New Writer Tips: How to Launch Your Career With the Right Mindset
What Writing Tips is About
This article isn’t about the technical aspects of writing such as how to use proper grammar. Writing tips for new writers – how to launch a writing career with the correct mindset is about building a solid emotional foundation and writing platform for yourself.
As well as tips on the types of websites and blogs to read to get the most helpful information.
It took me about 4 years to figure this out. I’m sharing what I learned to hopefully save you months, or years of agony and self-doubt.
I’m not a published author yet. I will self-publish my first non-fiction book on Kindle, August 16, 2016. The tips I’m about to share with you are what got me to finally have the courage to call myself an Author and write a book.
Where to Begin Your Writing Journey
If you want to write full time and make a living writing you should begin your journey with self discovery and taking an inventory of what you want to do with your life.
You may or may not be aware that writing is one of the most rewarding and difficult professions. You're going to need the courage to write, share your writing, and firmly call yourself a writer.
As a writer you will go through a lot of self-doubt, hissy fits, screaming, cursing, and many tears (not always with actual tears, sometimes you’ll just make an ugly crying face like Helen on Bridesmaids).
Sometimes you’ll feel like crap, and think you’re an idiot for trying; this will never go away. But if you have a solid foundation to work from, you’ll get the emotional strength you need to continue writing and distinguish yourself from other writers.
Writing is a Profession
BTW writing is a profession, not a whimsical passion. It’s a specialized skill few people have and many don’t understand. Writers combine their passion with the power, simplicity and the elegance of words to communicate.
The Pay off for Writing - Strive for This
The good new is some days you’ll be excited, and love reading the words you slaved over earlier. This is the emotion you’re going to want to strive for because it will over power negative emotions (which will come naturally to you without effort).
More importantly, excitement will even change your physical features.
- Your smile will be huge
- You’ll stand and walk taller
- You’ll want to skip and hug everyone you see;
- You’ll feel a burning warmth in your chest
- The tenseness in your shoulders, lower back and tummy will disappear.
Go Where Your Heart Takes You
Your Writing Journey – Different Styles of Writing
There are different styles of writing – poetry, fiction, non-fiction, short stories, novels, novellas, articles, e-books, online courses Kindle/Amazon books, technical writing, screenplays.
In the beginning you may or not know which genre or style you love to write in, and that’s okay.
It will even change over time. You may start out writing poems and then find that you want to learn to write articles – for yourself, or for others (freelance writing). Later you may decide you want to write how-to guides (for your blog readers, a downloadable e-book, or Kindle), or novels.
You may end up writing urban fantasy or historical romance novels; or you could decide you only want to write poems. Perhaps you’ll want to write in more than one genre at the same time – it’s exciting how many options you have.
If you want to write, then do it! Use your amazingness, agency and personal power to fulfill your reason for being here.
“Destiny is All” The Last Kingdom
Beware of Where you get Advice When You're Starting You new Career
Join writing groups and read writing blogs of famous and non famous writers. This will build up your confidence and let you know you’re not alone - they go through what you go through.
As you research for knowledge and inspiration choose people you'd want to mentor you. Look at how they design their websites, how they use social media, and how they interact with their readers.
Apply What you Learn And Personalize it
Analyze what you learn and apply it to yourself, but only use advice that fits with your personality.
Just as there are many writing options there are countless ways to get it done.
Every writer you follow will have their own methods of writing; and they won’t all work for you. If someone has a system give it a try but if it doesn’t work – stop at once!
Some you shouldn’t even try. For example, let’s say your favorite writer suggests you write 3 hours in the morning at a coffee shop.
But you’re brain dead until noon and any noise bothers you while you’re writing. Picture how frustrated you’re going to be trying their method. You’re going to want to rip your hair out and you will think that you’ll never be as successful as them.
Don’t put yourself through this torture.
Speaking of Advice - Increasing Productivity
I had to find a way to increase my productivity to do my different writing projects. What I found works for me is changing scenery.
