I’m thinking of starting a new segment, as it were, where I give writing advice. I know, how vain…but before I go on with this post, I want to say that there are a lot of different paths to the meadow. This is just the one that works for me and how I’ve been successful at writing five books so far in the space of a little over a year – and if I didn’t have a full-time job, I would have written more. I’ll bet there’s some aspiring writers/already writers out there, and if this post can help out, then why not write it?
My first piece of advice is: write fast.
Write fast. Write fast. Write fast. Don’t worry about whether your writing sucks. It probably does. Just give yourself up to that fact. I do. You have to turn off your internal editor/critic. He/she will have a lot to say as long as you give them time to think. But they have ZERO time to think if you write fast enough.
Once you get into that flow of words, just keep writing. You want to get to a point where your fingers never stop. Even if you can’t think of anything to say, just keep going for the sake of not breaking the rhythm. You want your thoughts to be miles ahead of where your fingers are typing, and it’s like your mind and fingers are in a race to connect your thoughts.
The trail of words you’ve left behind might not be the best material, but there will be a lot there you can use when you go back to look at it later. First drafts always, always suck. You can’t nitpick over words/phrases in the beginning. You have to just worry about the story, the excitement, the rush of your characters doing crazy things.
I think it’s particularly important for writers just starting out to write fast. The more words you write, the more practice you get. The more mistakes you make. And the more you see what works. It took me quite a few books before I was comfortable with publishing one. Even if you have a natural talent for writing fiction, it takes a lot of practice and a lot of reading to get there.
You have to love the work. Work on your writing speed, and you will improve greatly as long as you keep at it.
There’s another reason why it’s important to write fast: you can get more books done! From the standpoint on indie publishing, this is key. It is one of the main advantages indie writers and publishers have over traditionally published competition. Where in traditional publishing it is extremely common to wait a year (or even years) for a sequel to your favorite series to be released, with indie publishing, authors are often releasing one book every three months. I personally aim to release a book every 2-3 months. Some authors, like Elle Casey, release one book every single month. It’s definitely possible. It’s a myth that you have to spend two years on a book to make it amazing. In fact, I would argue that it’s possible to work too much on a book, like combing one’s hair too much.
Which probably leads me to my second point of writing advice which I will detail later: don’t try too hard. Things became so much easier to me when I stopped worrying about being so artsy and worried about just telling a good story. Especially when you are beginning, this is important. All the art and prettyness of writing can come later when you’ve built some chops. The most important part of writing a good book is telling a good story. That’s your chief concern as a writer and entertainer and the rest is more like spices. The story is the actual meat, the stew.
Alright, well I have to go now. I wrote this entire post in like five minutes. I’m a huge proponent of “Write Fast!”