I’m still learning, but I’ve had poems and short stories published, and I think the road ahead just involves practise. If you want to write, the first thing to do is simple. Write. After that, here’s my two pennies’ worth of advice.
Nevermore refrain, don’t be like Edgar Alan Poe’s poem’s, singing an eternal lamenting refrain. Forgive, learn and move on.
I’m working on this too, but it’s important. Write a little every day.
Plan the right amount. Plan to free-write, puddle between chapters and jigsaw it all together, have a bullet-point structure, or map out the whole thing. But do one of these for a story and see if it works for you. Finish it. And only then decide if that method of story writing has worked for you.
…that the best thing you ever did was a drawing before you were six. With all its imperfections, it is good because you didn’t think about what you were doing and just enjoyed yourself.
Take a break
Go on a walk, make a cup of tea. But leave your desk and your computer for a bit. Whether that’s for a day or a year, it doesn’t matter. You’ll feel the itch again when you are ready.
Have a change of scenery
Just move. If you must finish your project and you’re on a tight deadline, go to the library, to a different quiet room, ask if your friend has some space you could use (and lock them out of). Try changing your tools, write on scrap paper, plain or lined. Write in crayon, felt tips or fountain pens. Artists have paints, pencils and charcoal, different papers and styles. Use them.
I read an interesting book a while ago about a writer’s vampiric friends. Do you know people who make you feel creatively drained after meeting with them? Perhaps you should see them less, or only on weekends. Consider if they are good for you to be around.
Don’t just hang around with other writers, meet with other creatives in different fields. Artists, actors, comedians, accountants. Just not writers. They wont be watching everything they say and write, and are more likely to help you be creative, because they’re not looking for the same things from life.
Books, poetry, articles (much like this one.) Take on board what you can learn, why an author’s writing is good, and (more importantly) why it is bad. Let others make mistakes for you, but don’t become paranoid about these things.
Don’t compare yourself to great writers
You will only become sulky. They’ve been practising for years, and what you have just read has probably been through a professional editing team before you see it. They’ve had the rough drafts and rejection letters. They are human, and so are you.
Thank you for reading my blog. One final piece of advice. Join a writing community, or write for a publication- online or in print, it doesn’t matter. Having editors and deadlines will not only help you to produce work on time, and to a better quality, but also help you to write more.