When I write for clients I use my desktop which is kitty corner to the kitchen. It puts me into business mode, and I dress in casual office wear.
When I work on my short stories, non-fiction books and novels I go to my room, prop up my pillows and use my laptop. I wear shorts or my yoga pants for ultimate comfort and relaxation.
I listen to epic fantasy music whenever I write – I love how it ranges in intensity, and I feel like I’m a super hero or fighting a noble cause, and winning. Which symbolizes to me that issues such as writer’s block can’t touch me.
When my music is playing I’m in writer mode and nothing else matters – not my phone, social media email or surfing the net. It’s also a signal to everyone that I’m working.
I set my time to start writing at 11:00 am at the latest. If I start earlier, that’s fine, but I can’t start later. My morning is dedicated to eating, working out, going for a walk and taking care of other errands such as shopping, visiting or housework – I do housework Monday’s and Thursdays.
I don’t have a set time to finish, it depends on the day and my project goals. I’ve read that others set a target word count. You have figure out what your goal is and keep working until you’ve reached it – with breaks of course.
You have to discipline yourself and set deadlines, and this is the hardest part.
Online Marketing Research Tips for New Authors
You’ll want to learn about online and social media marketing so you can find out where your readership is. What social media sites do they spend the most time on?
You should start out by learning from successful Amazon and Kindle authors if you will use self-publishing. If will you send your manuscript out to editors learn from others who have published their writing that way.
You can get awesome writing tips from high caliber authors such as Steven King, but not marketing tips. He doesn’t need to spend a lot of time marketing his books, and his technique would be much different.
There are different types of marketers to learn online marketing from, which we talk about in the section titled the difference between authors, internet marketers and author internet marketers.
One thing you should start considering now is do you want to be a long-term writer, or have 5-minutes of success?
Beware of claims such as; “I made … dollars on my first Kindle book in 5 days, and I can teach you how.” There are two ways following their advice can lead to problems.
“I made … dollars on my first Kindle book in 5 days, and I can teach you how.” There are two ways following their advice can lead to problems.
Their Success Could be a Fluke
They’re not lying, but often they got lucky with their book. It launched on a day that corresponded with a recent event or trend. Another possibility is that they have a large following. So when they published their book, they had thousands of people to share it with.
Their success may not have come from great writing.
You Might Waste Money
Their goal is to sell you a product to teach you how to copy their success. The product will cost $500, up to thousands.
You could take the course and then your book will flop (according to the standard they set). This could lead you to stop writing because you feel like a failure; or you could do well with your first book and then never repeat it.
Goal Setting - What do you Want?
Success comes in different ways - money or respect from your peers. For example, Stephanie Myers made a lot of money with the Twilight series.
She had a story she knew she had to tell; and she hoped someone would get enjoyment from it. Four major motion pictures later she brought joy to millions of people.
A school library even bought a bunch of her books for students because her series got kids back into reading, which is amazing. On the flip side, other writers don’t taker her writing and success seriously.
It’s important for you to set and reach specific goals.
What Will Make you Happy
Don't become a freelance writer to fund a novel writing career; unless you're sure you want to, or if you absolutely have to.
Becoming a freelance writer involves a lot of time and energy getting clients; and good money doesn't come as quickly as others will have you believe.
You need to build a clientele which takes time and you'll get a lot of low paying writing gigs along the way. To use a cliche - you'll have to kiss a lot of frogs.
All this time and energy will take away from what you really want to do - write novels.
Freelance writing is a good career, just make sure you weigh the pros and cons.
How Webinars End
At the end of a webinar, there will ALWAYS be a sales pitch for a product or course. Then after it’s finished you’ll get emails (probably daily) each with the same goal – to get you to buy what they’re selling.
It’s not a bad thing because what they’re selling is useful to someone. Just make sure it’s something you need because it’s time consuming and possibly expensive.
Writers, Internet Marketers and Internet Marketing Authors
When you research on the internet you will stumble upon three types of marketing styles when you read blogs and websites.
