Eight tips to help writers avoid falling into a well of self-loathing and despair
Tip One: Read about writing.
Once I finished my first novel and realized how much it stank, the first thing I did was head to my local library and check out everything I could find about the craft of writing. I highly recommend Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Beginnings, Middles, Ends by Nancy Kress. There’s something to be said about taking control of a problem (i.e. I’m a horrible writer!) and turning it into action (I can get better!).
Tip Two: Go to a writer’s conference.
This might not be possible for everyone, depending on budget, but it’s worth looking into. You might be able to find one more affordable than you think! My local community college hosts writing conferences every year, and it’s less than $100. If you have that amount money to spare, it’s worth it. You get to meet other local writers (unless you’re like me and get all sweaty and nervous when you try to chat up people you’ve never met before), and they bring in all types of people from the industry to present various topics about writing and the publishing industry.
Tip Three: Read early and often and read a variety.
Read in your genre. Read outside your genre. Read books by seasoned authors and read books by new indie authors. Being able to distinguish between what makes a book good or bad, what you enjoy and what you don’t will make your writing stronger.
Tip Four: Connect with other writers.
Look for writing groups in your area. Find your NaNo writing group. If you’re like me and start getting all anxious when you think about meeting other writers in person, find beta readers online. Writing is a solitary pursuit, but having someone to vent and share with is necessary to avoid jabbing your eyes out with a pencil when the going gets tough (and it will!).
Tip Five: Don’t beat yourself up too much.
Writing is tough. It takes time. You’re going to suck sometimes, and that’s okay. Forgive yourself and move on. The only way to write better is to keep writing.
Tip Six: Recognize that nothing you write is a waste of time.
Writing is hard. They say it takes a million words before you start writing well, and that was about accurate for me. Even if you have to toss six books before you write something you’re proud of, those books are the ones that helped you become the writer you are today. No regrets!
Tip Seven: Take care of yourself
A healthy body is a healthy mind. If you find yourself tired and unable to come up with anything to write about, take a walk. Do something physical, get those juices flowing. Drinking copious amounts of vodka may have worked for Edgar Allen Poe, but I find that keeping myself healthy and clean makes my mind sharper and more able to handle those pesky plot holes.
Tip Eight: Last but most importantly, keep writing.
Don’t give up! Ever! If you’re stuck, write through it. If you’re sick of your book, write through it. If you feel like you’re going to vomit all over your laptop/computer/pad of paper/typewriter, write through it. No one ever told me it would take me so long to learn the craft of writing and that it would be so hard. It is, but it’s worth it. Keep going.
Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.
When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions: by experiencing them herself.
Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?
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Genre - Romantic Comedy
Rating – PG-13
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