It’s been awhile since I’ve taken the time to explore various writing resources that are out there. I keep my eyes open for new books on writing, but I don’t always spend time browsing around online to see what content others put out there. Well, a particular blog post on my feed caught my eye today from author Jody Hedlund called 8 Steps For Getting Started on a Writing Career. I remembered seeing numerous resources on her site and spent a good portion of my morning poking around and seeing what I could find. Her site had so many helpful tips and suggestions. But there are a few things that stood out to me from her site, and they are things that you can find in any writing resource. So, I’m listing them down in this blog, in hopes that I will put them into practice for myself, and that someone who reads my blog might also enjoy the reminder that they may get from seeing them.
1. Make time to write. This is what I struggle with the most. I’m such a laid back person that I don’t really do well with schedules or routines. Unfortunately, that means that while I have the best of intentions of making time to write, I just never get around to it. Hopefully over the next few weeks, I can develop a habit of writing. From there, I can modify it in a way that I am writing with goals in mind.
2. Learn about writing. It isn’t enough just to write. Yes, the act of writing will help to improve your skills, but to develop the craft of writing, we need to learn what works and what doesn’t. There are a lot of resources that talk about character development, plot lines, dialogue, etc. It is beneficial to look at those things, glean the information from them, and apply what you learn. I have some books on writing that I enjoy referencing, but there are probably lots of information in them that I’ve missed because I just go after what I’m looking for. Like I mentioned above, there are also so many websites out there where people have helpful information about honing your craft.
3. Read all you can. If there is one area on this list I excel at, it is this one. I read nearly a novel a day (granted that depends on the length of the book). Reading is a great way to study writing. If you read a lot in the genre that you hope to write, you can start to pick up on the elements that make the writing into a novel. It is also a great way to start getting some inkling of story ideas. I know when I read, I quite often will ask “What if _____ happened instead?” That’s a potential idea for a story.
These are very broad ways to develop yourself as a writer, but each one is crucial. For now, my plan is to work on making time to write. If I don’t do that simple task, the stories floating around in my head will never be put to paper.