourself scribbling and tapping away with much zeal and then the following day you wake up to a blank mind that stretches from one day to the other, then weeks…months…and you are waiting for the inspiration to ignite. You’ve just been visited by the gremlin that blocks creativity aka writers’ block.

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Writers’ block can last for as long as it chooses if you let it. It’s a common malaise that every writer struggles with now and again, but the most important thing is what you do when faced with it.

Writing is an art that takes a lot of brain power, creative energy, focus and mental acuity each time. It’s not a science that has a ‘Eureka formula fix’ as such, we have to approach its solution with that in mind.

Igniting that inspiration is not going to happen unless you take it in hand and having been writing for a while, here are some of the prescribed methods I use to doctor my creative constipation to enable easier passage of inspiration.




Finding The Culprit

  • The Sly One called Distraction: We are all busy people and in the midst of creating space for our writing passion, life certainly gets in the way. It requires diligent scheduling and great discipline on our part to balance our various interests and be freer of distractions.
  • The Passion Thief: You started off with lots of zest hammering away at the words, then, gulp, your passionate inspiring sizzle dwindles down from that lustful chemical burst to a barely there romantic kindling. This could be due to boredom and not necessarily loss of zeal. You’ve probably obsessed and nitpicked the writing too many times that your mind and eyes are bored. Give it a break – a couple of days, while you immerse yourself in other stimulating things. Avoid editing your work till you get to the end of your first draft.
  • The Burnout Bummer: There’s so much going on in your present life that you are simply exhausted in the bid to balance everything else in your busy life. It’s not a block but a mental cry for a mini-rest. Take hours off in between hectic schedule and do other things that have absolutely nothing to do with your writing. Take a mini-vacation/staycation.
  • Mr Analysis Paralysis: You are constantly analysing your content, thinking that it’s lacking in some aspect to the point of OCD. This is counterproductive. In as much as it’s recommended to do your best work, taking hours on end just to critique every minutiae detail before doing the real writing is time spent in reverse.
  • The Empty Motivation Tanks: Yes indeed, there are those days that we are simply not motivated to do anything even the writing that we love so much ‘cue in Bruno Mars song today I don’t feel doing anything.’ Well, this is the time to dig into your motivation list. What gets your adrenaline revving to go? Indulge and wake up the juice.
  • Chief Indiscipline: The timing never seems right hence you procrastinate for as long as ever. Discipline is a key to getting any writing done.
  • Runaway Characters: You’ve created these interesting characters, and now after having written dozens of pages your characters have literally veered off in unexpected directions that you are struggling to get a grip of what direction to take the story. Take a day a two and give your brain a challenge to think of bigger plots and picture.
  • The Doubting Thomas: Many writers struggle with self-doubt. They don’t trust their ideas or putting it out there for others to see. Self-doubt and fear are major reasons some would-be excellent writers never get to become that writer that they dream of.

Simple Solutions to Takedown The Enemy

  1. Freewrite – write anything you can. What ‘s on your mind? Write it.
  2. Read some affirmative and inspiring quotes to motivate you.
  3. Take a walk – nature not only rejuvenates but brings forth inspiration.
  4. Eliminate distractions and focus on writing. Use your distraction free writing mode for your blog: Shift + Alt + W or Omniwriter. Turn off other distracting gadgets like your phone.
  5. Change your font family, size and colour. Sometimes little tweaks do the trick.
  6. Sweat it out. Do something to get your blood pumping faster, like exercising.
  7. Block out your writing time and make it a routine to write daily.
  8. Change your scenery. On days that I’m stuck, I go to the café, library, park or somewhere that catches my fancy.
  9. Find an exciting read, kick back and just soak in the penmanship of other authors.
  10. Listening to music works for me. I enjoy a medley of tunes and depending on the writing genre I go from classical to jazz to afro, pop, dance hall…
  11. Set it aside for a couple of days and meditate.
  12. Source for interesting writing prompts.
  13. Pretend that you are talking to someone and just let it flow.
  14. Spend time with someone who makes you feel good.
  15. Have a random chat with a stranger.
  16. Do more research, brainstorm your ideas.
  17. Indulge in other creative outlets.
  18. If the start of the passage is proving tough, start from the middle, the beginning will fall into place.
  19. Avoid editing while you write.
  20. By all means, leave perfectionism out of it.

Writers’ block is not insurmountable. Your possibilities are endless, but your action is critical for any solution to work. Once you kick-start a solution heading towards resolution keep a steady momentum and take off from there.

Even if your writing is about your shopping list or your writers’ block, just write. You’ve got this.

Do you have solutions that could be added to this list? What works best for you?  Check this link for essential Writer’s tips.


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Overcome Your Writing Fears – Essential Writers Tips

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Writing Fears

What are your greatest writing fears?

