The 10 Commandments Of Creative Writing
Whenever someone decides that writing is their calling, this young and aspiring writer finds himself alone in the field. What to do? Where to go?
Here are the 10 commandments to ensure to write a book that you will be proud of.
1. SINK YOURSELF IN BOOKS
While it is obvious that writings of others can be a source of great inspiration, this is only the top of the iceberg. We all know how insightful can a good read be. However, a poorly written book can be equally useful. When mistakes and drawbacks are underlined, they become good illustrations of what you shouldn’t do. Negative examples are equally valuable.
2. STATE YOURSELF AS A WRITER
Before letting the world know what a great writer you are, you need to take a smaller step. Let everyone around you know that writing is not just another hobby of yours. Patronizing attitude to your writing from your immediate family and friends may discourage you and make you prioritize other things (for example, finding a “real” job)
over your writing aspirations. You need to make it clear that writing is your main occupation.
3. REALIZE WHAT DRIVES YOU
Almost every beginning writer wants to write something that will become a hit. There is a tempting easy path – to follow some hip trend, but it doesn’t lead to ultimate success. Just take a look at all those forgettable Joan Rowling wannabes spawned by the success of the Harry Potter series.
If you want to write something good, you’ll need some time, and the fashion trend in question will most likely wear off by the time you are ready.
Instead, write about something that you personally find interesting. Be it a thriller with a psychological insight or a cute book for children explaining complicated topics in simple terms.
In the end, your readership will only share your passion for the work if your passion to share is in the first place.
4. DISCIPLINE YOURSELF
Don’t let your talent get covered with dust. Set a schedule for yourself. Depending on your lifestyle, this schedule can be a timetable (e.g. 3 hours per day) or a standard amount of words written (e.g. 3000 words per day). Be serious about it: have everyone in your environment realizing that those 3 hours are for writing and writing only, or don’t go to bed before you these 3000 are written.
5. RAISE YOUR STANDARDS
It is often discussed how one shouldn’t be too critical about oneself. This is not the case here. True, the more experienced you become, the more flaws you see in your work. But it’s not a bad thing: flaws are flaws, they need to be fixed. Embrace your inner grumble!
6. DEDICATE YOURSELF
Once you’ve firmly decided a professional writer,
it means that you love writing. You just can’t get enough of it. Writing must be the love of your life, and you must stay true to it.
7. TREAT WRITING AS A REAL JOB
You are a writer, this is your occupation. So, when your masterpiece is ready to be taken to the publisher, don’t expect this meeting to be a cozy chat with a soulmate. Rather treat it as a job interview.
Same for your every other professional encounter: agents, editors, etc. You’re a professional, and so are they. They aren’t your buddies, so avoid treating them as such.
8. EMBRACE THE EDITING
Nobody likes being corrected. But remember – abusing your work is not the editor’s task. Their goal is to make you work better. They provide a fresh view and may notice the flaws that you, as the author, might overlook.
Of course, you don’t have to accept all their suggestions. Just consider them carefully. After all, the better the final piece is, the more credit you can take in the end.
9. DON’T LET YOURSELF DOWN
Be ready to be rejected, be you a beginner or a renown writer, it happens. And while it’s easy to get depressed and blame the world for not understanding your genius.
If your work gets rejected repeatedly, maybe it’s just not the right time. Lay it aside and focus on something else. As for the rejected one, maybe some other time you can take a fresher look, fix something here and there – and it will be your next masterpiece.
10. BE READY FOR THE UNPREDICTABLE
Although many analysts are working to forecast what will hit and what will flop, nobody can ever be 100% sure. Remember all those books that enjoy a cult status now, but were rejected by publishers in their time, and those that were punned by the critics and/or were a commercial failure at first. Be prepared that your expectations might just not justify.
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