Writers: Successful authors are good at marketing because they connected with readers who love their work. When you join their website they will share tons of tips and tricks on how to write. They will also promote their novels on their website, because they want you to enjoy the same benefits their other readers have – and it gives them more exposure.
They will also share projects they’re working on with you; and might ask readers their opinion.
Internet Marketing Writers: They’re professionals at selling stuff online. Their end game is always to sell you something. They will give you free information in exchange for your email address so they can sell you stuff. This is what they do for a living (and it’s legitimate). Some are pushy and send constant emails while others aren’t.
There is one way to tell if you’re dealing with an aggressive marketer. When you click to go to another article, but you end up on a page with only a sign up box (that you have to complete before you get any information), or it leads to a video.
Author marketers: These published authors are also skilled internet marketers. They will promote their books, give you writing tips in exchange for your email, and may possibly invite you to a webinar. But, they won’t message you just promote their novel. They’ll also try to sell you other items such e-courses, coaching, editing programs, etc.
I challenge you to find a successful individual whose initial goal was to make money
Money Isn’t and Never was the Motivation for Writers
Save yourself the heart ache and don’t get tricked into thinking that it is. What’s driving you to write is the compelling urge to get the words out of your head and on to the page. This is the itch you’re trying to scratch in your brain.
You dig deep into your gut and pull out your sacred inner thoughts and emotions – this process is where your love/hate relationship, or obsession, with writing comes from. Not getting paid for your efforts.
Thinking only of how much money you’ll make will never be enough to access your soul to the extent necessary to satisfy the burning.
The Secret of Successful Writers
I've noticed that successful writers are excellent at finding and connecting with the readers who love (or need) what they write. For example, an author could write one hundred fantasy novels; but if the only people following them online only read Westerns their book isn't get a lot of sales.
Authors are solo entrepreneurs and are skilled at self promotion and researching to find their readers online. They also suggest that self promotion needs to be done at the same time as the writing process.
When you want to learn how to find and connect with your readers search for tips and tricks targeted to publicity for authors.
Get Your Name out There
Make sure you use your name on the internet; or whichever name you'll use. You may want to go with a pen name for your writing. For a complete list of the pros and cons of going this route, you can check out this news article. It was written in 2003, but it still applies today.
I have a small online presence and I’ve had a few years to grow my audience, but I haven’t until now. The reason is, I was timid calling myself a writer. Mostly because when I did people always looked at me with a blank stare.
I also spent too much time following internet marketers, and finding freelance writing clients when neither of these were what I wanted to do.
I’m happy that now I know what I want and what I am. You have to know precisely what you want so you can set goals and achieve them. I’m working on many Kindle projects, along with freelance writing for a few choice clients until my book is published on August 16, 2016.
Currently I’m working on:
- Two non-fiction books
- One fiction novella (I’m going to work on it in November during NaNoWriMo
- A series of short stories.
Prepare to Spend Hours Alone - Guilt Free
Prepare to spend hours alone and don’t let others make you feel bad or weird about it. Non-writers don't understand what it’s like to write, and they never will.
I'll let Jenna Moreci explain further.
In her video below she talks about insulting things people will say to you when they find out you're a writer. She's witty and fun with a great sense of humor; but I'll give you forewarning that she swears in the video.
Do Non-Writers Make you Feel Bad?
How Often do you Allow Non-Writers Interfere With Your Writing
Read, Read, Read! And Read Some More
You should be a sponge and soak up as much information as you can. Reading the published work of other writers is a must if you’re a writer. I read that a lot, but sluffed it off. I eventually took this advice and it works.
If you don’t have a library card, get one. Go to the library and read as much as you can. Read fiction and non-fiction. Read books in the genre(s) you want to write in, but also read other genres.
If you want to learn how to write articles on a certain topic read as many blogs, websites, and books on the subject. There is no such thing as too much knowledge.
