There are many reasons you may have taken a break from your future novel: You’re waiting to hear back from prospective agents. You’re transitioning after a major life event. You were simply too in the weeds and needed to take a step back.
But once you step away, it can be hard to figure out how to start writing your book . . . again.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about writers, it’s that we hate public speaking. Sure, public speaking tips are helpful—but we’d rather not have to give a speech in the first place.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about publishing, it’s that you’d better be able to speak publicly. It’s essential for pitching your book, sitting on panels, leading author talks, and more. One of my journalist friends was even asked to give an actual commencement speech to our high school!
A while back I attended a novel-writing workshop. Each week we read thirty pages from two students and spoke about them in depth during class, offering helpful feedback and criticism of their writing. After the second or third week, it became customary to ask whoever had been up for a critique “are you OK?” after class. Sometimes I saw tears. I myself felt overwhelmed by the amount of work I still had to do and my classmates’ brutal honesty.
We all know workshops and editing are crucial to the writing process. Writing criticism is essential. But man, that feedback can be hard to hear. Here five survival tips.
I’ve changed the first page of my novel a lot. I can’t even tell you how many times. It happened because as I was writing, I followed a lot of writing blogs, attended a lot of author talks, and browsed a lot of guides that had a lot to say about the first page.
I guess the thinking is that readers thumbing through books in the bookstore and agents alike make snap decisions based on those initial words—so you better make it good!
Did you feel lucky this weekend? It was St. Patrick’s Day after all, which is a great excuse for not writing—just kidding! Such a thing does not exist! The holiday is, however, a great excuse to participate in a themed photo prompt.