This post isn't really for those already writing, but I'm hoping that you guys will also leave some encouragement and advice in the comments. Pretty please?
So... That leave the rest of you. It is so easy to classify man-kind into three kinds of people: Those who write, those who want to write and those who don't.
I want to have a quick chat with those of you who are in the second group.
Firstly, I want to ask: Why aren't you writing? You want to. If my own experience is any indication, you have a great big urge to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
Are you worried that you won't be good enough? Well... how do you know? Even if you have tried, things can be incredibly murky. Judging your own work is difficult. More so if you've never been called on to do it before. Also, there's another aspect to this situation. Yes your work might suck now (perhaps. I don't believe that first attempts have to suck.), but have you ever noticed the vast amount of advice and help available to you at your fingertips?
In fact: Here's an offer you can't refuse. My month of May is wide open until I have to start editing. If you want, you're more than welcome to send me some of your work to critique. It will be highly educational (it's still teaching me) and you don't have to worry that your work will find its way to my blog. The crits will be handled 100% confidentially. If you're interested, feel free to contact me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com. You can also use that address to send me any writing-related question that you might have.
In the mean-time, here's some advice that I've learned over my multiple efforts:
1) You CAN do it. Don't listen to internal and external voices telling you that you can't.
2) Speaking of which. Unless you are sure that you can handle a lot of negativity, tell only people you trust that you are writing.
3) You have to tell someone though. Support is imperative. Even if you start blogging.
4) If you're blogging, make sure to connect with other writers.
5) The writing rules are in fact guidelines. Play with them. Stretch them.
6) But never convince yourself that you're writing Shakespeare. Those above experiments can go very wrong too. The trick is to learn the balance.
7) Read agents' blogs to see what they love and hate and why.
8) Read. Period. If you don't read, you can't write.
9) Find what works best for you. Do you plot? Do you fly by the seat of your pants? Or do you combine the two?
10) Writing is firstly for you. If you are happy when you write, you are a writer. No matter how many pages someone else writes per day. No matter how young that other blogger is when she got her book deal. Your journey as a writer will differ from everyone else's. And that means that there isn't room for comparison.
So... I've kitted you out with some of the most important lessons that I've learnt - the hard way. You're already ahead.
What's keeping you from writing?
For my writing buddies, do you have any more advice to add? For someone who wants to write, what would you like to know? If I get enough questions, I might address it in May's posts. Feel free to contact me. :-) Also, just want to let you know that I will be giving away a book on writing in May, so be sure to come back for a chance to win!