The ABCs of Writing - Tips for New Writers

When I began a serious writing career, the first step was to get organized and establish a regular routine.

Here are some tips to encourage new writers to get started. It is not exhaustive, but purposely short to get you going.

A is for action.

To be successful in anything, it requires action. You have to have a plan and then you have to follow the plan. It is important to set 3 goals for the year and then list specific, daily and weekly objectives to accomplish those goals. This will keep you on track.

For example, if writing for magazines is one of your goals, your objective is to decide how often you will submit an article (e.g. one per week). If writing a book is another goal, you will decide how much time or how many pages you will write each day or week.

Writers can have so many ideas it is easy to dream about them and not act upon them. A plan of action is crucial for your success.

B is believe in yourself.

You are unique. You have something to say. No one can write it quite like you.

There are lots of magazines and books in the world, but there is always room for more article or story. The world is always changing and creating fodder for the next story. 

Of course, your first published work is a real boost to believe in yourself. Until that time comes (and it will come), keep at it and don't give up. 

C is for challenges.

Needless to say, our lives have challenges. Some are serious and out of our control. Some are mere distractions we can eliminate. 

Don't let challenges stop you. Learn to navigate through them. Often, these challenges make us better writers. We learn patience, endurance, and even find our challenges can help others through our writing.

After the death of my oldest son, blogging became therapy for me. My desire to help others naturally unfolded from a very difficult and challenging time. Not only for those who lost a child, but anyone who needed hope during painful situations in life. 

You might be chugging along with a good routine and a challenge comes along, disrupting your rhythm. It could be submission rejections, computer problems, illness, job loss - it will slow you down but don't throw in the towel. Become stronger and allow your challenges to define who you are and what you write.

D is for determination.

It goes without saying, right? Anything worth pursuing takes determination. 

Some of us hit the brick wall sooner than others, but we all hit it eventually. Thing is, what will you do after you hit it?

Once you find your niche and get momentum, there will be plenty of reasons that come along to thwart your writing goals. Sometimes we must pull back but then we have to get back on track. 

I have had those seasons of not submitting articles regularly for various reasons. Don't let that season go too long. Be determined of your potential and success!

E is for earning money.

It's the best feeling in the world to get paid for what you write. You may have a long term goal in mind to write a book. Meanwhile, freelance writing can earn you money now. 

Checking online job boards consistently provide more opportunities than you can imagine. There is a continual need for freelance writers - everything from resume writing to product descriptions. 

Next month, we will continue with the ABCs of Writing - letters F-J.

Photo Crediinterphasesolution.


After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts


Karen Cioffi said...

Kathleen, what a helpful post for writers. I like #1 the most since nothing can be accomplished without taking that initial action and keeping it going. And, thanks for sharing tools for writers to actually make money!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Kathleen, glad you did this! We sometimes neglect the brand new-bie! (-:

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I agree with Karen. Ideas without action get you nowhere.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thanks, everyone.

Yes, action is the only thing that gets the ball rolling. said...

I've been writing for a long time, but your tips to new writers was a wonderful review and inspirational. I've just gone through a difficult time with me belief in myself threatened. I was called a bigot on facebook which I'm not. Such accusations are hard to get over because it becomes "yes you are, no I'm not." Your words helped me. Thank you.

StepmomShawn said...

Thank you for these tips! As a new writer, this is helpful! My first book for stepmoms is coming out soon, but now I need to stay focused on my second book for stepdads. Sometimes life gets in the way, and I have to remember to stay on track. The reminder I needed is to set goals. I haven't done that for this next book, so thanks for the reminder. :)

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Kathleen,
Thanks for sharing these tips. They are good for all writers!
Celebrate you and your willingness to write to help others.

Karen Cioffi said...

Mary, that's why I don't get involved in social media. I use it for business and that's it. I have friends and family; I don't need to keep the world updated on my thoughts and goings on. Just some food for thought.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Mary, I am so glad my very simple tips have encouraged you.

It takes some time to regain confidence when you've been injured.

Karen, excellent advice!

Kathleen Moulton said...

Congratulations on your book! I will look for it.

I'm glad my tips have been a good reminder for you.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thank-you, Joan. Sometimes I think I don't have much to offer since I am not a seasoned author, but encouragement is so important for all of us.

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