I feel the chains pull me down as I sink into the dark. Fighting it with fear pulsing through me till despair claims my heart, I can’t get out, I can’t move, I’m trapped in depression. Writers and depression: not a good combination.
Hey everyone. I’m back, and it’s been two more years since my post on self-doubt. Two years, but I’ve been writing so I guess it’s a victory of sorts. However, it has been the hardest thing to keep going.
I’m a full-time writer with no English degree. (I’ll tell you a bigger secret, I actually don’t have a degree at all.) And after doing this for a few years I’ve realized that you don’t need an English degree to become a writer.
I’ve been writing for The Write Practice for about two and a half years. I started as an amateur and recently launched my own writing business. So really, I am the poster child for how you really CAN make it.
(I’m still not completely sure how I made it, but I’m going to spend the next couple posts sharing what I did and how you can make it as a writer too!)
There are stories published in books, and stories that have never been published. There are stories that have been read by more people than live in Kansas* and there are stories that have been read only by you, the writer. Don’t compare yourself to others.
There are also stories that have never been written. Stories only you can tell.
Fiction or nonfiction, the stories you write are unique to your experiences and your creativity. But if you compare yourself to others, you might never write them.
In the short time that I’ve been a writer, I’ve learned a valuable secret that we writers don’t discuss often: a writer is only as good as his or her editors.
Receiving feedback and accepting criticism and edits isn’t easy. No one likes being told what they are doing wrong, especially when the thing being criticized is something we’ve poured our heart and soul into it. When I first started writing, I hated getting edits. Now I pursue edits and editors with vigor.
My family moves a lot. Beginnings are often stressful, disorienting things, while endings might be joyous, grief-filled, and everything in between. Funny how stories are like that too. It’s often so difficult to know how to begin a story or how to tie it up at the end. Why are beginnings and endings so hard to do well in writing and life?
As writers, no matter what our goals are, there is something we should all strive to do: make our readers feel. Whether that feeling be hope, happiness, fear, or any number of other emotions, it can be achieved through masterful writing.
That is easier said than done, though, right? How can we turn our words into something so real, it gives the reader a punch to the gut or brings a smile to their face?
Are you frustrated with your writing? Tired of writing words you know aren’t as good as you want them to be? Frustrated writer, I know why.
A weird thing happens when we finally sit down to write The Book: we expect it to come out as magnificently as we think it should. We see or feel what it should be, and hey—we’ve read and written stuff all our lives, right? It should just come out!
But it doesn’t.
This is normal.
It bears repeating that the English language is full of odd sayings. Never fear, though—we’re here to break them down.
Today, we’re taking on a hairy turn of phrase: “it bears repeating.” Or is it “it bares repeating”?
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.
There are two camps, two schools of thought when it comes to the role of inspiration in the writing process. There is the camp that says this is the only way to write, when writing hits you upside the face and demands your presence for a few seconds or a few hours. Then there is the camp that says, as William Faulkner said, “I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”