What I Would Tell My Younger Writer Self

Author:
Publish date:

Here's a guest post from Kathy Edens, a professional copywriter who works on fiction in her spare time. If you'd like to contribute a guest post of your own, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: Guest Post Idea for No Rules.

*****

There’s something so appealing about stepping outside of time and having a sit-down with your younger self. You’d save yourself countless years of taking one step forward and two steps back as you fumble your way through the world of writing.

Imagine where you’d be today if you’d only known then the lessons you’ve learned.

I always wanted to be a writer, like so many I know, but was never encouraged to pursue it. I put aside my childish ways, thanks to the advice of many, and went to college for a degree in accounting. (What could be further from the creative life than accounting, you ask?)

Accounting did not feed my soul, so I eventually left the working world to raise my four children.

It wasn’t until some 15 years later, when my youngest child was in school, that I decided I wanted a career in writing. I went back to college, got a degree in writing and psychology, and began to call myself a writer.

I ache now to think of the years I lost not pursuing my dreams.

*****

Develop a Platform and Promotion Plan for Success!

wd_comprehensiveauthorplatform-500_1

Don’t wait around for this challenge to get started in building a top notch platform and promotion plan. Take advantage of the heavily discounted The Comprehensive Author Platform & Promotion kit today.

This power-packed platform and promotion kit includes three paperback books, three webinars, three tutorials, and more. So buy it today and be that much more ahead of the curve when October rolls around.

Click to continue.

*****

What I Would Tell My Younger Writer Self

Here are a few things I would tell my younger self if I could:

  1. Making money with your writing is not a sell-out. I’m a freelance copywriter who makes a decent living writing content for companies. I set my own hours, run my own schedule, and get to do something I love every day. I write words that engage people. I wish someone had told me that you can make money as a business writer and spend your spare time writing your first love: fiction. You don’t have to be a starving artist.
  2. Don’t let someone else decide your future. Don’t accept the advice that you can’t be a writer because…(now fill in the blank with the numerous reasons why writing is not a real career). There are so many different ways you can use your writing talent to benefit yourself and others. Refer to point #1 above for more reinforcement.
  3. Never stop learning. There are so many ways that you can work on your writing chops beyond taking courses. Read everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Figure out what makes it good or bad, and learn from that. Also, get with a writing group that you trust and learn from each other. Join a book club and pick apart what makes stories ring true or false. You’ll learn from dissecting other’s work.
  4. Embrace technology. There’s so much to learn from technology. I wish I had tried Scrivener long before I did—it’s an amazing tool for writers to visualize their work. Start a blog; it’s easy for anyone to do with WordPress. Try sites like 750 Words and Daily Page for inspiration and motivation. There’s an incredible online community out there that’s easy to access through technology. Tap in and grow.
  5. Learn how to self-edit early. Writing is the easy part; editing makes it harder. Sometimes I’m so close to my work that I can’t see what needs fixed. A great way to hone your self-editing skills is to use one of the free online editing tools, like ProWritingAid. You’ll learn how to identify weaknesses in your writing using an online tool. I guarantee it will make you a stronger writer.
  6. Never give up. Someone once said the difference between a writer and someone else is the writer never gives up. You’ll face rejection. Get over it. Pick yourself back up and get back to work. Take heart from the countless rejection stories of others who eventually made it: Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, Margaret Mitchell, and C.S. Lewis. Even Dr. Seuss was told “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”

Enough said.

*****

Kathy Edens

Kathy Edens

Kathy Edens is a blogger, a ghost writer, and content master who loves writing about anything and everything. She has extensive experience helping clients reach their readers with compelling and engaging material.

You can find Kathy at www.kathy-edens.com.

*****

Find more No Rules posts here:

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time to set a trap.

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

Children's author Christine Evans shares how repetition is good for growing readers and gives you the tools to write your story's perfect refrain.

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 575

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a safe poem.

ryoji-iwata-QKHmi6ENAmk-unsplash

I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.