I’ve only been seriously writing for a little under a year, so I’d still classify myself as one of the many newbie writers out there.
And while writing is something I love and it makes me really, really happy, it’s still really fucking hard. Anyone who doesn’t think writing is hard has clearly never actually done it.
Writers go through a lot, especially when they’re first starting out. Just a few of the things writers endure are:
- Insecurity in the writing itself
- Self-doubt about their actual stories/plots/characters being interesting
- Vulnerability – because writing is raw and real
- Fear of people reading your writing
- Fear of nobody wanting to read your writing
This could go on and on and on, but I think you get the point. And if you’re a writer, you know how all of this feels. It’s really hard to handle sometimes.
When you first start writing, you’re learning what kind of writer you truly want to be. Just like with any new skill or hobby, it takes some time to work out the kinks. I learned a shit ton of new stuff over the past year and I found a few reoccurring things I repeatedly need to remind myself of.
Because if I don’t, I end up feeling like shit about my writing and about myself, which is obviously not good.
If you’re just starting out in your writing journey, you may be a little scared and a little insecure – as we all are.
Here are a few things newbie writers need to remember daily in order to fight off the debilitating thoughts that stunt your progress.
1. The author who’s “so much better” than you has been doing it for years
First of all, quit comparing your work to someone else’s. That shit is so bad for you not just with writing but with anything in life. You can never be someone else and someone else can never be you.
And comparing your work to an author who has published books and has been writing for years just isn’t fair. They’ve been practicing longer. If you’re a 16-year-old basketball player in high school, do you really sit there and shit on yourself because Stephen Curry is so much better than you? No. So why the hell are you doing that with your writing?
It’s great to look up to amazing authors and appreciate their work, but never compare yourself to them. Not only does that make you feel bad, it’s also not productive and can even stop you from finding your own voice and developing your own style of writing.
2. You’re only going to get better
If there’s one thing and one thing only you take away from this post, it’s this thing. All newbie writers need to remember that you’re only going to get better. The more you write and the more you practice, the better you’ll be.
That’s the fascinating thing about writing! You learn a lot just by writing (and of course the feedback you get from betas).
Whenever you feel like your writing sucks, just keep writing. I know you may be tempted to shut your laptop and give up for the time being, but that’s actually counterproductive. Writing more will make you better.
3. Your imagination and creativity are literally endless
There’s just no such thing as being “too creative” or having “too much” imagination. If anything, you can never have enough. When you feel like you’re stuck and your imagination has “run out,” just remember that it’s not actually possible to run out.
Just think of something else! Your brain is the reason you have a story at all. You already created complex characters, an entire world, and a story to tie it all together. That’s a lot. That required a shit ton of imagination, which just proves how much creativity you’ve already shown. You can never run out.
So all you newbie writers out there need to remember that the possibilities are endless.
4. Getting constructive criticism is part of the process
And you should welcome it. Getting honest feedback about your writing is something all writers need to face and embrace. I dreaded getting feedback about my writing when I posted it online or sent it to some friends. I really did. But I had to remind myself that it’s part of the process. It’s required.
In order to improve your writing and create something people love, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. Don’t let people’s comments and opinions get you down, especially when they’re only trying to help make you better.
People aren’t just going to shit on your story for fun. Not if they’re actually giving you constructive feedback. Remember that it’s normal and part of the process.
5. You. Have. Time.
What’s the rush? There’s no need to freak out and worry about getting your book done right this second. You don’t even need to worry about getting it finished this year. You have time. You have all the time in the world.
J.K. Rowling didn’t get Harry Potter published until she was 32 years old and you know what? She’s written a hell of a lot more since then.
You don’t need to try and be published as a teenager or very young adult if it means sacrificing the quality of your writing.
And more importantly, when you rush your writing, you’re not taking the time and care to do it right. What’s the point of doing something if you’re going to half-ass it and then spend even more time later trying to fix it?
There’s no clock you have to beat. You can take your time, hone your skills, and produce something amazing. It will get done eventually.
Newbie writers mostly want to be the best writer and get their books published ASAP. I know. I am a newbie writer. We all want that but sometimes it’s more beneficial to slow down and remember these things that can actually help make us better.