Writing is not for the faint of heart and to build a successful career as a writer is not without its’ fair share of anxieties.

At various points in their pursuit, most writers have experienced writing fears, so this is not a challenge peculiar to you.

I remember when decided I to follow my passion and started writing actively, I had bubbles of anxiety in my stomach for days, I lost several nights of sleep wondering what made me think that I was good enough for anyone to want to spend their time reading my words.

Coupled with that, I enrolled for a creative writing course and as much as I tried not to take the instructors critic to heart, I never looked forward to hearing from her and was literally developing an ulcer from anguish. After much angst, I decided to put my anxiety to an end, to believe in myself and chose to face my fears.

Your fear might be one or even all the following:

  • Fear of failure.

This is one of the most common writing fears that writers nurture in the dark recesses of the mind, creating various excuses to stop from writing that story, book or series that you have, excuses like ‘the bookstores are already so full of books, who would want to read mine?’ Don’t let these doubts and lack of confidence stand in your way.

  • Fear of rejection.

In my honest opinion, I believe that all writers face this fear at some point or the other. Fear of submitting that work and facing the rejection. In this case, my friend, you’ve got to develop a thick hide like the Rhinoceros. Brace your mind that it’s bound to happen but it won’t stop you from pursuing your dream.

  • Fear of poor writing.

You can only get better through practice, making mistakes and learning from them. Refreshing your knowledge of basic writing skills and grammar would help. Also, consider using writing tools that point out those little errors.

  • Fear of criticism.

Writers are sensitive people especially when it comes to their work. Allowing others to critique your work is a nail-biting time. One way to get past this is to choose those who check your work carefully, based on their experience – not for the feel good cause – but knowing that they will offer a constructive feedback. Condition your mind not to take it personally and check the outlined issues. Most times it’s worth it.

  • Fear of obscurity.

Not going after your dreams will not make you visible. What have you got to lose? Since you are down, there’s only one way to go and that is up.

  • Financial concerns

A valid concern for most writers. It’s certainly not easy to leave the thoughts of the bills to pay to chase a bowl of gold coins at the end of the rainbow. So, caught in this many writers struggle to find the time to get their writing done. This is a situation where a thorough work-life balance approach comes in. You’ve got to create the space to chase your dreams. Scheduling will help.

Some are afraid of letting it all out. Worried that emptying their thoughts will only bring castigation. Thus, their writing becomes lackluster because out of fear of getting personal and losing their perceived sense of privacy, they fail to draw on personal experience that can only enhance their writing.

  • Fear of not finding the right words to bring out that great story in you.

There will be days like this whether you are a new writer or an experienced one. Be ready to deal with the writers’ block. 

  • Fear that no one would want to read your publications.

You’ll be surprised. Stop selling that excuse to yourself.

  • Fear that your story is not as original as you thought.

I believe that everything has been written in one form or the other, however, you haven’t written from your own refreshing perspective. Go ahead and own your story.

  • Fear that you are not as talented as you thought.

It’s most likely that you simply have a distorted view of your own writing and potentials. Others think you’ve got it, but in your own mind, you feel you fall short. Learning to believe in yourself is important here.

  • Fear of never becoming published. 

The beautiful thing about self-publishing is that it frees your mind from this inhibition. No hindrances to exploring getting your work out there by self-publishing.

The list of writing fears is endless and the interesting thing is that the thing that is your strength as a writer ‘your imagination’ goes into overdrive in face of these fears and you’ll eagerly fill in the blank spaces of ‘what ifs’ by giving the fear a larger than life attribute.

This ultimately leads to not realizing your aspirations and full potentials as a writer because these fears become a problem when we fail to deal with them.

For example, the fear of rejection prevents many writers from submitting their work and what makes it worse is that the more a writer allows a fear to grow the more you reinforce its place as the captain of your creativity.

Facing Your Fears

Only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Your writing life presents you with the endless opportunities to meet your fears and conquer them.

Facing that blank page, sending out that manuscript only to receive a rejection letter, having the courage to bare your soul and being told that it lacks character… are surely part of what a writer’s nightmare is made of, however, when we consciously work with fear, we can actually harness this energy source in ways that will support our writing goals and enhance our writing experience.

