Tag Archives: writing lessons

7 Lessons I Wish Someone Had Taught Me Before I Started Writing

lessons learntWhen I first started writing, I was worse than a kid in a toy store. I wanted it ALL…NOW. I was desperate to be ‘good’ at writing. I didn’t want to just ‘be’ a writer, I wanted to Stephen King that shit.

I was deluded. Not because of my dream, but because I was unconsciously incompetent!

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Which frankly, at that point, was less than fuck all. So I set about rampaging my way through everything that had even the faintest whiff of ‘writing tips’ attached to it.

The problem was, I got overwhelmed, saturated with conflicting advice and utterly bewildered as to which direction to go in. I didn’t know what to learn or how to learn it.

I realised there was no avoiding the fact it really does just take time to develop your writing muscle. However… along the way, I also picked up some pretty nifty tricks that helped me speed up the process. Tricks I wish I’d known earlier.

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Writing Tips #7 don't become a snob

snob

I feel like these writing tips are becoming more like ‘heres a bunch of lessons I learnt from all the mistakes I’ve made’ as opposed to actual tips. But hopefully someone out there appreciates them anyway.

The lesson I learnt this week comes from a place of frustration. I don’t think there is actually anything I can do about it. Let me explain…

When I started writing, I didn’t appreciate that it would affect my reading. And it has. In a big way.

I have shamefully become a snob. I used to be able to muddle my way through anything, even if I didn’t like it, I would persist and find something to like. But now…Now that I am super critical of my own writing, and I am trying to pick up all the intricacies of the super famous or spectacularly fantastic; when I come to read the books of anyone less than exceptional I find myself getting really REALLY annoyed. Take the book I’m reading currently. Uglies, by Scott Westerfield. There is nothing wrong with this book, its fairly infamous, and written reasonably well, obviously well enough to be published and selling books. BUT It’s annoying the shit out of me, for reasons I will tell you all about in another post.

My point is, under normal circumstances I would adore this book, it’s exactly the type of genre I love, it’s YA, fantasy, dystopian and a trilogy or actually more like 5 books or something. BUT, because my stupid brain is trying to absorb all the tricks of the trade, I now find myself deconstructing books, reading line by line for descriptions, techniques, characterisation, POV, scene setting and foreshadowing techniques.

I have lost my ability to read for the sake of reading. For the enjoyment. For the love of a good story.

My dream of being a writer, is utterly ruining my first love – reading.

I’m not sure what the lesson is here – because if you want to be a writer, you need to read.

But if anyone has the answer – Please for the sake of my sanity tell me how to stop this snobbery!