Writing Will Get Easier
Writing is tough. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. It takes a lot of effort, it’s stressful, and more often than not it brings little or not reward. However … we still write. And it’s still hard. But I can promise you one thing: It’s going to get easier the more you write.
You will never be the “perfect writer.” You will never put out perfect first drafts or twist every phrase perfectly or be Jane Austen (because there’s only one of her), and you will always, always be learning.
However, let’s take one post to talk about how writing will get easier the more you practice it.
You’ll make a habit of it.
When you first start writing – or even if you’ve been writing for a long time but haven’t done so consistently – writing isn’t something you just do.
It’s not a part of you, not a part of your life. Not yet, anyway.
You see, writing is habit that you must develop, and that takes time. Sure, right now you may feel inspired or driven to write at certain times, but sometimes, as a new or unpracticed writer, you experience a slump or writer’s block … and then you can’t write.
However, this will not always be the case. The longer you write, the more you will be able to write – even when you’re not inspired.
A lot of writers tell me that writing is “inspired” and “art,” which in a way it is – word art. However, if you’re serious about writing and want to make a career out of it, you can’t just write when you’re inspired to do so.
You have to write even when you don’t feel like it.
And this may cause some moans at first, but trust me, you will eventually learn to write even when you’re not inspired. To write even when you’re tired. To write even when you don’t want to.
So don’t give up hope when writer’s block threatens and your inspiration wanes. Just keep writing. Someday it’ll just be something you do, and you’ll barely have to force yourself.
I think I’m about halfway to this place myself. Most of the time I can force myself to write a couple hundred words or a blog post even if I’m not particularly inspired. One needs to discipline oneself, but it is totally possible – and necessary for those who want to make it into some beyond a casual hobby.
It gets faster.
And no, I’m not just talking about you increasing your typing speed. 😉 (Though that’s totally something that could happen! Has with me …)
The more you write, the more you’ll be able to write in a shorter time.
As I said before, writing needs to become a habit. When it does, you’ll be able to make the most of your time. Also, because writing is something you have made a part of your daily routine – which you need to pursue if you’re serious – your novel will make progress every day.
I’m not saying increased word counts are coming your way in the near future – but they just might. I’m finding the longer I write, the easier it is for me to pound out more words in a shorter period of time.
So keep working at it. It might take you a couple years to write your first novel. The second might be just a year. Eventually you’ll be writing a novel from start to finish in a month – or less.
I know people who regularly churn out 20K days and even some who do more. I even know of a girl who wrote a whole novel – and a long one at that – in less than a week. I’m super there are wonders who do even more.
My highest count so far in a day has been about 10K (I don’t know exactly as I totally forget to keep track of these things). Still, at 10K a day, I could feasibly write a novel in a week.
Another piece of hope for those of you who tend to write short (like me): my books have been getting longer. Not much longer, but still longer.
My first completed work was 9K (Midnight and Twilight). The Dressmaker’s Secret was 36K and became just over 50K. Ivy Introspective was 48K and became about 55K. At Her Fingertips was 65K and became 58K (long prologue and unnecessary scenes that got removed, anyone?). Once a Stratton was 63K and has become 68K.
So, as you can see, my word counts are starting to grow, and I hope that in the future I’ll be in the 70-80K range for my full-length novels.
(For those of you who write long, I can offer no hope. Y’all over overachievers who I don’t understand even a little bit.) (Just kidding; you’re awesome!)
You’ll learn more grammar, punctuation, and basically everything to do with the writing craft.
This may seem like a little thing – and a rather obvious one at that. But once you learn grammar, punctuation, and all the writing rules, you’ll be able to put forward a better first draft. This will cut down on revising and editing time, too.
But *gasp* can a first draft be good at all? Aren’t all first drafts awful?
Yes, they are. All first drafts belong to the devil and are not to be spoken of. However, as you write more, your first drafts are going to get … better. Seriously, I’m not making this up.
I went through approximately 18 drafts of The Dressmaker’s Secret. It went from first to third person, was rewritten extensively three times, the ending rewritten more than ten times, and then it even had to be removed from the market after I’d published it for another round of revisions and edits.
The first draft was absolutely terrible, and you can barely recognize it as the story it eventually became.
