Writing is not the same thing as adding words to a page for the sake of it. It is sprinkling in symbolism, metaphors, similes, and creatively worded sentences with pages of plot and character. It is something I have been doing since second grade. Since then, the passion has never dwindled or slipped away.
Over the years, I did more than just write my own short stories, chapter books, and poems. I studied and analyzed a variety of stories and authors. I read up on all the tips the writing community enjoys preaching, visiting website after website. Eventually, I relied on my own writing to teach and guide me into the best writer I could ever be.
After nearly fourteen years of experience, I have recognized my own tips. These pieces of advice are ones you are likely to never have heard of before, but sometimes, we just need new things in our lives.
T I P O N E
— Do Not Write Every Day —
If you searched and surfed through webpage after webpage, you are likely to have been told that you must write every single day. I, too, used to go by this piece of advice and would encourage others to do the same.
Years wiser, I am here to tell you that writing every day is not always the best. You see, some days of writing are more prolific than others. All writers have the moments were words flow with ease. We also share the moments that are nothing but a struggle. Sometimes we are at a loss with words, unsure how to unfold a scene or let the story continue naturally.
In truth, there are times in which we honestly can’t write. We must escape that mindset and take off the pressure. Instead, we must contribute something to our writing each day. Contributing can come in a variety of ways. It can be settling on the theme of your next poem. It can be deciding on the name of a soon-to-be-introduced character in a short story. Or it can be finally coming up with the title of a future chapter. Quite possibly, it could be creating a list of words you wish to use in the following scene.
It can truly be anything.
Contributions are still helping to form the craft that holds the potential of being a bestseller.
We must also remember that before we are writers, we are humans. We all have different components in our lives. There are moments in which those components take our attention away. Or we end up having to deal with something we initially did not foresee. Like other jobs, writing sometimes has to be put on the back shelf. But the excitement of returning to the craft is the one thing that manages to help us keep going.
T I P T W O
— Take Long Breaks —
This tip emerged after a crucial occurrence in my writing life.
During my Sophomore year of college, I went through a phase of absolutely hating everything I wrote. I was also at the point in my semester where I was enrolled in a creative writing class. Each piece I turned in was one I hated and felt embarrassed that the submitted words were mine.
Once the semester ended, I took a solid month off from writing. I didn’t physically write and I did not mentally think about it either. I knew I wasn’t done with writing and I knew my dire passion for it would not have faded when I did decide to return to the craft.
Still, the break was needed way more than I can express.
When I returned to writing, I gravitated toward poetry. As I was writing, I took notice of the style and voice I was using. I noticed that I was producing the best content. I was finally writing content that made me feel more professional and confident in the field.
I started to describe my poetic voice as lyrical, colorful, with the right dose of alliteration.
When I started to wedge myself back into the book writing world, I was trying to find a new voice altogether. I then realized that my real voice was found in all of those poems. So, I learned how to weave that poetic style into my longer stories.
I have never loved my book so much and it makes me even more eager and excited to move forward to publication in the future. Right now, I am rewriting the book for the seventh or eighth time, as I managed to lose count.
All in all, breaks are good. Whether they are a few weeks or a few months. The time away from writing can teach you a lot about who you are as an author. I really do recommend it for all writers. It was therapeutic for me. The length of the break is something you will have to determine. The break is something that does not necessarily have a right or wrong answer.
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I know my writing is not the best writing in the world, but I do know that these two tips have improved my writing exponentially. I look forward to the small writing contributions I have each day, rather than just writing for the sake of finishing/reaching a goal.
And I take breaks and I monitor. It is so easy for me to notice when I am not writing in my style and my voice. I finally know who I am as a writer. Each writer should have their own style because after all, that is what creative writing is all about.