The best advice I was given when I started writing was to do it because you enjoy it and not with the hope of making your fortune.
Anyone who puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) in the belief that writing will make them instantly rich is deluded – it won’t. We have all heard of incidences where a ‘first time’ author has been offered a six figure sum for their debut novel but dig a little deeper and you will probably discover that the writer has been at it for years with several failed attempts and false starts behind them. Those who succeed have tenacity and determination. It can take a very long time to get published and it is those who stick with it who will eventually succeed, so don’t give up your day job at the first flash of inspiration.
If you love writing and do it because you enjoy it, it will show. If you are bored with your characters and plot, then your readers will be too!
In my last post, I said that all the magic happens at the editing stage and this is true but the hard part is sitting down at your desk and committing the words to paper (or screen). This is why National Novel Writing Month which kicks off tomorrow is such a great idea as it focuses on quantity rather than quality and forces you to churn out words on daily basis. The aim is to have written a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month (November) – the end result might not win any prizes for literature but you will have laid the foundations for your book and with a bit (or quite a lot) of editing, who knows where it might lead?
Nanowrimo is an excellent example of writing for the love of it. For the sheer joy of creating something from scratch and having fun with words. For first time writers this is an excellent starting point.
Sadly, I will not be participating this year as part of the rules for entry are that you start from scratch and I want to press on with the book that I am already working on. I have signed up in the past and managed to write the best part of a truly awful romance that I would never dare submit to M&B as it stands, but I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of writing without boundaries. I tend to edit as I go along and having permission to write unchecked was extremely liberating.
So if you haven’t signed up yet, take a look at the website (www.nanowrimo.org) and have a go.
The very best of luck to everyone who is taking part in Nanowrimo and everyone writing (whatever, wherever) throughout November.