Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Letter to the Dreamers

Dear Dreamer,

So you've got it into your head that you want to write a book. That's wonderful! So do it.

I'm going to share some things with you, so put those listening ears on and pay attention. Writing a novel is much harder than it sounds. Writing a novel is also one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. And writing a novel is definitely more fun than most anything else I've ever done.

If you want to write a novel, because you've thought about it for years, or because it just came to your head now, here's what I have to say to you: don't give up. Writing is fun! But writing gets hard. Outlining. Editing. Re-writing. Research. Publishing. It's hard. So keep that chin up and push through it. You CAN do it.

You'll encounter distractions. Ignore them.

You'll encounter skeptics. Ignore them.

You'll encounter encouraging souls. Surround yourself with them.

Your writing may be absolutely terrible right now, and that's okay. Just keep writing. No one's writing is perfect the first time they try. No one's writing is perfect the second time they try. No one's writing is perfect. Period. Don't judge your writing. Write your story.

Find the story you are passionate about. The hardships of writing lessen tremendously when you are passionate and crazy excited over the story you are telling. So find that story and write it.

Don't think for one minute that you can do this your own way. Will your writing be unique? Yes. The more so, the better. You need your own voice, so don't be afraid to be yourself. However, you can't throw aside all the things that previous writers learned along the way. They know what they're talking about, they've been in your spot before. So learn to listen. And don't get discouraged if you don't know how to do it. You can learn, if you keep your mind open. Just listen to those who have gone before.

Don't try to avoid the things you don't like. I hated outlining books and avoided it like the plague. Once I gave in and learned to outline, I loved doing it. And more than that, my books improved a hundredfold. So don't shy away from the aspects of writing a novel that you don't enjoy. Learn the trade and do it well and your books will be the better for it.

More than anything else, you have to believe in yourself. It sounds cliche, but it is true. As a writer there will be a million voices telling you not to do it, that you can't do it, that you shouldn't do it. And no voice will be louder than your own. Self-doubt is a disease that plagues every single writer in existence. Don't listen. You are a writer. You are amazing. Tell your story.

Write every day. Write in your novel. Keep a journal. Start a blog. Any of it. All of it. Write.

Takes classes. Learn the trade.

Be diligent. The novel you want so badly to write is never going to get done if you don't sit down and write it. So make sure that you actually sit down and write it.

Outline. Plan ahead. Research. These things are important.

Most importantly...write the book. Tell your story.

Don't give up.

It's more than worth it.

with love,
A fellow writer

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