Things I’ve learned as a Writer Part 1
1. Be flexible. Sometimes your characters and/or muses will take you to places that were not on the plot but add something extra to the story.
2. Be patient. Writing a novel takes time. (Roman wasn’t built overnight and neither was any polished novel.)
3. Be persistent. I have never had a novel written overnight. I learned that I had to push myself day after day to make sure I got something on the page. (I love what I do, but there are times that a sunny day looks better than finishing that scene or chapter. I usually make sure I finish it and then enjoy a reward.)
4. My first draft was never a polished gem. 99% of the time I will not write perfectly the first time. (I have never seen an author ever publish their first draft.)
5. My inner writer and inner editor are different pieces of me. My inner writer is usually messy, but needs to get the story out. She likes to work any time after noon and likes to party on the weekend.
The inner editor is neat, strives for order. She loves to organize and works in the early morning like 5am and be done by 2pm, 4 at the latest. She appreciates a good night sleep. (She is cranky when she sees a grammar error or word she missed.)
6. I made time to write. I don’t usually push myself for a word count (unless it was NaNoWriMo). I was happy just to get words on a screen or paper. It really does add up. I calculated all of the words on one of my flash drive and I was over a million.
7. Reading is a necessary for writing. This is especially true if one wants to be main-streamed published. I read to know format, how to write decent dialog, and to understand what the difference between tell vs. show.
8. Word count does count. Publishers look at word count. (I heard that anything under 80,000 words is considered a novella. Novels are considered 80,000 words and up with an average novel between 85,000 and 100,000 words.) Many editors will charge by the word.
9. Internet can be a bigger distraction than a help. I writing sprints (where you give yourself a time: 20 minutes, 45 minutes or even an hour and you just write.) However sometime I got distracted on the internet or when I sprint on facebook. (I have muted facebook sounds or turned off the internet just so I can get writing done.)
Facebook games are a horrible temptation for me.
10. Taking a break can be a good thing. I have been pressured to get thing done by a deadline and that can be stressful. Sometimes a half an hour or an hour break can help the brain process.