Are You A Long Term Writer Or A Short Term Writer?

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since the age of nine after I wrote my first story ( of  which I’m now sure was mostly like a ripe off of an episode of ‘Hey Arnold’ but I digress). Ever since that first story came into my mind and I wrote it, another story just as exciting or better would come right after. I knew writing was a long term choice for me. It feels like if I don’t write then a part of me will be missing.

However, other writers are more focused on the short term. Neither is better or right or wrong, but is up to you as the writer to decide how you want your writing career to be.

If you are trying to figure out which choice is right for you read on.

Long Term Might Be For You If:

You wish to make a career from your writing

If you want to turn your writing passion into a way of living then your mindset is focused more on the long term. Sure people can write one book and have it launch their career forever, but most authors who want to write as a career have more than one book to crank out.

Which brings me to my next point…

  • You see yourself as a full time writer

Being a full time writer is a goal I have strived for for the longest of time. I would love the day when I can quit my retail job and earn income as a full time writer. To me it means freedom two ways; the first is freedom to write whatever I want (which I already have) and the second is freedom to write whenever I want. As a full time writer I can set my own schedule and be my own boss (without the proper mindset being a boss can break you). If you see yourself as an independent person who wants to escape the corporate world for good and start writing for your income then you’re definitely more of a long term writer.

  • You get uneasy if you don’t write for a long period of time.

I don’t know what it is but whenever I don’t write for a while it feels like my brain is gnawing at me to finish something. Or even start a new project. And this always happen after I go a long while without writing anything. It could be me not feeling productive but whatever the reason, after I have a writing session after a drought I feel so much better.

  • You have trouble seeing yourself long term in a different career

Can you see yourself being satisfied in a different career path instead? If you can, that’s fine. But know what you want to do with your time and life and do what you love no matter what it is.

Short Term Might Be For You If:

If writing is more like a hobby

I love hobbies and I think they are great but I know that I’m not 100% serious about my hobbies simply because I know I love other activities (such as writing) more than my hobbies. Is writing your hobby?

  • You only want to write 1 or two books or series

Like I mentioned earlier in this post, if you have only one book or so inside you then it’s not too likely you’re want a long writing career unless that first book is tremendously successful. J.K Rowling, one of my favorite authors, accomplished this but it’s not likely.

  • You have another career as your focus

If you love something more than writing then go for it! There is always a choice. If you have a business for example and sold the one book you’ve written in the back of the room would be an example of writing short term because it would have solved your purpose.

  • You have a stronger passion somewhere else

As mention above, if your passion lies elsewhere then you’re most likely writing for the short term. This is fine of course but it’s good to be aware and you can also change your mind.

You’re awesome either way!

Happy Writing,

Shaquadna

 

Talent Alone Won’t Make You Successful

If you’re new to writing or have written for years professionally, it’s always good to remember that talent alone won’t make you successful. Yes, success is defined differently for everyone but if we’re talking about success as a writer there is a lot more that has to go into it than talent.

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  • Hard Work

You can have all the talent in the world but if you never use it what’s the point? What makes the difference is showing up and working hard, talented or not. It’s better to have a team of  less talented basketball players, for example, who actually show up and practice to get better than a team of talented players who do show up at all or just being lazy. Diligence rewards over time just like practicing. You will get better. Don’t just rely on your talents to do the work for success for you because over time it won’t last without discipline. Aim for your success, show up and work hard!

  • Consistency

This ties in with working hard. Being consistent means having a plan or routine and sticking to it. If you say you’ll do a video about writing every week, don’t do one once a month, than twice a week, and then none for another year. Be consistent so your readers/audience will have expectations to what’s coming. Then they can get excited. But if they don’t know when you’re going to write/publish something then they won’t invest in you as much.

Consistency is a slow build but it pays off for you because people will get accustomed to it and know that you’re not going anywhere.

