10 Useful Tips from Experts in Writing
Would you like to publish your own book? These days, it’s incredibly easy with self-publishing. But how to become a successful writer with a loyal and dedicated audience? Writing success depends on a combination of several factors: hard work, imagination, and passion, and then even more hard work. To encourage you and fire up your creative spirit, I have gathered here 10 writing tips from bestselling fiction authors. These are my favorite quotes from brilliant and prolific writers and I find them incredibly helpful to me in my own journey as a blogger and as a writer. That’s why I would like to share them with you along with some of my own thoughts on how they apply to beginning writers. You can use these quotes as an inspiration guide that will help you feel confident that you can become a successful author. Read them now and then to stay motivated to keep writing and do not let your amazing story ideas wither away.
10 Keys to Success for Beginning Writers
1. Work hard
"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." Stephen King, from an interview in the London Independent (March 10, 1996)
How much talent does it take to become a writer? Probably, not as much as you might think. Most published writers have become successful not because they are geniuses. Of course, at the beginning of their careers, they had some raw talent which is essential, but they became who they are due to a lot of hard work and determination. Hard work and stamina helped them develop their natural writing abilities and create professional, publishable prose.
2. Be original
“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” Anaïs Nin, a quote on The Quote Garden
Everyone has its own vision of the world. Nobody has ever seen the world through your eyes or thought the same thoughts as you. So you have something unique, interesting, and really worthwhile to say. Don’t be tempted to restate the obvious but use your writings to give readers the picture of how the world looks through your eyes. Then you will original and your writing will have a unique value.
3. Read a lot
“Develop craftsmanship through years of wide reading.” Annie Proulx – from the Guardian article
The best way to learn the art of writing is reading. When you read good books, you can see how the stories are shaped, how different words are combined on a page, and you actually learn how to write. So you should be a greedy reader and read at least one book every week.
4. Break down creative barriers
“When you can’t create you can work.” Henry Miller On Writing
Creative work is not an easy process and it’s filled with ups and downs. When you feel that your inspiration has gone, don’t wait for ideas to come. Get started on something and in the process of writing, you will be able to reshape your thoughts and get your inspiration back.
5. Stay positive
“What I try to do with myself is just avoid the success or failure thing. Because there is so much about writing that is out of the writer’s control. Not the action of doing it, but whether it comes alive or not. If I begin thinking in terms of failure, what happens is I get really depressed, and the game is over, because I’ve already decided.” David Foster Wallace – from New York Times blog
Stop worrying about the possibility of a failure but accept it as an inevitable challenge that you have to face. Failures may open new possibilities for growth and promising chances to learn from mistakes and succeed in the future.
“The first sentence can be written only after the last sentence has been written. FIRST DRAFTS ARE HELL. FINAL DRAFTS, PARADISE.” Joyce Carol Oates on Twitter
When you have written an ending to your story, it doesn’t mean that you have finished. You have only a first draft and you have to polish it before you show it to your readers. It‘s a hard work too. Leave your draft for some time and return in a couple of weeks with fresh eyes to see what needs to be changed.
7. Your workspace is everywhere
“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” Agatha Christie
I found this funny piece of advice on Forbes and it works for me. If you are working on your book, you may have a spark of inspiration when you are not thinking about it in particular. So instead of staring at an empty screen, just stop, and do something about the house.
8. Enjoy what you do
“Above all, have a good time. If you aren’t enjoying writing it, you can hardly expect someone else to enjoy reading it.” Tom Robbins, a quote from Inspiring Quotes
That actually means that if you are not willing to spend hours at the computer writing, revising, rewriting, editing, and writing some more, don’t even start to do it.
9. Be competent
“The first is that good writing consists of mastering the fundamentals (vocabulary, grammar, the elements of style) and then filling the third level of your toolbox with the right instruments. The second is that while it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one.” Stephen King On Writing
These words can actually serve as the ray of hope for everyone. You don’t have to be good at the beginning, you merely have to be competent – have good ideas and be able to communicate them. If you work hard, then one day, you may discover that you have thousands of loyal readers who like what you say.
10. Be kind to yourself and stay motivated
“Every writer I know has trouble writing.” Joseph Heller, a quote on Goodreads
No one can write a perfect, best-selling book the first time they put a pen to paper. There are hard times when every writer struggles to get words on the page. Every writer experiences periods of self-doubts and fears. It’s just part of the process of writing a book, polishing it, and editing. Don’t be discouraged and don’t give up but think of it as a challenge you need to overcome to make your dream come true.
Even the most talented and famous authors may sometimes have a tough time with writing, suffer from the writers’ block, and go through periods of self-doubt. But they always manage to overcome these difficulties and write great stories that attract millions of readers. So take a lesson from masters of their craft and tell your story. Now you know the secret: you have to commit yourself to learning the craft and write day after day until you really get good at it. I hope that someday you will become a remarkable writer.