Showing posts with label help for new writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label help for new writers. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

More Help for New Writers - Patience

Last month we looked at ways for new writers to handle rejection.

Another important topic for discussion is patience. Without it, you will become disappointed and give up. 

I like quick results. When I taught K-4th grade art classes, I chose projects the students could take home later that day (unless we were working with clay or paper mâché). When I was asked to teach a drawing class for high school, I learned about process and the patience it requires.

Building a writing career is a process. There are very few overnight successes. Whether you are freelancing, writing for magazines, or writing a book, there are slow and steady steps which require patience for success.

Step 1 - Starting a blog


In early 2012, the first step I took in my writing career was creating a blog. It helped me be serious about what I wanted to do: build my platform. That means writing to a specific audience on a topic I am passionate about and gain credibility. It's been a slow and steady process, but I have a good following and readers from all over the world.

Once we create our blog, we're pretty proud of it. The layout, colors, font, and photos reflects our personality. It's like welcoming someone into your home and making them feel comfortable.

But after about a week or two, we wonder where our followers are. 

Statistics state, in 2012, there were over 173 million blogs and climbing. Finding you by chance is slim. Dedication takes patience and you need both to gain followers. When you get published, readers will either know who you are through your blog, or you will have a place for readers to land and know more about you.

Step 2 - Educating yourself

Another step is learning all you can. Technology is always changing and it's important to keep current. Learn how to do cover letters, how to get published, how search engines work, and more. You don't need a degree to be a successful writer but it can only help to take some courses. Many online are free or very affordable. 

I realized the value of this as I began writing. Be cautious of thinking you have a gift and can jump right in. You're a small fish in a big pond. Don't let this scare you, just do your homework. 

Step 3 - Waiting, waiting, and more waiting

I think we're all pretty conditioned to be impatient in today's world.  

Ask any writer who submits their work to magazines. It's typical to be told it will take 6+ weeks to be contacted regarding acceptance of your work. Sometimes you are not contacted at all. Many successful authors submitted their manuscript to several publishers before they landed a contract.

The key is not to give up. If you get discouraged easily, it may be because of impatience.  





You've heard it before: slow and steady wins the race. Your goals will be reached when you are patient. Celebrate your small successes along the way until the day you reach the finish line!

~~~



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 http://kathleenmoulton.com





Friday, February 27, 2015

Why a Writing Schedule is Important - Help for New Writers

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.  
Chinese Proverb 

One of the first hurdles for new writers who want to begin a writing career is creating a schedule. It can be daunting to figure out how you can find the time if you are in the midst of raising a family or working full time. Even if you are retired, life can still be busy. Some of my retired friends say they're busier!

Writing is creative and I write when I'm inspired. When an idea hits, I love to let the words flow. It's incredibly fulfilling. 

But if I wanted to be serious about my writing career, I had to tap into the logical function of my brain and make a schedule. Otherwise, I would have many unfinished projects laying around.

You may have a book burning inside of you. Keep that long term goal but consider one or two short term goals to gain practice, improve your skills, and make money. Magazine fillers, articles, and resumes are some ideas.

Once your writing goals are in place for the year, create a plan to meet those goals. Your writing schedule will make those objectives happen.
  • Are you a night owl? Morning person? Once you've figured out the best time to write, make the time. An hour every morning? Two hours each night? If you cannot write every day, choose specific days of the week and stick to it. 
       There will be times you don't feel like writing. This is normal.  But 
       keep in mind this great tip: never miss twice. If you skip your scheduled
       time of writing, don't skip the next one.

       Don't be afraid to adjust your schedule if it isn't working. Better to start            small and gradually build than to over extend yourself and give up.
  • Your writing time should have no interruptions. Turn off your phone, log out of your email, and write. Treat it as business because that's exactly what it is.
       When you begin producing, you will feel good about yourself and keep
       going.
  • Build an online presence. What are your interests? Write about it in a blog. Network with others in your niche. Visit blogs and leave thoughtful comments. Soon you will build your own audience.
  • Check online job boards for freelance work. Make it a point to schedule this time in so you will always have a project you are working on.
  • Don't forget to schedule time to learn new skills. There are writers' groups and many free and affordable courses available available online. 
Try it and this time next year you will be encouraged with your success!

Photo credit: gtall1 / Foter / CC BY


                                                       ~~~

   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 http://kathleenmoulton.com



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