Online Newsletter – October 2017
Feature Article – Don't Give Up!
Being a writer is hard. Sitting down to write when we have thread-bare confidence in our writing abilities is a challenge. When the self-doubt settles in and no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to think of anything intelligent to write about or intelligent ways to express our thoughts or stories, it can get discouraging.
But hang in there.
One of the main reasons why we struggle so much is that we just lack confidence in our abilities. Gaining confidence though is relatively easy. I talk a lot about studying the craft of writing. And I do that because of how much it has impacted my ability to write.
I’ve been a writer since the fourth grade. But it wasn’t until recently that I started feeling more confident about my novel writing abilities. There’s a special talent one must possess to be a great storyteller. And thankfully, that talent can be learned. If you’re struggling right now, I urge you to spend just 15-30 minutes a day studying a book on the writing craft. Don’t just read it; study it and take notes. If you keep it up, you’ll notice your skills start to improve.
Giving up is easy until we realize how damaging it turned out to be. Don’t let time slip by without working toward your big writing goals. If you need to take it one small step at a time, fine. In fact, that builds momentum far better than setting big goals and only achieving a few of them.
Don’t worry about how easy everyone else is making the process of writing and publishing. We don’t know the inner struggles they experience every day or how much they had to achieve to get to where they are today. We just see the outcome. We see the book on the store shelf.
Focus. Give it time. Devote your efforts to doing your best, and be open to wherever they may take you. Slow, steady progress. That’s the goal right now. As you achieve your goals, keep setting new ones. Keep moving forward. Whatever you do, don’t give up.
Quick Writing/Editing Tip
When revising your manuscript, focus on the big-ticket items first. Then worry about the finite details later. For example, revise character details to heighten motivation and conflict. Then focus on things like word flow, word choice, and grammatical errors.
Do you struggle with finding time to write? Do you want to improve your productivity so you can write more and start reaching your big writing goals? If you’re serious about writing, check out the time management program I created just for busy writers. I’m offering it at a phenomenal discount until October 5th, 2017. Hurry before the sale ends! (You’ll also get three other programs at no cost!)
If you’re a writer serious about finding an agent for your manuscript, I highly recommend Noah Lukeman’s book, The First Five Pages. It details the items and areas agents generally consider when reviewing sample chapters. You’ll want to take notes with this one!
What I’m Reading This Month
In the End by Demitria Lunetta
A Plague of Secrets by John Lescroart
Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder
Random Fact for Your Writing Fodder
DID YOU KNOW:
The first streetlights appeared in Philadelphia in 1757. (Source: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2014)
Jody Calkins, Writer & Editor
P.S. Be sure to check in every Monday and Thursday for more tips on the writing life.