Writing: What you NEED to be a writer.

You want to be a writer do you? You want to enjoy knowing that people are reading your words, imagining the world in their head that you have crafted? You want to know that people love them? You have tons of story ideas floating around in your head that you could write? Good. Very good. 

But. And yes, there is a but. You need to stop coming up with stories. Stop. There’s is no point in coming up with 1 story, 10 stories, or hundreds. No point if you don’t actually sit down and start writing them. In fact, not good enough if you don’t sit down and finish writing them. Key word there – finish. 

What lies ahead once you have finished writing the first draft can only be described as a bed of needles you have to walk over to reach the other side. I’m being blunt. Why? Well, it’s one thing to dream of being a writer, it’s another to actually attempt it. It’s a difficult journey marred with many disappointments, struggles, doubts, anger and frustration. You will want to give up many times along the way. You will continue to doubt your work. Is it good enough? 

Unfortunately, someone else needs to tell us this.
How do you make sure your writing is of industry standard? How do you know it can hook a reader and keep them till the very ‘end’? Before you decide to even attempt to knock on publishers doors, make sure you do this: read the story from start to finish yourself. I don’t mean this as in you edit as you go. Just read it, as if it’s another book and you are an audience. If you can hold your own interest then be sure you may hold other people’s interest too. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you are a God-gifted writer and someone should offer you a deal already. We all make mistakes. Even the polished writers who have been published multiple times. Here is what you need to do.

Get your story assessed by a professional. Find out if the plot is weak, if your characters are convincing, if there are any logical problems in your MS, if you need to go back and write an entire section, or cut out a whole chunk. You need to FIX these before you can think about polishing/editing your work. Grammar, punctuation and spacing are not your first priority. Your priority first of all is to make sure your story translates as best it can on paper. It’s events, it’s interweaving plots, it’s characters and emotions etc. After that, go over your work a few time yourself. You’d be surprised at the number of mistakes you can correct yourself as a writer. Then, I strongly recommend getting an editor onboard. They will help you iron out your MS and make it look presentable. 

And this is just the one quarter of your job! 

What’s left are some of the most daunting tasks: query agents/publishers, submit your work, wait biting your nails, then if you find representation or a book deal, it’s a whole other part you have to work with others on – planning, layout, cover page, edits, and marketing.
I don’t mean to discourage anyone who wants to write from actually doing it. I just wanted to tell you, stop talking about writing and write. It’s a whole lot of fun whether you intend to get published or just get your family and friends to read them. 

I leave you with these words…


Writing: Inspiration is a mighty push!

If you clicked on this post, it’s because you are one of two people; those that are readily inspired, and those that are barely inspired but go out there with your searchlights and your megaphone in search of it because you believe it’s just a matter of searching. Well guess what? Neither technique are full proof. They won’t guarantee you will have that one idea which will hit you, and you’ll reach out for the nearest writing platform.

I’ve gone through some odd events in my life in the last few months: from spontaneous trips overseas to make a movie, being an aunt to a new niece and a uni course that refuses to let me complete it. Yes you heard right, a Uni degree that’s stalking me. I may as well say it. In between this, I have small commitments to writing and suddenly the seemingly quiet life is suddenly too busy and not busy enough. 

Two days ago, I was staring at the manuscript I’m supposed to be finalizing before I start readying it up for kindle publishing. I just stared. Unable to move my fingers or focus my eyes. 

Then I got distracted. Yup, procrastination does that to you. I got distracted by Facebook, goggle, my blog, etc. and oddly enough, I kept on coming across ‘script competition’, or film competition, or script writing challenge etc. Script this and script that. And suddenly, I read the theme for one of the comps, and there it was, a quirky tale of young love. Then the next minute I was opening up my Final Draft and typing up the title ‘For the Love of Happy Endings’. You can only guess what that was inspired by.

Since yesterday, I have written a total of two very different scripts, prompted by competitions. I’m not sure I’ll be entering them, as films are collaborative work and I’ll need to get other people on board, but as stories alone, that is the most I’ve written in the past 5months. 

It suddenly feels like the stagnant period is over and it’s time for me to stretch out those fingers and poise them over the keyboard as elegantly as I can and get a move on with other projects that have stagnated along with me. So I’m fresh, I’m reeling, and most of all, I’m bloody excited to get back to a gem I’ve feared to touch. 

Inspiration is a cruel mistress. But when it comes, it unleashes the drive to keep going and going. So if you find yourself at a loss as to why you are not putting out products as you used too, then remember, it’s not too late to be inspired. Do something different, go someplace unknown, or face your fears. Whatever to get you unstuck.

So much luck in your writing battle, and happy reading.