How to Be a Happy Writer

freelancewriterbarbie:

Every writer is different, but there’s a few basic, well proven, tactics to keep the person who creates world happy in their own. 

Write for yourself.  Write the story you want to write, the way you want to write it, because in the end, you’re the one doing all the work! If you can’t enjoy the process, then it’s work. Not the fun work, the kind of work you have to go visit a bar afterwards to get rid of the dread. Believe it or not, your story will have little remnants of your psyche when you’re done; and if you didn’t like the story or enjoy the writing of it, it will show. So in the end, if you’re not writing the story you want to write and enjoying it as you go, then readers won’t either! Then what’s the point?

Don’t be afraid to write as freely as you please.While you’re writing that story you know will never sell, just because you like it, make sure not to restrict yourself to certain subjects or certain scenes. Would your friend gasp if they saw you writing Vampires? Or Romance? Or Vampire Romance? If it’s something you want to write, then write it freely and without guilt, to the full capacity of your desire and then sit back and decide if you want others to see it.

Keep your Mind Palace (mental writing place) sacred. Don’t go letting everyone in! It’s tempting, especially if you’re surrounded by supportive writers and readers who are always excited to see more of your stuff. But when everyone is in your headspace, there’s no room for you. You’ll end up trampling the advice to ‘Write for yourself’, because it’s hard not to be influenced by people who have a hand on your agenda.

You need to write with the door closed, so it’s only you who gets to see the writing process and make the calls. Then, once you’re finished, fling open the door and let all the enthusiastic others in to enjoy the profit. You’ll want to share, you’ll want to include others, but it’s desperately important to value the privacy of your own writing headspace. When they’re others inside, it changes how you look at things. You end up looking through their eyes and through your own.

Write often: If this is something you love, if this is something you thrive on, then you need to keep in contact with it. Those first few words may be hard, but it’s like reworking the muscles after a break. It’s only the first few moments, and then it will open up and you’ll feel that connection that you came for to begin with; that fulfillment of words on a page or a world suddenly tangible. The longer breaks you take or the more you avoid it, the harder it will be to start again. Keep in constant practice with it – for an hour a day or ten minutes – and the craft will come easily to you, and you’ll have the strongest connection. It’ll eliminate those sudden declines in quality and you’ll feel more centered with the world.

Read often. Just as important as writing often is to read often. You’re looking at the finished products of your craft and it both gives you field tips on how to write your own but encouragement that it can be done. Read broadly over all genres and all writing styles, to see what new things could inspire you and what horrible mistakes to avoid yourself. Read deeply; take the time to study the words or slip yourself into the character’s voice and absorb it in. Absorb what was good about it and add it to your own; while taking note of what was done bad and improve upon it. Let yourself get whisked away by the story, the voice, the character and then find out how they did it so you can do it yourself; even better.

Keep musing even when you’re not writing. Let the stories and the characters stay in your head. Some of the best plotting is done when you’re away from the story, so don’t push away the talking of the characters or the forming of new plots just because you’re not close to a pen. It’s better to have had the idea and lost it, than to have not had it at all. Whatever you focus on will grow, so let the story continue to churn and boil in your head all the time; and in the process, it will develop into something much richer. You’re a writer, this is what you do. And often times you’ll never feel as centered in the world as when you have a story in your head.

Take time to draw from inspiration. Go ahead and spare that extra time looking through pictures that inspire you or certain lines that spark a story in your mind. Collect things around you that encourage writing and cultivate your Mind Palace; such as certain music that reminds you of a character, a picture so powerful that it tells the story all at once, or a line of dialogue that you want to follow. Have inspiration at hand, and then muse on it when you’re not writing, so it can grow.

In the end, just put your hands to the keys and let it lead you.

Happy writing!

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