  • Planning

Planning can save your career. With a plan you can organize what you want/need to accomplish for the day/week/month and so on. It can help with consistency and increase your productivity. With a plan you can stay focused, this combined with your talent as a writer will help excel you into a higher level of success and professionalism. Take a moment to write down what you need to do and write a plan/schedule so that  you know when you can get it done. Less stress for you and the work is more likely to be done. Win-Win!

  • Honesty

Cheaters never win in the long haul. So I always strive to be as honest as I possibly can at all times. Being true to yourself as a writer and as a person goes a long way. People notice. Besides your reputation is on the line and that’s more important than talent/skill or money. Honesty also has its rewards because it builds trust with your potential customers to know they aren’t going to get a crappy product from you. Being true to yourself and being true to others is the way to go!

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  • Professionalism

This ties in with honesty because it’s your image/brand/reputation that is on the line. you would never want to be rude or snarky on social media or anywhere because that reflects bad on you as a professional writer. It’ll finds a way to make it back to your career, for example, if you bash someone on twitter and then ask for book reviews a day later. That won’t work. It’s a not a good look on you and it can easily backfire.

The thing is everything on the internet can never truly be deleted. People young and old have made mistakes of saying, posting, or doing things that they can’t take back that has harmed their career. But by staying professional all around can help you avoid most potential catastrophes, where talent alone won’t save you.

 

I hope this helps! Please let me know what you think about this topic and if you would like to add anything to the comments below. Happy writing!

Why You Should Write What You Love But Make It Good

I think we have all fallen for the trap of wanting to write what’s popular or what would give us the most attention. If you haven’t that’s good for you! But if you have ever questioned your book’s topic because it wasn’t mainstream I have some advice to share. Keep reading!

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The truth is that not everyone will like the genre you’ve chosen to write about. But the good news is that you’re not writing for those people! You’re writing for the groups of people who would enjoy your genre/topic, who would be interested in reading your book. those people are your true target audience. If you have a special or unique topic that is not very mainstream but is more of a niche, that is good! Uniqueness stands out and you can narrow in your marketing because you’ll know the exact kind of people who would like your book (probably people like you).

So it’s definitely okay to write what you love because there are people who will enjoy it even if it’s not everyone.

Writing to please other people will eventually make you miserable. If you are doing something everyday that you don’t enjoy doing than of course it will make you unhappy. When it comes to writing you don’t want to lose your passion by writing topics or genre just to please someone else. This is your life remember and you are the living it. You are the one doing the hard writing, not them. So write what you love and be proud of it.

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What matters more than the topic/genre is that it’s of high quality. Just because you are in control of whatever you want to write doesn’t mean the quality is allowed to suck. as a professional, you want to produce the best product you can so that your readers can have a great experience with your work. This means going all out on revisions and edits so that your readers will keep coming back for more. It’s not the topic/genre that makes the story good, it’s the effort you put into it to make it the best it can be. Trust me, it’ll show!

 

Do you write in a genre that’s not really mainstream? Please let me know in the comment section below and thanks for reading!

Why You Should Kill Your Writing Perfectionism Today

Do you suffer from writing perfectionism?

Do you stay on a chapter or a paragraph for days, weeks, or even months until that first draft is “perfect”?

Well to be fair I think we all find ourselves doing this to some extent.

In today’s post, I’ll teach you why it’s important to keep moving on in your

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first draft and how doing so will benefit your time, overall story, and sanity in the long run.

Okay first things first. I think it’s clear you want your book to be the best out there in terms of clarity, entertainment, as well as being well written. Am I right?

But how long is “long enough” to write, rewrite, correct, change, fix, or modify your writing before it become ready to be published or sent to professional editors?

The truth is there is no magic number that is the right for how many drafts it’ll take for a book or story to be “perfect”. Eventually, you have to finish and show your work to the world or give it to a professional editor to help you take your work to the next level.

The goal is to finish. The goal has always been to finish, but the problem lies if you are stuck on making that first draft perfect the first time you write it because, more likely than not, you’re going to have to change something again later on anyway.

