When I was asked to contribute to the IWSG website, I wondered what advice I would give to writers. My first thought was... well... I’ve only been writing fiction for just under 3 years now. That’s not a whole lot of experience and there are a plethora of well-established writers out there. These are peeps who have been writing from way back when. Many have written and published two or three, or more books.
They have decades of writerly knowledge to impart to the hordes of up-and-coming writers who are out there searching for writerly nuggets, that one piece of info that will give you the edge over other wannabe’s...
Me? Give advice? Ha! But I’ve been acting. Did you really think that I know much about writing? It’s all an elaborate act. That’s what I’ve been doing all along. And sure, it’s gotten me this far, but if I tell you guys that, then what!? DANG.
*moment of red-handedness*
BUT... upon further pondering and much, much deliberation, *ahem* I’ve decided that maybe I do have some advice to impart. It’s not much, but it’s all that you need... for today anyway... and remember that the human brain can only process a limited amount of information at any given time...
So settle in and and let me squeeze these dregs of knowledge out of my brain and into your listening ears.
Know that you are not unique. For the budding wordsmith, (newbies sit up and listen) it’s easy to believe that you’re part of a small, chosen few—an intellectual elite of creative geniuses. During this stage, you might think that people will fall over themselves to publish whatever it is you are writing. So, to a new writer, I would say get on social media. Just poke your head in (whatever you do, don’t get stuck there...) and you’ll see that writers are not a rare breed. The writing world is flooded. It seems like every person is writing a book that he/she hopes to see published one day. Understand these odds now, because when you finish that book and start shopping it around, you’ll learn that the publishing world has many varied problems. Scarcity of writers is not one of them.
Know that you are unique. So now I’m contradicting myself. Though you may be surrounded by thousands of other writers advocating for their books, you must never lose sight of the fact that you have something to offer. You have something to add to this vast conversation. Something different. You have your own story to tell, based on the sum of your life knowledge/experiences/interests/goals/challenges/positives/negatives. That makes for a powerful and unique story. So don’t let the masses frighten you off; stake your claim in the market and let your voice be heard. You might be part of an enormous writer cosmos, but that shouldn’t stop you from shining.
And there you have it!
By the way, I’ve just started a new part-time teaching position and I’ve been asked to submit a proposal to start up a writing club.
Not bad for a novice writer, hey?