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So you want to be a writer… Now what?

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

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Writing is a work of passion. Not everything you write is good or even great. Most of the time, when you write, you doubt your words and when you go back you can’t help but wonder what the hell you were thinking.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was on to something and realized later what I had was a nightmarish ball of shite! At least I’m not afraid to say it or admit it. Yes, there have been so many false starts, horrific stops and a lot of words that ended up cut, deleted or otherwise destroyed as they were better left forgotten.

But what does all of that mean if that’s your passion. If writing is the one thing that will fulfill your soul, what do you do?

Do you ignore it? Do you day dream about it? Do you tell people about the stories you’ve been ‘working on’ but never do anything with?

Or do you ‘bite the bullet’ and do something about it?

Vampires have the craziest teeth and since I write about them, why not?

In my case, thinking of biting bullets brings to mind vampires or werewolves attempting to dodge their imminent demise using their teeth. It’s an image that both inspires creativity and makes me laugh due to it’s mildly inappropriate visual.

In my case, I bit the bullet a long time ago. Even while working full time jobs in the corporate world, (yes, once upon a Big Blue was a thing), I still wrote. I scribbled down ideas during breaks, when I woke up and during long daytime hours that I should have been using to sleep.

I’m not afraid to say that i have several manuscripts that were completed in their second or third drafts. While I never did anything with them after those drafts, they’re still stories and passion projects that may come to fruition on the future.

What got me writing again and actually taking my writing seriously? Was it the pandemic? Was it the stay at home orders and not having anything else to do? Or was there some sort of inspiration that got me writing?

If I was to be really honest with everyone, including myself, there was a combination of factors. Lock down was definitely a big one, but another was I really wanted to finish NaNoWriMo again.

I’d made it through three Novel writing months and two Camp NaNo events in the past. Add lock downs and the threat of covid in addition to being out of work and I found myself in the middle of the perfect storm.

It was a make it or break it moment. On November 2, 2020 I sat down at the computer and started writing. The first day wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. I was easily distracted and in another moment of honesty, I actually gave up on my Day One.

My first day lagged and lagged. I had an amazing story to write. I had notes. I knew how the story was going to end, I had my character flushed out and the world within a world urban fantasy setting I had created was vibrant. It was clear in my head that I could almost see it.

But the words just wouldn’t flow.

Worse, the next day when I reread what I wrote, I was more than done. I’d quit. But something had happened in the NaNoWriMo Discord server I’d found myself in. Something crazy. Something I’d never done before or experienced before.

Thanks to Discord, I discovered… AUTHORTUBE!

While I can tell you that Pomodoro Sprints work for me, I know that they don’t work for everyone. But those sprints, with an audience of people watching someone else as they honed their craft was life changing. I was suddenly writing, not rewriting what I wrote, just writing. and I was accountable to the timer and the groups I was writing with. Here’s a link to Devin Cutting’s Daily play list. These lists have someone live at almost every moment of the day hosting write ins.

Some of my favorite hosts are on primarily on Twitch. You can find them under the Writers tag.

On my Day Two I hammered out over eight thousand words. Despite my journal saying otherwise, at the end of the day I had all but forgotten my miserable start. Over the course of November I wrote 125,000 words. I wrote the first draft of a book and started the first draft of it’s sequel.

I’m not going to say or even pretend that everything I wrote during November was amazing or keepable. But that is what editing is for.

So, now for the now what. What’s next now that you know you want to be a writer? Just do it. You don’t even need to have a plan or an outline. Just get it done. You can go back and edit later. You can find critique partners and even editors when it’s time.

But what if you don’t know where or how to get started? You have a story and the characters in your head are just as real as the people you talk to everyday in person, via text or in the virtual world.

The good news is that in addition to Author Tube has more resources than you can throw a book at. If you need something more hands on, an actual class, there is a Master Class for that.

You want to write novels for young readers, Judy Blume has a class for that. Poetry Bill Collins. Mysteries and Thrillers leads you to David Baldacci, Dan Brown and James Patterson (even though his writing has gotten a weeee bit Hokey since he started working with Bill Clinton IMHO). NK Jemisin teaches world building for Science Fiction and Fantasy and I have to tell you her class is amazing! If screenwriting is your thing, Aaron Sorkin also has a class and so many more.

I’m actually getting ready to to take the David Baldacci class. While I have a serial to finish that is already a thriller, I have a feeling that his class could help nudge me in the write direction to make sure that The Explorers has an end it deserves while starting another project. Keep in mind I five months of The Explorers and nearly two and a half years of Under the White Moon Paranormal Mysteries Episodes almost ready to go and just needing a little bit of polish before they are posted. It’s absolutely crazy!

What is your next step? Is it research? Is it an outline? Is it a short story? Is it writing a one sided conversation? Is it something that will change your life or the world around you?

If you want to write, do it! Never be afraid of it. Quality comes with editing and practice and we have to start somewhere.

If you’re looking for a friend out in the virtual world to take a Thriller/Mistery Master Class with, then I’m your girl. I’ll be starting on Sept 1 and posting about my experience on Instagram, TikTok (yea that will be a thing) and maybe YouTube, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to get somewhere that I’ll be able to upload content of that kind of length for a bit.

The moral of the story is that if you’re passionate about something, be it writing, photography, hiking, exploring, skating, singing, dancing… no matter what it is. Do it.

Maybe we can do some of that learning part together.

SO! If you’ve made it this far and you’ve decided that writing or something else is your thing, tell me about here or on Instagram. Maybe we can hold each other accountable.

Until next time!

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