morningtides Presents: Writing to Please Everyone & Other Things to Demotivate You
Hi everyone! I'm Nicole Bea, also known as morningtides, and I'm so excited to be a part of this summer Wattpad Block Party and get to interact with all of you. I've been hanging around Wattpad for about three years now, but I only started writing actively around January of 2017. Since then I've finished five full-length novels and a ridiculous amount of short stories, some of which have since gone on to be published. I'm currently represented by Metamorphosis Literary Agency and when I'm not writing, I work as a paralegal. If you really want to find out more about me, you can pop by my website at http://www.nicolebea.com or follow me on Twitter / Instagram as nicbeawrites. I also run a twice weekly live video blog on Instagram that is updated regularly with little snippets of what is going on in my life and on my publishing journey and where I interview authors in all stages of their writing careers. As a bit of a bonus, you'll get to see cameos by my cats (I have four - Momo, Merlin, Macaroni, and Moon Pi - sometimes it's a bit of a zoo in my house)!
Admittedly, I wrote this post long before I ever found out I was accepted to write for the Block Party, mostly because I kept getting the same two questions from my wonderful readers all the time - how do you write so much and how do you stay motivated? Without further ado, I present to you my own little advice column: WRITING TO PLEASE EVERYONE AND OTHER THINGS TO DEMOTIVATE YOU. The title is a little bit deceptive, but I promise that it's at least a tiny bit relevant.
TIP #1 - WRITE FOR YOURSELF
I can't even count the number of times I've heard from other writers that "nobody is reading my book(s)" and therefore, "what's the point of continuing to write?". I get these notes on a regular basis, enough that if I got a nickel for every time I heard it, I'd have made more money on these statements then I have from my writing.
How do you write honest, interesting, and intriguing content? You write for yourself. You examine your own life and your own experiences and you turn that into words on paper or on a screen. Writing for yourself allows you to communicate versus entertain; you then only have to worry about pleasing yourself versus a wide variety of other people you can't control.
Writing comes from the heart - but everyone experiences times when they lose themselves in the act of getting a story out and making a proper impression or having affirmation from others. If you write for yourself you're more likely to tell a story that you personally enjoy and relate to, and therefore communicate a unique message.
TIP #2 - TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING TAKES LUCK AND PATIENCE
Trust me, I learned this one after a really long battle with myself and query letters. Traditional publishing, depending on your goals, can be a bit of a numbers game. What one agent or publisher might not like or want you to change might be just what another agent or publisher enjoys with respect to your work. If you are regularly receiving the same kind of feedback from multiple people, perhaps it is a growing opportunity. If one person tells you that they don't like your book because of X, perhaps it is just an opinion. There's no magic formula to getting a book completed and having it published. It takes hard work, determination, and patience. And of course, a little bit of luck doesn't hurt either. Don't let the process of receiving rejections discourage you. Remember, a publisher out there passed on Sylvia Plath's 'The Bell Jar' saying "...maybe now that this book is out of her system she will use her talent more effectively next time."
TIP #3 - PERSEVERANCE: THAT THING YOU NEED
This tip ties in directly with the one above - publishing, and writing in general, require a certain level of tenacity and stubbornness to get the job done. No matter what your writing path or your career goal in your writer's life, you will be required to be tireless in your efforts and create your own drive for success. Positive Wattpad comments may help you be motivated for a short period of time, but overall you are the creator of your own purpose and impetus. This doesn't mean you can't take breaks or do things for yourself - quite the opposite actually. Let yourself live, but don't let yourself lose your passion. Never give up!
TIP #4 - DEFINING 'GOOD' WRITING
Through the process of talking to many different people about writing, it struck me very early that what one person calls good writing, someone else might think is an absolute trash pile. I think there's a difference between good writing and a good story, but again, this is entirely subjective and depends on the personal preferences of the reader or evaluator. For me, good writing looks like Andrezj Sapkowski's "The Malady" - found in a sampler of stories from the Witcher universe. The Malady is a beautiful take on the story of Tristan and Isolde, and is undoubtedly one of my favorite reads ever, in my entire life. However, I have no doubt that someone out there will read it and hate it.
Good writing does not equal good storytelling, and good writing is somewhat individual. I can't quite define it, but I know it when I see it.
TIP #5 - SUBJECTIVE TIPS ON WRITING I GIVE EVERYONE
In no particular order:
*Read your story out loud - this is the best way to find errors.
*The first draft of everything is a disaster.
*Write what you know. If you don't know, find out.
*Don't take things personally.
*Read more. Write more. Try new genres.
*Getting published is not the point of writing. Writing is the point of writing.
*Take your time.
*There is no universal writing advice.
TIP #6 - COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER WRITERS IS A GOOD WAY TO MAKE YOURSELF UPSET
Please, everyone, if you take only one thing away from this, remember that comparing yourself and your journey to what others are going through is a great way to get yourself frustrated. Not everyone has the same experiences in life, just like not everyone has the same experiences with their writing. If you find that you're unhappy with where you are, stop, evaluate, and take action to make a change. You're more than capable of turning your negative feelings into achievable goals. The more you compare yourself to others, the more you take value away from yourself and the things you have done or are going to do, and I definitely don't want to see any of you give up your dreams because they don't align with what someone else is doing or has done.
Every artist is different and unique. Just because you don't do the same things or have the same techniques as other people doesn't mean you're wrong. Find your own voice and write the things that make you feel free and alive and happy.
TIP #7 - ENJOY THE RIDE
Debbie Aruta at The Writing Cooperative wrote it best:
"Writers have no choice but to write down what is in their head. We do not have the luxury of ignoring the voices in our heads and wishing them away. They bang longer, harder, louder when ignored. We must write them down. We must begin our adventure even if we do not want to write. We can fight it all we want, we can argue with ourselves, but in the end, if we are made to write, we will write. There is no other choice."
Enjoy the process of writing. Enjoy giving life to the worlds that you've created in your mind. Don't let anyone steal your thunder.
All my love,
Nicole Bea (morningtides)
morningtides will giveaway a $50 Amazon.com gift card to one lucky winner! My giveaway is open internationally.
ENTER THE WATTPAD BLOCK PARTY GIVEAWAYS BY CLICKING HERE: Shortened Link to Blog: https://goo.gl/2c6YUP
Regular Link to Blog: http://kellyanneblountauthor.blogspot.com/2018/07/wattpad-block-party-giveaways-summer.html
YOU ARE READING
Wattpad Block Party - Summer Edition IVRandom
Welcome to the Wattpad Block Party - Summer Edition IV! Round EIGHT of this popular event is coming your way the entire month of August 2018 and it's going to be epic! Everyone from your all time favorite Wattpad Super Stars, to USA TODAY Bestsellin...