When I started writing my first novel I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I didn’t know much about the publishing industry at the time, and to be honest I still don’t, and there are some things that I wish I was warned about before I started on my own writing journey. Writing, like life in general, can be full of surprises and throw you several curve balls so here are my top five things that you need to know when you are starting out as a writer.
- There will be a tremendous amount of fear and self-doubt.
When I started writing my first novel I felt like a complete fraud. My brain kept telling me that I sucked and I wasn’t capable of writing a novel with any kind of depth. I also kept obsessing about what other people would think of my work and feared that it would be loathed for decades to come. However, if you can keep working, even if you’re afraid, or feeling skeptical about your writing abilities, you have already jumped a big hurdle.
- Many people will not support you.
I have a lot of friends, but some of them I will honestly never talk to about my writing. When I first decided to write a book I shared the idea with my friends. A few were excited, but many weren’t. Some didn’t really care and had more of an, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” attitude and that can sometimes be disheartening. Ultimately, you have to keep moving forward regardless of what other people think because when you are holding that finished novel in your hand you will have something to be proud of.
- You may become obsessed.
Once I get going, I can’t stop. I started writing so much that I allowed myself to become way too isolated. Being passionate about your writing is good, but it’s also good to take time away from writing to spend time with family and friends. That’s where we get the best ideas for our stories anyway.
- You won’t be inspired most days.
Honestly, inspiration won’t come every time you sit down to write. I love writing, but I’m lazy, and on those lazy days I have to force myself to write. Then, when I go back and read the first few paragraphs of the work, that self-doubt comes back. Don’t let the lack of inspiration or self-doubt overwhelm you. Keep pushing forward. Get the story down and make it better later.
- You will be beyond excited.
Each time you reach a writing goal you will be filled with excitement because you are working towards you dreams. There are millions of people whose dream is to write a book, but how many of them actually do it? Keep writing and share that excitement through the words that you put on the page because your words can change the world.
Good luck and happy writing!