Ten writing tips for the beginner | Guest post
I love learning from others, and my friend Shelby is a wonderful writer and a wonderful person to learn from. I asked her to share some insights in becoming a writer. She has some wonderful ideas and thoughts on becoming a writer and even some to-the-point truths that are important for any aspiring writer to know.
I hope these tips inspire and encourage any writers out there! I know I'm excited to dust off one of my passions that I've set aside since graduating college and begin creative writing again.
10 Writing Tips For The Beginner
1. You are not the first to write it.
When I first started writing on a blog, I was always so nervous that I would copy someone’s own thoughts. Emily Freeman wrote a sentence in her book, A Million Little Ways, that revolutionized the way I looked at writing. She wrote, “You may not be the first to say it, write it, create it, or believe it, but you saying it may be the first time someone finally hears.”
2. Your writing is not for everyone.
I wanted to reach the world and back when I decided to maintain my first blog, The Content Mom. Ambitious. Naïve. Billions of people inhabit the world. Not even the most popular of writers has that kind of following. Pick a niche and bring your best. And remember, your writing is worth it even if only one reader’s life is impacted.
3. The best cure for writer’s block is living.
Evenings are generally my only time to write. I’ve come to learn that Monday evenings don’t work for me. I always sit in a creative haze. When this happens, and it occurs more frequently than I care to admit, I choose to walk away for several hours or until the next day and just live life. Inspiration usually comes to me after taking a pause.
4. Writing is a process.
No author was born overnight. If you want to write a book one day, you must start somewhere. It’s going to take time and learning on your part. No one gets anywhere by saying “one day” without putting action to dreams.
5. Doing what you love is art itself.
Seriously. Be it writing, painting, photography, building, sculpting, or otherwise, diligently creating through the ups and downs of life is its own art, its own inspiration.
6. Your writing should not be about you.
Write for a purpose. It might be to tell a story, to offer hope, to encourage, to inspire, but it shouldn’t be about you. It should be about portraying a deeper meaning and offering beauty to your reader. Tell your stories, but if you are only writing to please yourself, I recommend a diary.
7. Learning and receiving encouragement from other writers are worth $$$.
Wouldn’t you know that I’d bring up Emily Freeman’s name again. I’m kind of a fan. After reading her book, I found her website online, and quickly discovered that she was a founder of an organization called HopeWriters. After lingering on the outskirts for a few months trying to quantify spending money to become a better writer, I took the plunge and made the investment. We invest in the things we love. A pro golfer buys equipment and spends time practicing. A painter purchases supplies before painting. Becoming a good writer means making an investment to learn and practice.
After joining Hope*Writers, I found more than resources there. I also found a community of writers who offered up words with a similar purpose in mind: to offer hope. I’ve learned so much from these fellow writers, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to attend their second annual retreat in North Carolina. It’s going to be a blast! Registration to become a Hope*Writer is closed for the summer, but if you are interested in the retreat, you can attend without being a Hope*Writer!
If you are interested in the community, I recommend watching this video series, “Four Tips To Improve Your Writing,” created by the founders themselves.
8. Pay attention.
Everything is grounds for writing, you just need to pay attention to your surroundings. Use what you have been given as grounds for inspiration, like my comparison between art and living life fully in this blog post.
9. Reading helps me write.
I spent much of childhood with my nose in a book, and I’m convinced that played a huge part in my writing ability. I’ve learned from some of the best.
10. Be true to yourself.
Someone won’t like a post you wrote. A family member may have trouble understanding your passion. Critics will throw insults your way. It’ll be okay. Own your words, your niche, your art, your passion, and don’t ever stop doing what you love.
Shelby is both a writer and editor. She believes in living and loving fully, eating ice cream late at night, and conquering change together. She offers a free ebook, Conquering Change: a seven day series, on her website. While Shelby writes and edits, she spends the majority of her day chasing after a toddler and a baby. With the little spare time she has, Shelby and her husband, Wes, have decided to create a new YouTube Channel. You can watch the channel announcement here. You'll get to know them best if you stick around for the bloopers!
You can find Shelby at the following links:
A note from Shelby:
If you join Hope*Writers after watching the video series, I will receive a small commission. In general, I want beginning writers to have access to a great resource without needing to spend any money, and the videos are a great, free resource! If you decide that Hope*Writers would be a good fit for you after learning more, let me know. I’d love to share in the excitement of investing in your writing dreams, and I’d be happy to introduce you to an amazing group of writers as well as help you find the BEST resources in their library.
You can visit Shelby's site here.