Writing

The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Novel

Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, here are some things to keep in mind as you write that novel.

This isn’t an ultimate guide by any means. Just some bad advice from an aspiring writer.

  • Take it word by word. Don’t worry about the 10,000th word or the 100,000th word. Think about the next one.
  • Edit later. Writing is hard enough as it is. Stop making the creative process harder for yourself. Besides, you can always fix your mistakes later.
  • Use good tools. If you prefer pen and paper, pick something that writes well. If you prefer typing, choose the word processor you like best. You don’t have to break the bank, but your tool needs to do its job.
  • Write the scene you want. Feel free to jump around from the beginning to the ending to the middle.
  • Enjoy yourself. Play your favourite songs. Have a drink nearby. Grab a snack or ten.
  • Live a little. Actually, live a lot. Go outside. Experience the world so you’re able to tell rich stories. You can’t shut yourself inside all day and night.
  • Have good posture. Your future self will thank you.
  • Keep your mind open. Don’t shoot down your ideas right away. Sometimes the craziest idea turns out better than you could ever imagine.
  • Challenge yourself. You’re capable of accomplishing far more than you give yourself credit for.
Writing

Advice For Aspiring Writers 

I love giving bad writing advice. 

  • When you want to quit, remember why you started.
  • You don’t have to get your story right the first time. Or the fifteenth.
  • Your piece should be as long as it needs to be. No more. No less.
  • Read what you want, when you want, where you want. Just read something.
  • Write often. Even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Turn off your inner critic while writing. Turn on the critic while editing. 
  • Let that idea in your head make it into the paper. A bad page is better than a blank one. 
  • Have fun with the first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. First drafts are supposed to suck. Editing exists for a reason.
  • Get better and better with every failure. Not trying is worse than failing.
  • Adjust. Change what doesn’t work. Improve what does.
  • Stop worrying. You’re wasting time you’ll never get back.
  • Make the most of what you have. Even and especially when you don’t have much. 
  • Keep learning. Don’t ever stop learning.
  • Live your life. Then relive your life through writing. 
  • Never settle for anything less than your best. Why do anything if you aren’t going to give it your all?

I also love soliciting good writing advice.

Writing

Advice For Aspiring Writers

Advice For Aspiring Writers Graphic

More advice in graphic form? What a surprise!

Writing

How To Get Motivated To Write

Because sometimes we all need a little motivation to write. Or maybe that problem only plagues me.

Below are my top nine tips.

Give yourself incentives.

Big or small, an incentive usually excites you enough to sit down and write. Also remember to reward yourself often, especially after an accomplishment.

Read, read, read.

Reading great work by other authors should push you to produce something just as great—if not—better.

Start writing.

The act of writing can motivate you to write. Easy to say, hard to execute. Give it a go regardless. You have nothing to lose.

Accountability instills responsibility.

Holding yourself accountable or having someone else occasionally check in on you is a good strategy.

The inspirational people.

Surround yourself with mentors, friends, along with anyone who has a strong work ethic as well as a knack for getting things done. They don’t have to be writers.

The other people.

The doubters, critics, haters, and basically anyone who isn’t in love with you. After all proving people wrong is what writers do best.

Try music.

Need to set the mood? Listening to a specific song or a particular playlist can be the trick you need.

Establish a routine.

We are creatures of habit. If you make it a habit to write, you’ll be more inclined to do it every day.

Don’t forget to set goals.

These are simple math equations:

Goals = Motivation

No Goals = No Motivation

I’ve shared what works for me. Now what gets you motivated to write?

A huge thank you to Agent Hunter for the idea to blog about getting motivated to write. And if you’re searching for an agent, that site is your best friend. Literary agents represent authors, helping them to negotiate contracts with publishing houses, film producers, etc.

Blogging · Writing

Blogging 101: Identify Your Audience

Publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it.

This will be fun. Ready, set, go.

Work hard now.

My mom believes that if you work hard now, you won’t have to work as hard later. With context she means I should study hard while I’m in school so my life will be slightly better when I’m older. “Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid.” Not the best quote to insert here, but give me some credit for trying. I think the biggest piece of advice I can give aspiring writers is to work hard now. Don’t put off something you can do today, right this minute. Talent, skill, luck only gets you so far. The rest of the journey is up to you.

Fail. Fail. Fail. 

If you aren’t failing, you’re doing something wrong. One of my teachers compares writing to baseball. You will fail a lot. Baseball players don’t hit every ball they’re thrown. In fact, no hitter even succeeds fifty percent of the time. Failure means you’re doing well. You’re getting closer and closer each time you fail.

Forgive yourself.

You will make mistakes. So learn from them. Get better. Don’t be bitter. Haven’t learned how to forgive yourself? Make yourself. Force yourself. Do whatever it takes. You’ll be much happier once you master the art of forgiveness.

This post originally started out (in my mind) as advice I’d give to aspiring writers. Turns out, these are three pieces of advice I’d give myself. Make that four.

The new-to-me element is a picture with advice written in the caption. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Library
Never stop reading.

Sometimes the person you’re actually writing to is you. Sometimes it’s your mom, your cousin, your friend, your teacher, your boss, etc. So write with your audience in mind. Just don’t forget to write for yourself too.

Blogging

Blogging 101: Take Control of Your Title and Tagline

Am I going to edit my title or tagline? Nope, because I’m quite fond of both.

Instead I’ll give you a bit of insight behind them.

aspiringwriter22

First of all, I tend not to capitalize the a. It ruins the aesthetic for me personally. Also, I was fifteen when I first started this blog. Meaning I came up with aspiringwriter22 back then. Go ahead, judge a fifteen year old.

Anyway, I don’t regret calling myself that, especially since I couldn’t very well call myself writer22. It doesn’t sound the same. And I can’t recall if someone else already laid claim to the name. (I checked to see if the blog address is already in use. It is.)

Aspiring. I like how the word sounds. I especially like aspiring with writer. Those words work together when placed side by side. More importantly, I’m not implying I aspire to be a writer. In real life, I tell people I’m a writer.

Writer. Pretty self-explanatory.

22. My favourite number.

A blog about writers, for writers, written by an aspiring writer, exploring the life of a writer.

My tagline changes all the time. No doubt, it’ll probably change in the future. Just not in the near future. I hope my tagline isn’t too misleading or confusing. I think it accurately sums up my blog in one sentence since I talk about writing most of the time. Even when I’m not, I reference or make indirect remarks about writing.

I’m beginning to realize how big Blogging 101 actually is. There are so many bloggers doing it. Best of luck if you are. If you aren’t, I still wish for your success.

Editing · Reading · Writing

A Letter To Teenagers

To many teenagers,

You need to learn how to read, how to write, and how to edit.

It would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

An avid reader, an aspiring writer, and an amazing editor.

Is it pretentious to make such a request even though I am a teen myself?

Writing

Oh, The Irony

Out of all my classes, I’m most worried for English and Writer’s Craft.

Which isn’t anything special unless you take into account the following:

  • I claim to be an aspiring writer. Not the I aspire to write kind. But the I aspire to be a better writer than I was yesterday; hence I write every day kind.
  • I blog almost every day. I can probably count the number of days I didn’t on two hands.
  • I read anything and everything. Good, bad, contemporary, classic, etc.
  • I love words. Almost as much as I love breathing. Almost.
  • I’m surrounded by newspapers, books, notebooks. You name it.

So why the worry or concern? Thomas Mann said it best…

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”