If you were to ask me what bit of writing advice I wished someone had told me sooner, this would be the most important one; just keep writing.
Keep writing even if everyone hates what you’ve written. Keep writing even if you hate what you’ve written. Write during the good times, and the bad, write silly stuff and serous stuff. Write stuff that sounds highbrow and write stuff that sounds like glorified fan fiction. Just keep writing.
Outside of just naturally getting better at writing as you do it, this also leads to you having a large selection of writing samples. Something that might be useful if you are looking to become a professional writer.
It really is that simple, but for those of you who are not sold on this let me go further.
Maybe you’re the type of writer who likes to outline everything. These kinds of people tend to make sure they know what’s going to happen at every step of the way along the path of their story and/or poem. And many times they just never get around to writing it because they either get burned out, or it’s not good enough.
But the secret is that if that’s your attitude, it’s never going to be good enough. I get the feeling behind this type of over planning writer, I have a book I’ve written that’s not going to get published without any sort of major rewrite. It sucks that it feels like I wasted all that time working on something that only a select group of people are going to see. But here’s the secret, all that time I spent working on that book–was not a wast of time.
I learned how to improve my spelling, my grammar, and my time management skills. Saying I’ve written a book in a job interview is how I’ve gotten more then a few job offers, because the skills that I developed while writing translate well to the “real world.”
It’s a tad mementic, but “just do it,” is often times the best way to get started on anything. So no matter what anyone tells you about wasting time, or needing to plan better–my advice will always be just keep writing.
But that’s just what I think….