At Her Fingertips … well, it was a lot easier, to say the least. I did some minor rewrites between alphas and betas, mostly cutting off the prologue and some other unnecessary scenes. I also redid one of the characters to have more of an arc and made lots of little tweaks.
However, the first draft and the final draft, which are only separated by second, third, and fourth drafts, are not quite so different as those of The Dressmaker’s Secret. In fact, I’d almost say you could tell that they are the same book. 😉
You’ll develop your individual voice and use it.
I know lots of writers struggle with developing their voice and wanting to be unique and whatnot. I think, for the most part anyway, that has to come naturally.
And, guess what … the only way for that voice to develop is for you to write, write, WRITE until you find it. Soon you’ll be using it without even thinking about it.
Now, there are some good tips out there on the internet for finding and developing your writing voice. Here are some of them:
- 10 Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice by Goins, Writer
- 5 Ways to Develop Your Writing Voice by Jane Friedman
- Writer’s Voice: What it is and how to develop yours by Simple Writing
However, here’s what I want to say in this post. You will get to the point where you won’t even have to think about whether or not you’re using your writing voice because you will be your writing voice.
Don’t sweat it too much. It’ll come.
Things will become second nature, and you won’t have to think about them.
I’ve already sort of said this in other sections. Many good writing habits – as well as the habit of writing itself – will come naturally to you in time.
You just have to keep writing, keep working on your books, keep asking for feedback, and not give up. It’s a lot of work, but you will get there.
Eventually, you won’t have to think about some writing rules. For instance, you’ll automatically use the correct punctuation (as stated earlier) and automatically add action beats and description and thoughts to your dialogue (something I’m still learning).
The more you write, the easier writing will get. That’s just all there is to it.
However, I do have a small warning.
Don’t expect too much of yourself at the beginning.
It can’t become easy without being hard at first. No writer starts out with these habits – and neither should they. These things take time to cultivate and grow.
However, they will eventually cultivate if you keep writing and don’t stop for nothing. Therefore …
Don’t give up hope!
It’s easy to feed yourself a lot of nonsense and lies.
“I’m not progressing fast enough.” “My novel sucks.” “I can’t write to save my grandmother’s life.” “This is impossible.” “I should just give up.”
*slaps you* LIES! *slaps you* LIES! *slaps you* LIES!
(Scream “Lies, lies, lies!” at the top of your lungs next time you have these doubts. It helps. Really.)
Here’s why you shouldn’t worry about not being good enough.
First off, at the beginning, you’re going to suck for a bit, but that’s okay because every beginner sucks for a long time before they even begin to be awesome.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Ask any New York Times Bestselling Author if they started out as awesome as they are today. They’ll answer with a resounding, “NO. (p.s. don’t look at my first books, please?)”
Second, you’re probably your own worst critic. You’re not as bad as you think. It’s easy to hate your books or to envy “better” authors (really, you’re just an individual learning at your own pace).
It might help some to ask a close friend to read your work with a layman’s eyes – just to enjoy the story. Fangirling over your own book with someone can definitely help. 😉 Make it clear you’re not looking for critique but simply wish to share your story.
Third … please don’t give up. This world needs your story. It does. Really.
I can’t tell you how much you can enrich peoples’ lives, how you can influence them for good (or … evil … if that’s your thing …), how you can bring happiness. (And, eventually, how you can make money and have a serious career, though let’s not talk about that just now.)
So please. Write that story. Then write another. And another. Don’t stop. Because if you’re writing, guess what? You’re a writer.
And the more you write, the more of a writer you will be … and the easier and more fun writing will be.
Just keep writing!
Best wishes in your writing endeavors!
Are you a writer? (If so, what do you write?) Do you ever feel like giving up – either in writing or whatever else you’re working at? Do you agree with what all I said in this post? Do you tend to write long or short? What’s your favorite flavor of smoothie?
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YES…………sometimes I feel devoid of any and all inspiration, and sometimes I feel like giving up…but hey! That’s a great perspective : “It’s easy to hate your books or to envy “better” authors (really, you’re just an individual learning at your own pace).”
