The process of improving your writing through reading is cyclical: more engagement means more opportunities to see the world through a different lens, which leads to a desire to engage more. As a result, you learn to write engaging material for your readers, and who doesn’t want that? So let’s take a look at a few things you can start doing now to improve your writing through reading.
While the literary community might frown upon or call them unoriginal, I have reason to believe they should be encouraged. After all, what’s the golden rule of writing? Write what you know! What could you possibly know better than yourself?
It’s a great time to give our character writing skills the attention it deserves; people of all walks of life and identities crave representation in the stories they consume. And just as important is knowing what it takes to make your characters believable and memorable to readers.
Congratulations! You’ve written your first draft, put it out of your mind for a few weeks (or months) and are prepared to dive back into edits. You’ve got your colored pens or highlighters at the ready; your characters eagerly await your return. But where to start?
It’s time to turn that story crafted from months of blood, sweat, and tears (and love, of course) into a book on the shelves, but where to even start? If you’re pursuing the traditional publishing route, the first step is to find yourself an agent who loves your story as much as you do. In order to land an agent, however, you must craft the perfect query letter.
I don’t know about you, but self-care can be a challenge for me. It’s an oft-neglected part of our busy lives anyway, and then you add writing goals, and self-care moves ever further down the list of priorities. For the sake of all of us (myself included!), I’m here today to share my best self-care tips for writers.
My first five tips, Embrace Being a Newbie, Be 100% Certain You’re Ready to Query, Celebrate Rejections, Do Not Give Up, and Be Professional all dealt with the process itself. The final five tips, however, really focus on self-reflection. After all, writing can be a very lonely process and it’s important to know yourself and what you want out of your career before taking this next step!
Don’t judge anything that wants to live on the page. Start writing whatever comes to mind first, and don’t worry about where you start and where you finish.
Because I interact with many writers, I have a feeling that more than one person reading this right now is either experiencing their own dry spell or knows what it’s like. So I’d like to share with you some of the things that have helped me get back to writing after a dry spell, in hopes that they’ll be helpful for you now or in the future.
On July 25, 2019, I sent my first-ever query for the first book I’d ever written. I was positive it would sign in a heartbeat. Five months later, I received the 22nd rejection on that book and shelved the project. Less than half a year of querying doesn’t seem long—and in the grand scheme of a writing journey it’s merely a blip—but it was more than enough time to learn valuable lessons I needed to advance my writing career.
Ten years ago, I woke up with an idea. An idea I wasn’t sure how to make room for amidst other priorities. I wrote in starts and stops. Hills of progress. Valleys of neglect. Until one day, I emerged with a 85,000-word first draft.
First and foremost, thanks to all who submitted to our July Worldbuilding Contest! We enjoyed reading each and every piece. Due to popular demand, we ….
Your book deserves to be treated with dedicated care and attention. Whether it is traditional publishing, full-service indie publishing, or self-managed indie publishing, be sure it’s the right path for you.