I read a lot, but a few months ago I realized that it was a long time since I read a novel. Unsure which genre I would get the most pleasure reading, and writing in, I grabbed novels in a variety of genres:
- The Last Kingdom Series by Bernard Cornwell
- Romance: The Bride’s Maid
- Stephen King novella – the Mist
- John Patterson books
- Reckless Abandon by Stuart Woods
- YA adult mystery novella
- Fantasy (Shards of Time)
- Augustus (the first emperor of Rome – for research)
- Three compilations of short stories
- Black Sheep, a murder mystery written by Arlene Hunt.
“Don't compromise yourself - you're all you have.”— John Grisham, The Rainmaker
Best Advice for Writers- Laugh
My advice is when you’re unhappy with yourself, or you don’t feel creative find something to make you laugh. It will help you gain perspective, and laugh at yourself.
Yesterday was a bad day for me, and I was frustrated writing a short story.
- I couldn’t come up with the right words
- I thought my plot was the most idiotic plot I had ever read – the day before I thought it was brilliant.
- I felt stupid to think that I could even write a short story.
What made it worse was my daughter messaged me – her and her husband invited me to visit Chicago with them in the fall. My first thought was if I can’t even write a short story I should quit writing, and crawl in a hole, or run away.
This led to thinking that I’m a complete failure. I wondered how would my daughter introduce me – this is my mom and she is a, um… (dreamer, loner, whack job).
But before going to bed I went to Facebook and saw two funny quotes I shared in 2008:
"I used to think the brain was the most interesting part of the body. Then I realized what was telling me that.”
“I love it when you buy a bag of air and the company is nice enough to put some chips in it.”
After I stopped laughing and taking delight in how funny I am (although I’m sure I didn’t write these), my attitude changed.
I said to myself (I talk to myself a lot), “Quit being such a drama queen, tomorrow everything will be different.” Remember what I said in the beginning?
Two Writing Practice Tips
see the first writing tip I will talk about on several blogs, but the second one I have only seen once.
Tip One: Use creative writing prompts to get your creativity flowing. You can use these on days that your creativity is low, or before you start any writing project.
This will get your brain into writing mode and strengthen your writing skills.
Tip Two: Typing out excerpts of writing elements you want to excel at for practice. I got this tip from the Write Practice blog. I joined the mailing list of this blog a few weeks ago.
For example, let’s say you have trouble writing scenery. Choose authors whose scene descriptions appeal to you and type (or write) out their work. This helps you to get into the flow of scene writing and after enough practice it will become more natural.
Note that I said authors. You want to use a variety so you don’t start copying your favorite author’s writing style - that just wouldn’t be cool.
You can also use this technique for blog post and article writing.
You’re an Introvert – YAY!!!
I’m guessing you have introverted tendencies and these traits are why your personality is a perfect fit for writing. You’re as unique as they come, follow your heart and your gut - and your writing will become spectacular.
Take Part in Nanowrimo
Write a novel in November with Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). It's never too late to start your novel in November; but, you can even set up your profile and join all year round.
On the Nano website you'll find a community of dedicated,knowledgeable, and experienced writers; along with new writers. You can even find fellow writers in your area. This is a great, particularly if everyone in your life is not a writer, and don't "get it." Like me.
There's YouTube videos with writing tips, write-ins (where you write for an hour with writing prompts, and advice from a variety of writers.
This is my first year, and I'm having an awesome time. The goal is to write 50,000 and discipline yourself to write daily. Your novel doesn't have to be a masterpiece, you just have to get your word count.
This is the hardest part to writing a novel - actually getting started and writing a first draft.
Last Words of Encouragement – You’re Amazing
You are amazing and I want you to embrace how fascinating you are and see what you can accomplish.
Writing is an industry in dire need of originality, which you have. I read a lot of book reviews and one common theme is that readers are screaming for original writers.
Always remember that it takes time, and small steps lead to great things. It’s like you’re an athlete in training, for the Olympics, but instead of building muscle you’re exercising your brain and creativity.
I wrote this article so you don’t have to go through what I did, and I hope it helps.