5 Lessons I’ve Learned As A Writer

By on June 23, 2016

A good writer is always looking for ways to improve their craft. They are in a constant state of learning, and will always be on the hunt for new tips and techniques to try. Writers often learn best by sharing their experiences, and it can be trial and error to find out what it is that works best for them.

So what have I learned as a writer so far? Here are some things I wish I knew right from the very start!

The more you read the more inspired and motivated you become.

One of the greatest things about being a writer is that reading great books is all part of the work. I used to read fairly regularly, but since I have started writing more, I realised this needs to be a constant activity that I do. When I am reading a great book I feel excited and inspired to write my own. I am constantly influenced and amazed by what I have read. Reading is, without a doubt, the best way to learn how to be a great writer.

Free your mind

Don’t be scared of ‘bad’ ideas - just write them down and come back to them later. The amount of weird things I have written in my notebook - things that I have written in the middle of the night that seem totally brilliant at the time and then…are actually nonsensical drivel come the morning! It is good to get into the habit of writing everything down. Not everything turns into a usable idea but it is the only you’ll be sure you don’t miss anything.

Be strict with yourself

Unfortunately, without a writing routine it is so easy to get off-track, get distracted by all the other things going on in your life and put your writing to one side. In order to be a writer, you need to write. We all know it but how many of us actually make the effort to make regular space in our day for a writing? You can find the time. So make sure you do.

Learn how to take criticism

I didn’t let anyone read my writing for years. The first time I did I had to leave the room and wait outside the house until they had finished. At first, even letting your mum read something you have written can be terrifying, but the trick is to be brave, and  to do it more. The more you share your work the more feedback you’ll get and with it a thicker skin. Some people might not like what you have written. That’s OK. If they have something constructive to say, then take it, listen to it, learn from it and then prove them wrong!

Call yourself a writer, and believe it

It took me years to admit that I was a writer. I could barely believe it myself. When people asked what I did I would mumble, and only talk about the part-time desk job I had, even though by that stage I had plenty of freelance writing work. It took a while before I could announce ‘I am a writer’ and not think someone would laugh at me or somehow immediately give me a test to see whether or not I was any good. If you write, you are a writer, and you should wear that badge with pride!

These are 5 things I have learned on my writing journey so far, and I am sure there will be many more to come. What lesson have you learned along the way?

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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