Thanks for the encouragement!! 😀
Absolutely! It’s always a temptation to give up, but really, there’s no need to. Though it’s hard to realize that sometimes. ? Thank you so much for reading!
Even though I’ve been writing for over five years, sometimes I still feel like a newbie. 😛 And this post has some great stuff in it for all writers! Love it.
I agree! I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen but more seriously for about four years now, and I feel like I just begun! Probably because there’s always so much to learn. ?
Yes, yes, yes! This is all SO TRUE!
☺? I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
So encouraging. <3
Thank you, Rebekah!
I do write but not consistently enough. I start too many projects and then don’t really get into just one of them???
I agree with the giving up thing. I tried to do nanowrimo(don’t know how to spell it), but it didn’t work for me so I just gave up. I want to try again tho!!!
But yes after time you do get faster at typing and punctuation and stuff! ? I tend to write short. And I don’t have a favourite type of smoothie!
Well, like I said, don’t give up hope! Maybe you should try NaNo again … only this time have some friends/get to know some other writers who will be your friends, and then you can support and encourage each other! That always helps me.
Maybe it would help to work on a shorter project? Finishing a short story or piece of flash fiction might give you the motivation to finish a long project!
Confession: I don’t really have a favorite type of smoothe, either. I don’t particularly love fruit smoothies, actually … like, they’re okay, but I don’t love them …?
Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll totally do that! ? I like milkshakes more I think.
YES, milkshakes are the BEST!!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
I’ve been writing(seriously) for about two years now, and you’re right. You are your own worst critic. It’s so frustrating at times, and I’ve been locked in a cell with Writer’s Block for awhile now, https://brainstormswithrain.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/singing-is-fun/ (You have to scroll down awhile to find the part 😛 ) and Mal still hasn’t let me out……I’ll have to convince him to tomorrow. 😛
Thanks again, Kell! I’ll just keep on writing! 😀
*tsks at Malachi* 😉 I would pull you out of the cell, but unfortunately that must be self-motivated. 😛 Best of luck with finding your way out!!
Exactly! Just don’t stop, and you’re halfway there!
lol. I’ll get there! 😀
Thank you! 😀
Thanks! I’ve been needing some encouragement.
YEEESSS!! Thank you. Sometimes I feel like giving up and this really encourages me to keep moving forward. Thank you Kell!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! <3
Good advice! Probably half my first book’s readers are family, or non-writer friends, who said, “Great book!” And I’m like, “No, it’s not. Tell me what’s wrong with it!!!” XD
I agree with the writing voice advice. I’m not sure I have mine down yet, but I can kind of see it developing, now that I’ve been writing every day this Summer.
Haha, I get that! 😛 I have been having a lot of harsh criticism lately, as I don’t share it with my family a ton, lol. They aren’t readers! 😉
That’s great! 😀 I don’t think I quite have mine down either. Congrats on writing every day this summer!
I don’t necessarily consider myself new to the writing game, but Holy Guacamole this was encouraging. I’ve recently found myself in a HUUUUGE writing slump (editing slump??) and I really don’t know why. So even though I’ve been writing for years…it’s still very nice to hear that it will get better, you know? While everlost (mah precious baby book ?) wasn’t my first book, it IS my first time doing major revision, so I honestly have literally no clue what I’m even supposed to be doing. I don’t know what’s good. I don’t know what’s supposed to be happening. I don’t know how to do edits in a timely manner, basically. So I’m HOPING that this entire post holds true for editing, as well. That someday I’ll be able to edit a book well without even thinking about it. That this might get easier, too, please. ???
BUT ANYWAY. Once again, I absolutely loved this post, Kellyn!!! You have such an easy-to-read writing style, and your posts are always so encouraging… (also, I just thought I’d mention that I’m one of those long writers who tends to write mega first drafts and then later must cut down my words. EV is currently a little over 200,000, if I’m not mistaken…. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…HAHAHA…..HA… #helpme)
OH. AND STRAWBERRY.
