Looking for writing advice? (Part 1)


Over the last month I’ve received over forty emails/tweets/messages asking for advice on writing. This is a pretty high number – and more than I’ve received before in such a short space of time – so I’m guessing there’s something in the air that’s making people feel extra frustrated/blank/exhausted/lost.

mayaangelou

Although I’m hardly an oracle, I love that people feel they can come to me and that I can help in some way. It’s a real honour and a pleasure every time. But I suspect that for every writer that manages to ask another for support, there are several others struggling with aspects of their writing career suffering in silence.

I know that I’ve relied on other writers to vent frustrations, ask advice, get a second opinion. But I also know that I’ve worried/stressed/suffered in silence from time to time. I can’t say why exactly – I don’t know why but sometimes, that’s just the way it is. I’m guessing fear is probably the culprit. Fear of failure, of success, of *insert worry here*.

So, in an attempt to help anyone that’s feeling a bit lost but doesn’t know where to turn, I’ve compiled a list of my most popular posts – the ones that seem to be helping people most with the questions/difficulties they’re facing – below. I hope they help.

  • For the love of writing, keep going! – a look at overcoming the feeling of failure by enjoying what we do.
  • The Wolf We Feed – a post about taking responsibility for our writing and writing career.
  • Is your routine good enough? – drawing on other writers’ experiences, this post considers how we write, whether it gives the results we’re looking for and what we can do to make positive changes.  (PS My routine has changed completely – maybe it’s time for an updated version of this post?)
  • Writing without payment – should we or shouldn’t we?
  • Thick-skinned – can rejection ever be positive?

Feel free to post links to some of your own useful posts below. Next time, I’ll be posting a list of recommended blog posts from other writers that offer further advice, inspiration and encouragement.

#ReasonsIWrite

It’s a question I’m often asked: Why do you write?

Writing spaces

Views like these help with bum glue!

In truth, I’m not certain. It’s not an easy question to answer. Part of me wants to say because I owe a lot to books and stories; they got me through childhood. Another part wants to say because I love the challenge of creating new worlds and characters, the chance to act and react in ways outside my own experience.  I guess the most honest answer is that writing is something I’m compelled to do and if I don’t, I feel like the world has gone awry.

I’ve been experimenting on Twitter with a hashtag #ReasonsIWrite. I’m always interested in other people’s motives and their approach to writing, and I thought it might be a good way to get other writers to open up, let us know what drives them to keep their daily routine of putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard.

Here are a few of my favourite replies so far…

Because I can’t juggle. #ReasonsIWrite Or play the piano… 😉 Mostly, I breathe in & writing enables me to breathe out. — Carol Lovekin (@carollovekin)

I write to express with creativity my thoughts throughout my life experiences. It helps lighten the load. Simply – #ILoveArt — Sherri (@inspireme39)

#ReasonsIWrite Because I’d end up in jail for the things I do to my characters if I did them to non-fictional people. — Dina James (@dinajames)

I can write about what I wish to happen or what I wished happened or create a whole different tale all together. #ReasonsIWrite — Annie Gray (@AnnieSoulFire)

#ReasonsIwrite: it’s my passion. I don’t really care about becoming a pro: what I aim to is reaching my own audience, however small. — Sara (@dasteroad)

So, why do you write?  Do any of the above resonate?

Please reveal your own reasons in the comments below or via Twitter (using the hashtag #ReasonsIWrite) – we’d all love to know!