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Lessons learned the hard way by a new author, don’t sweat the little stuff, just write…

I stare at a blank screen every morning wondering how I’m going to fill it with words. As a new author, it’s intimidating—wrestling with dialogue, picturing landscapes in remote regions I’ve never visited, developing characters readers will love, or just getting enough words typed so I feel a sense of accomplishment for the day. Author Neil Gaiman says it best, being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it's always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.

New writers are obsessed with how-to… How to organize. How to stay focused. How to plot. How to pace. How to edit. How to write the perfect query. I’m sure there’s a recipe for success. I don’t want to know it. I’m beautifully undisciplined and disorganized. And so are half the writers I know. Every author finds his/her groove.

The best advice I received during this whole debut novel process was shut up and write. Don’t burden yourself with classes or too much research. Don’t spend too much time marketing and reading other people’s work. Focus on the most important thing. Write. Write. Write.

There are days I have to remind myself the dog can feed himself (not really) or my husband can operate the stove and wash dishes. Friends will be there when I’m done. No, the person calling can’t see me sitting at the table working—don’t feel guilty for not answering the phone. Yes, the sun will come up tomorrow if I choose writing over anything else. It’s not selfish. It’s simply the path I chose. And now that my first novel is finished, I can definitively say, don’t sweat the little stuff, just write.

Violetta Rand
Violetta Rand holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and a master's degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

Violetta has been "in love" with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.




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7 comments:

  1. I block myself when I worry about "how to outline," or "how to plot out the story," how to fix something I realize I need to correct or flesh out. I'm slowly learning to just move on with the writing and come back with the red pen later.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Just write" - if it was that simple more people would do it. I applaud you. This is why I will be content to be a reader, not a writer.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's actually a pretty inspirational post. I agree. The hardest thing is to actually just sit down and crank it out!

    Thanks!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for the excerpt

    hense1kk (At) cmich (dot) edu

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for sharing this great advice.

    ReplyDelete

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