Let me explain.

The problem: when you correct your words, sentences, phrases, etc while you are still in the first draft stage all of your work is still at risk of being changed again when you start your second draft.

What if while writing you decide to change a character’s goal or motivation? That’s an important detail in a book and if you change your mind you may find yourself having to start over with a blank page.

Yes, planning and outlining helps to prevent this but somethings you don’t realize until you’ve actually started writing the words. You may come up with an even better idea for something. Then what?

All your perfectly polished words from before would have to be erased for words that fits with your new idea.

That is why time is wasted perfecting a first draft while writing without finishing the book first. Once you have your book done from start to finish you can see the story in all it’s glory or non-glory and make any big or small changes without worrying too much about grammar and punctuation.

This will save you TIME.

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The solution: Create an outline for your book before you even get started writing. If you’ve already started writing the first draft, stop and create your outline so you know how your book is going to play out in words.

It may seem to make sense in your head but just like math sometimes things can be a lot more clear when it’s written in words and you can see your words and ideas in front of you.

If you need help creating an outline please check out this post How To Outline a Novel

Once you have your outline finished going through the first draft should become a lot easier but it’ll only be fast if you focus on getting the words done and worry about editing those words once you have everything you planned on working with.

You can’t edit a blank page.

Once the first draft has been written you are free to focus completely on editing and changing without the annoyance of deleting well polished and perfectly spelled words.

But don’t get caught up in perfection in the editing stage either. Some authors take months even years not putting out something because they struggle with perfection.

I sometimes do too. I change my mind on scenes, chapters, even characters names WHILE writing and it sucks because I feel like I’ll have to start over in the changes are too big to work around.

But that’s okay. writing and rewriting is what being a good writer is all about. It’s when we never publish lies the problem.

Nothing in life is perfect. Not me. Not you and not your book. Someone, somewhere is not going to like your book no matter how hard you work on it. Readers have different tastes and some of your work will connect with them while some won’t. And that’s okay.

When you let your stress go of having it perfect, you’ll find yourself writing more, editing better and putting out work faster because of the time you’ve saved.

Do your best to edit. Give it to professional but don’t keep revising forever just because it “needs one more run through”. You have to take a chance and see what people think of your work or else you would never ever know.

Besides what if you change something you thought was bad that was really actually good?

Hope you’ve found this helpful. Please share with someone you know who’s new to writing.

How do you overcome your writing struggles of being perfect? Let me know below.

The #1 Tip For Better Dialogue

Let’s face it. Writing dialogue is not the easiest task in the world. I felt like I had to practice for years with conversations in my head of people going back and forth just to feel the natural rhythm that good dialogue has.

But there is one major thing I’ve noticed after years of practice and that’s that all good dialogue reflects the characters that are talking in some way, shape or fashion.

Simply put: The better you know your characters, the better your dialogue

Most of the time dialogue is used as a creative way to get information from one character to another, however, a preacher( who may be soft spoken, careful with their words, etc) is going to use different words than a drill sergeant who may be more blunt and straight to the point.

Personality plays a role, who they are talking to plays a role, and also the character’s lifestyle or career.

One thing you can do right now to make your dialogue better is really think about who each of the character are in the conversation, what their past were and how their life experience (like the preacher and the sergeant) may impact not only their dialogue but their tone of voice, their patience when talking and their ability to even explain themselves well. It all comes together, just like real people.

The better you know your characters the easier it will be to put your mind in their shoes and say something that a person like them would say. For example, a kid trying to explain something cool is going to sound a lot more exciting than an over worked librarian who can’t wait to go home.

Dialogue is not black and white simple words on a page with quotes around them. It is your character’s chance to talk and communicate with the outside world and their voice should be as unique and special just like any other person in real life. Because to them, the world you’ve created is their life.

Thank you reading and comment below what you do to make your dialogue stand out as a writer.

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