Awwww, I’m soooo glad it was helpful to you! And yes, editing will get easier too … at least, I hope so myself. 😉 Partially because you’ll have less to edit as you write better, and second because you’ll have the hang of things, be able to identify errors faster, etc. 😛
WHOA! That’s a huge book! Like I said, that’s insanity. 😉
LET US HOPE TOGETHER, THEN. XD *crosses fingers* *crosses toes* *crosses eyeballs* Ooh, that’s something I hadn’t even thought of before! Writing better makes editing easier. HOW ON EARTH DID THIS NOT EVEN OCCUR TO ME? Getting the hang of things is something that I DEFINITELY want to happen. Seeing as though I’ve never done anything major like this before with revisions, I’m hoping that this is just kind of like a trial and error phase. Maybe….
UGH, I KNOW. I’m actually going to be working on cutting it down to something around 100k this week, since I’m trying to enter it into a competition called Pitch Wars, but. . .we’ll see if that even works. I’ve read and heard so many times that it’s basically impossible to get a beast this size published.
I’m told that everyone writes for a while before they get past that “trial and error” phrase … and it takes over six years over serious novelling (as in when you’re already writing every day, pushing towards publication, etc.) to publish a book, as well, so this is a long-term business … 😛
OOOH, COOL! Best of luck with that! 😀 It’s hard to get novels that aren’t in the right length niche published, yes. 😉
AHA! This makes sense. So if I started SERIOUSLY writing in about 2015 (i knew i wanted to be a writer long before that, but the serious writing came when I was about 16…) then that means I am…three years in. Aha. Joy. XD I’m happy it’s a long-term business, though. I love writing. It fills me with so much pain and suffering and joy.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It hasn’t been going too well, but I’m still holing out hope!! XD Ugh, I know. I just wish I was more of an underwriter than an overwriter, because then I could just ADD stuff. I love adding stuff. Adding stuff is my favorite. XD (which is probably what makes me an overwriter, but WHATEVER. XD)
AGREED! Writing makes me so happy – couldn’t imagine my life without it! And definitely – I think I started writing seriously at about 12, so it makes sense that I’d have published by now (@almost 17). Though I’m not sure – maybe it took me a couple years to get serious? And I really shouldn’t have published? LOL
Haha! I get that … I tend to write too much dialogue and too little description and action and whatnot, which is my curse. 😉
EXACTLY. Oh my word, that’s so cool!!! I definitely knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 12, but that was still my “I’m not really sure what I’m doing so I’ll just slap stories together and not actually finish them LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I’M A WRITER” phase. #regrets. BUT IT IS SO COOL THAT YOU ARE ALREADY PUBLISHED??? Like I’ve ALWAYS had the dream of getting published as a teen, but I don’t think that’s actually going to happen. AND THAT IS OKAY. Because I’m growing as a writer and learning new things and I’ll get published when the time is right. XD
Dialogue is the best!!! Except I can never seem to have USEFUL dialogue. It’s always witty banter that makes absolutely no sense to the current stakes. Aha. XD #fail
Aww, but that stage is fun, too! xD I don’t know, but it was fun just kinda writing whatever and not having to think about stuff … and I think it’s definitely an important stage because you practice and whatnot even if you’re not writing the next bestseller. 😛
YES, agreed! There’s no rush. The fact that you’ve started this early (e.g. still in your teens!) means that you’ll have an advantage on most authors … did you know that like 80% of successful/famous published authors wrote in their teens? Even historically!
I KNOW! I struggle with the same thing. Like, “What are they talking about and why …?”
I definitely agree with that!! It was probably one of the most fun stages of writing. I just regret never having FINISHED any of those weird little stories. It would have been nice to have some completed projects from my smol writing days. XD
WHAAAAAT? Seriously?! That is so cool!! I guess the thing I need to remember is that most of the successful authors got traditionally published (the route I really really really wanna take. [it’s my DREEEEAM XD]) when they were older adults. This is a good way to start, though. Starting young means I’ll get better young and will hopefully have published by the time I die. XD
RIGHT? Dialogue is simultaneously the best and the worst. XD
I agree! I started a ton of stories I wish I’d finished back then. Just seen ’em to the end.
Yes, exactly! Just because they didn’t get published for forever doesn’t mean that they didn’t work at it for years beforehand. 🙂
Right?? But I guess now we could go back and revamp them if we wanted to, right? XD
YES!!! Just remembering this makes all the hard work and tiny frustrations seem worthwhile. XD
True, true … 🙂