Five quick writing tips for new writers

5) Keep to a schedule. Writing is just like any sport. For example I’m a runner. If I only ran once a week for 15 minutes I’d never be able to compete at the level that I do. During the season, I practice for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Now, you don’t have to write that much, but at least try to think about getting some words down every day. It doens’t matter if it’s a sentance, paragraph, page, or chapter, just WRITE!

4) Don’t be afraid to take your time. Many new authors try to get the first thing they’ve ever written published, but writing is a game of patience, it takes time to produce something of quality. Look at the best authors out there: most of them took years to finishe their first novel, so rsit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Patrick Rothfuss has taken twenty years to finish his series. If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it well.

3) READ!!!! Read, read, read. One thing that I cannot stand are writers who say “yeahh..I like writing a lot, but I hate reading” That’s like saying MAN I REALLY LOVE TO RUN BUT…you know…WALKING is just awful, I’ll just run everywhere. Good authors read, read, and then read more. Patrick Rothfuss says that he reads at least 100+ novels a year. That’s a LOT and look how good he is. Reading is essential to writing, just as walking is essential for running.

2) Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s easy for new writers to read something by Hemingway, Salinger, Tolkien, or Lewis and think “wow, I’ll never be that good. Writing is all about developing your own voice with your own world, using your own particular set of skills, skills you have acquired over a very long career. Skills that makes reading your books awesome for the average ordinary Joe. Your voice and world will develop over time. No one beats the world champion without training harder than the world champion, and the same goes with writing. (good luck writing harder than Tolkien though, he worked on LOTR until the day he died)

1) Finally, and this is probably the most important, LET YOURSELF SUCK! It’s easy to get caught up in writing a killer first draft–and that’s fine–just remember it’s a draft! The best authors spend significant time revising their work. Trust me, when I was in high school all of my teachers told me how good I was at writing…then I came to college and realized that yeah, I was good for high school, but terrible in comparison to college. Sometimes you just gotta stop holding yourself to a standard, write about a cheesy romance, vampires, use words like “things,” and use sentences like “he walked north BECAUSE HE FREAKING FELT LIKE IT” remember, it’s a draft, the point is to get the bare bones of the story down…so just let it flow, it doesn’t matter if it sucks, even the stuff that’s “good” the first time around will get changed anyway, so, I say again, just let it flow!

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