Today’s guest blogger is a bit of an enigma.
We know Ari Meghlen’s avatar from her Twitter site as she shares daily questions for us to consider under the hashtag #TheMerryWriter. She is working on several books yet hasn’t been published. But she has flash fiction pieces on her website, as well as a wealth of articles about writing.
We also know that Ari loves writing fantasy, loves blogging, is an archer, a movie-lover, a sculptor and a bad card player.
I was nervous when I asked her to write a guest blog because I never feel comfortable direct messaging someone I don’t know well. I was really happy Ms Meghlen said yes.
I want to say a big thanks to Kevin for inviting me onto his writing blog, I truly appreciate this opportunity. Here are some of my tips:
1 – Don’t Compare
One of the most destructive habits people have is comparing themselves to others and writers are no different. It can become second-nature to compare everything we do to someone else’s work.
Whether it’s the actual writing, time-frame, marketing or something else, don’t compare it to other people. You don’t know how much work they put in, how many years they’ve been writing, what their support structure is like or what sort of responsibilities they have.
Far too often new writers compare their early work against other people’s published works. All this does is create feelings of inadequacy or jealousy. It can leave us feeling insecurity about our work and stop us from reaching our goals.
You do you. Work hard with your writing, work smart and do what you need to do to get it finished and polished. Other writers are not your competition and we shouldn’t continually measure ourselves against them either.
2 – Love your Work
If you don’t love what you’re writing, take a step back. We all have those moments where we feel disconnected. Maybe the writing isn’t flowing like it used to, maybe the plot is stumbling or the dialogue is flat. You can reach a point where the joy has faded somewhat.
This doesn’t mean we should give up on our writing or our story, it just means we might need to take a break.
If the writing doesn’t fill you with joy, then the reader mostly likely won’t feel it either. Know when to step away, and then ONLY step away. Never discard a story permanently on a whim. Most of the time, these feelings will pass and we rekindle the joy for our stories.
Now I’m not saying you should always come to your desk bursting with happiness to write. We don’t always have that and we can’t wait for inspiration, so sometimes you need to sit and just drag the words, kicking and screaming, out onto the page.
That is to form habit, but if you’re doing that every day, for months and never finding any joy in the words when they finally start to flow naturally, then you need some time away from that story.
3 – Don’t rush
In the world of self-publishing, it is easier than ever to be a published author and it can be tempting to just finish your story and fling it out into the world.
Firstly, take pride in your work and make sure you’re only releasing your best. Get your drafts edited and polished until they shine. Use resources like beta readers and critique partners to help you really get your manuscript ready.
Don’t rush to be published just so you can see your name on a book, or because other people are published. Make sure you’re truly happy with your work and take as much time as you need.
I’ve been writing for over twenty years, when I started as a child. I am happy that I have all that experience behind me that has made me a better writer.
Take the time to hone your skill, to develop your talent and find your writing voice.
4 – Invest in yourself
If writing is your passion, then be prepared to invest in yourself. That doesn’t just mean money, but time too. Though you should see your writing an investment and in doing say consider paying a professional editor, a professional book cover designer etc.
If you struggle with any type of technique, spend time learning to overcome that struggle. Take time to connect with other writers who can advise and support you. Invest in courses that can help you market your work and develop your brand.
Put the same energy and effort you put into writing your story, into all the other parts too, the editing, the branding, the marketing, connecting with your readership, building a platform etc.
This time is not wasted and if you research well before parting with it, any money you spend will be a good investment.
You can find out more about Ari Meghlen at her website – JUST CLICK HERE
And you can check out her socials below. Thanks Ari for dropping in today.
CLICK HERE to read the next in the series of Writing Tips from Melbourne based author, Madeleine D’Este.