Steps to dealing with your writing fears

  • Identify which fears concern you most. Which ones are valid, which fears could become valid and which ones are simply excuses?
  • Acknowledge the fear without putting it in charge.
  • Seek ways to rise above it: Join other writing groups, give yourself the permission to fail. Redefine your own scale of success. Apply daily, positive affirmations to boost your thought.
  • Brainstorm on how to handle your fears in positive ways. For example, instead of telling yourself that it’s okay to get rejected, tell yourself that you’ll research reasons why submissions get rejected and seek solutions to revise your work properly.
  • Focus on process instead of results. Have a written action plan that you can refer to when you start feeling discouraged.
  • Forget perfectionism and be open with your shortcomings.
  • Retrain your poor habits diligently. There are those habits we’ve imbibed over time that simply yield nothing and only serve as blocks in our path.
  • Don’t make things harder than they are. Cease from approaching your writing from a place of fear, it only makes it harder and tiring. When you find yourself all tensed up, seek ways to relax before getting back to your writing.
  • Keep doing it afraid. Repeating your process creates comfort and confidence.
  • Be realistic in your approach. Don’t set impossible goals for yourself. Factor your lifestyle in and use a pragmatic approach.
  • Talk about it. It helps to share your thoughts and fears with those you trust.
  • Quit comparing. Your writing is unique like you are. Consistent comparison with other writers you esteem and trying to copy them hurts you more than it helps you. You can learn from the masters but carve your own path.
  • Research ways to do it better.

Your writing passion and your pursuit for success as a writer are valid and precious. Don’t let any form of insecurity keep you from doing that thing you’ve been called to do. Deal with those fears today and broaden the horizon of your potentials.

Let’s talk in the comments. What are your greatest writing hang-ups?

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BLOG BYTES – Your First Audience is You.

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Blog Tip – Write For Yourself

When we first start blogging we get caught in the wedge of whom to write for what to write about and many other salient issues that bother every beginner blogger.

Don’t forget that the most important aspect why you took up blogging or writing is because it’s something that you are passionate about and want to continue to do. Therefore, first, your writing must be for yourself.

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Let Your Inner Voice Speak

Your writing is your inner voice speaking to you, through the outpouring of your words. Write as if no one else will read what you are writing, that way, your thoughts remain focused.

Your words/writing would flow far easier when you focus on how to put your own thoughts, your own opinions, and ideas into words without distractions over who would read it.

Audience

Think of your writing as a conversation that you are having (yes we bloggers/writers speak to ourselves often, it’s all those muses you’ve got running around in your head) with yourself. You hardly run out of words when having a conversation with your favourite person – you.

When you write from the center of you, you will surely find your audience. Your words would resonate with them.

Even those tips, solutions or recommendations that you want to share have to inspire you first. You are only sharing it with others because you find them valuable.

Naturally, there are those who will surely not agree with all your thoughts, opinions and anything else that you may have to offer, but that’s to be expected. From such quarters, accept their feedback but don’t let it deter you.

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Essential Writers Tips 8

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Developing a Believable Character

Developing your characters for your story or book means getting intimate with these personalities.

Your job as a writer is to give your multiple, complex characters a stage to portray themselves so that others can see who they are.

In order to develop believable characters, you need a road-map of traits that allows you to know more about them than you might even need in your book/story.

Below is a list of things you should consider to flesh out your characters.

  • Name, Age, Sex, Race/Ethnicity
  • Physical Attributes: Height, Complexion,
  • General Appearance, Eyes, Nose, Ears, Hair…
  • Residence – Location
  • Temperament, Gestures, Mannerisms,
  • Status: Single, Married, In a relationship
  • Hobbies
  • Religion
  • Children or Not
  • Pets
  • Pet Peeves
  • Favourite things – Colour/s, Culinary preferences, drinks
  • Phobias
  • Friends,
  • Training or Academic Background
  • Career/Profession
  • Any faults
  • Secrets
  • Illnesses

Story Planner will help you plan your novel

Having these details at the back of your mind as you work helps you to understand and to build your characters to give your reader a visual understanding of the character, though your reader only needs to know the most important things such as:

The character’s appearance, speech, action, and thoughts – which would entail unexpressed hopes, fears, plans, etc that would allow the reader to see into their mind.

Let’s Build a Character

He looked at his full name ‘Andrew Jefferson Johnson Jr’ on the title-deed, he’s not fond of Jefferson but had not been in a place to choose differently as a child.

He’s a 32-year-old, newly divorced, fair-skinned, six-foot tall Canadian with gray eyes and a crew cut hairstyle that camouflaged the beginnings of a receding hairline.

As a successful physiotherapist, he keeps an excellent physical form despite his drinking indulgence and now that he’s single again, he could drink to his heart’s content without suffering his ex-wife’s irritating nags.

Their condo at Mississauga sold faster than he expected and he looks forward to moving into his newly purchased, posh and serviced bachelors’ pad in downtown Toronto.

 The brief description above paints a picture of Andrew and throws some light on his background without getting too wordy.

I hope that you find this tip useful and you can check this link for more tips like this.

We would love to hear tips that you apply in your writing in the comments below and always remember to keep your writing as free of grammatical errors as possible with Grammarly.