Monday, July 17, 2023

Inspiring Advice From IWSG Experts

Writing can be a discouraging journey. That is why today, we are going to bring you some hope from past and present IWSG Admins.

A lot of people are going to weigh in on your work. Attend to what your instincts tell you is valid and helpful. Set aside what doesn’t serve to get your story where you believe it should go. This, BTW, is darned hard and takes practice.
– C. Lee McKenzie

Keep writing and dreaming. Take breaks for a while, if needed, but come back. Always, keep a list of your accomplishments and a few kind phrases from writer friends nearby, just in case you need this armor to fight trolls - don't let them live under your bridge of creativity and threaten you with insecurity. Never give up, never surrender! :)
- Tyrean Martinson

Don't listen to the nay-sayers, yet be open to critique. Read frequently and widely. Remind yourself why you love to write. And just keep writing, and writing, and writing...
- Elle Cardy/Lynda Young

If you try to please everyone, you will lose your enjoyment of writing. Write the story you want to read, the one that makes you happy, because there are people out there who will be happy to read it too.
– Christine Rains

Don't compare yourself to others. Everyone has different circumstances and/or are in different parts of their writing journey. Yours will be your own. No one can write your words but you.
Not all advice or rules are to be followed. Think for yourself and if the so-called writing rule isn't working for you then break it.v Above all else, never ever try to please everyone or you will fail before you even get started. There will always be someone that dislikes your writing no matter how good it is. It could be the best ever and someone will hate it. It could be the worst ever and someone will love it. You can't please everyone in anything in life, so don't try. Write the story you want to tell, find a good group, take constructive feedback, and ignore the naysayers. Don't engage them either. They live for that. Ignore and don't let them deter you from your writing goals.
- Pat Hatt

My advice to beginning and veteran writers is to find your people. Most of the time, writers work alone as they pick or pound at the keyboard. But working alone doesn't mean a writer needs to be lonely. Find your community whether it is a face-to-face group or an online group. If you're really lucky, you'll find both. Your tribe not only provides mental and emotional support and energy, they know most of what you need to know to be a successful writer, or they know someone who knows. They are a resource and an inspiration. IWSG has been my online community for all its years and I hope many years to come.
- Susan Gourley

A business partner from long ago had a saying. “When the dream’s big enough the facts don’t matter.” And that certainly applies to writers. If your goal is big enough and a burning desire, you will find a way to make it a reality.
And either path you take, traditional or self-publishing, will require an education. Learn all you can about every aspect of your chosen path. You have once chance to make a good impression and do it right.
- L. Diane Wolfe

You will always doubt, whether it’s your first book or tenth. Is it the vision you wanted to create and will others enjoy it? You have to go on faith. Believe in yourself. Believe in your creation. If you believe, it doesn’t matter what other people think. You will know in your heart you gave it your best.
- Alex J. Cavanaugh

When sales aren’t plentiful and you feel discouraged, please remember that even if you only had one book sale in a particular month, a reader chose your story over a million others, and give yourself a pat on the back.
- Sandra Cox

The key to success is persistence despite failure, adapting, pivoting, and being open to new ways of looking at things, or doing, or learning. The ones that never give up eventually, find success by their own definition, by building a body of work that allows readers to learn to trust you as an author and creator. It also builds confidence in your-self and creates new skills in an industry that is always changing. Key: Know what you really want, and what you are willing to do to gain the skills to achieve it. Simply put: Never give up!
- Juneta Key

The intersection of what you enjoy writing + identification of your strength + growth opportunities = your sweet spot.
For example, I love writing flash fiction. Short bursts of writing exhilarate me + I’m quite good at it + it fosters tight, lean writing habits = win, win, win.
Oh, and did I mention the fun factor?
If writing feels tedious or like a slog, then something is off. Even during the difficult moments (which is normal and which there will be plenty of, trust me…) try to find that spark and what drew you to writing in the first place.
- Michelle Wallace

What inspiring encouragement would you offer?


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great advice here! Lots of words of wisdom.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the great advice and inspiration.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

PT Dilloway said...

Inspiration and encouragement isn't really my thing. lol

Some good advice though.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love this!!!
Have fun, listen to your heart and gut!

kaykuala said...

Thanks for the advice, Alex, Pat and all! Sure appreciate it! Will drop in as and when to be reminded!


PJ Colando said...

I read these through this morning a smiled - thanks! A great way to start the day!

Juneta key said...

Loved the inspiration.

Elephant's Child said...

Such wise advice. For writing and for life.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Some sound advice!

diedre Knight said...

What a thoughtful gesture it is to sprinkle a little support and inspiration around like raindrops! Thanks, everyone.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

A wonderful collection of great advice!

cleemckenzie said...

I think this group covered almost everything in the way of good suggestions. I wouldn't expect less! :-) said...

Thank you all, for such sage words.
I'd only add that we need to be selective regarding whose feedback we're influenced by. Not all feedback is worthy of incorporating. A lot isn't.

Virtual hugs.

Rhonda Albom said...

Fantastic article, loaded with good tips, especially (for me) the reminder to not listen to the nay-sayers

Sandra Cox said...

This was a great idea, Alex. We all need encouragement, don't we?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Every piece of advice here is a keeper. Love me some IWSG!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Reader! - this is the group to be a part of ... build your supporters here - they'll be encouraging you as you progress. Words of wisdom indeed always emanate ... and you'll have positivity on your side - enjoy the journey - thanks to Alex for starting the group and all admin assistants thereafter - cheers Hilary

Mary Kirkland said...

That's all very good advice.

ib said...

This is very helpful and is what I needed to hear. I am currently writing the prologue for a short story and nerved while doing so. I'll print this little bits of wisdom out and go back to them when I'm overwhelmed.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love this post. It's good seeing all these positive comments one one page. :)

Sandra Cox said...

I agree with Lee. Some advice will be sound and help your story. Some not so much:)

Sandra Cox said...

AND I like Tyrean's advice for fighting trolls;)

A Hundred Quills said...

Hello team! Thank you for the excellent motivation and advice. There's something to take back home in each. Basically, the crux is to enjoy the process and write what you believe in. I also liked the point about leaving out the rules that don't work for your writing.

Find Meaning in Adversity said...

Incredible writing advice from many different perspectives, from the challenges of the lows to the exhilarations of "success"--and redefining what that success means to an author.

My own advice can be summarized in that, by telling the truth of your own story, you heal yourself and allow space for the readers to heal as well.

My writing is available here: Find Meaning in Adversity.