Monday, November 18, 2013

5 Things I Wish I'd Known When I First Started Writing

1) It's okay if my first draft stinks. No seriously. It's okay if the first version of my book is downright awful. It's more important that I finish a crappy first draft than to HALF-finish a flawless one. So my advice? Type away! :) Don't worry about grammar or pacing, and if the scene you're working on is lousy, just move forward and try to make the next scene less lousy. :)

2) Critiques might make me cry, but they will also make me a better writer. I'm not going to lie. I read all of my reviews. ALL of them. Why? Because I learn a lot about my writing weaknesses--and how I can improve them--from critical reviews. (I'm speaking only of constructive criticism, of course. Mean criticism is just, well...mean.) So after you're done wiping your tears, use what you've learned from those constructive reviews to make your writing stronger.

3) Everyone works at their own pace. When I first started writing, I felt so lame because some of my writer friends could finish a book in a week. A WEEK! And there I was, taking at least six months to write a book. I felt so much pressure to write faster and wasted a lot of valuable writing time stressing about it. But writing isn't a race. It's a journey. So take your time.

4) It's okay to take a day off. I used to write every single day. I thought that if I didn't take any breaks, then I'd finish my manuscripts super fast and they would be masterpieces. Haha. But that's not how art works. Sometimes you have to take time off and recharge your imagination. Downtime is crucial to the creative process, so don't be afraid to give yourself a break.

5) Celebrate everything. I used to temper my excitement about things, as if rejoicing in my small accomplishments was somehow unprofessional. But success isn't about the big moments, it's about the small ones--the seemingly insignificant triumphs that only I know (or care) about. So don't hesitate to get excited about the little things (or the silly things, or the things no one else notices). Have a personal celebration for ALL of your accomplishments---all the time--because you deserve it! :)

Chelsea Fine

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

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  1. What a great list. The very first one is the one I've just recently accepted. It helps me write faster.

  2. I love this! It's such great advice, and all things I wish I'd known in the beginning too!