Monday, August 03, 2020

Find Your Writing Hero


Before the internet, there was nothing but books.  As a child, my head would be buried in the pages of books like Anne of Green Gables or The Chronicles of Narnia.  I would look upon authors with starry eyed wonder, imagining what it would be like to be a writer of one of those books, or even a textbook, thinking all books were written, somewhere, by a person of great knowledge (a bit like an oracle).  I knew for sure that these writers were special, and I wanted to write just like them.

Over the years my reading habits changed, but my thirst for knowledge and imagination still thrives to this day.  So it's no surprise that the internet has played a key part in this.  Discovering how other writers have been successful, or learning how to improve myself as a writer, has been a key part of reading for a number of years now.  But I haven't lost my appetite for reading fiction.  Recently delving into the pages of Alexandre Dumas works'.

Writer's minds are full of information and stories, and most come across as being confident, witty and extremely intelligent.  They're almost untouchable, living lives, and knowing things that we mere mortals can only dream of.  Loved the world over for their own natural talent and fruitful in their works.

In my twenties I wouldn't have dreamed I'd be sitting at a desk writing a book about writing.  Only life's circumstances brought me to this point, and I'm thankful it did.  Once I arrived here, how would I manage writing any book, long or short about anything?  The thought was frightening.

This brings me to a writing hero.  Think about all of the author's, and bloggers you read regularly, and pick your favourite. Think of them as your go-to for knowledge, or inspiration.  If you want, you can choose someone from the past.  Maybe you like reading the classics, or sci-fi, or what about historical fiction.  Just pick your favourite. 

From all of the blog posts I've written, and books, writing has a special kind of lure or hook that gets me every time.  We all have this special power, not many of us know how to tap into it.

Joanna Penn is a clear favourite of mine, because she embodies both fiction and non-fiction writing, with books spanning both genres.  She epitomises productivity, and passion.

I hope you're starting to connect with your favourite author or blogger, and feel the warmth their writing brings. 

Start imagining your favourite blogger or author handing over their baton to you.  Yes you.  They're passing down their knowledge and inspiration to you. 

Visualise yourself at your desk, and the baton sitting neatly by your side.  You can use this baton when things aren't going well, just to remind you, your writing path will get better.  It won't be easy, but then what is.  It will be there to help you figure out all of those difficult plot points, or character flaws.  Perhaps to help you finish a scene, or you might need it to finish that self-help book you've been meaning to finish. 

Use the baton to separate your everyday life from your writing life.  Some authors like to use another persona when they start writing a story, this leaves them wide open emotionally and personally.  Exposing themselves to deep and often dark thoughts.  It makes sense when you think about it, who wants to think about murder scenes and unpleasant thoughts when they're writing.  Not to mention the fear of opening up our minds and inviting the world in.

It helps to be a little business minded, after all your words equal money.  You want to keep everything as business-like as possible, especially when you're sending in manuscripts to publishers. 

Don't run away from rejection, put any negativity down as a life lesson and move on.  You'll find there's usually a silver lining in there somewhere, and you can use this to propel yourself onto your next project.

Getting Yourself Heard

If you think the old-fashioned route of publishing is out of your league, there are plenty of self-publishing platforms that will happily publish your work.  I've been a self-publisher for a number of years now, and hear the traditional publishing route is pretty brutal.  But it's not all bad, the self-publishing path involves a lot of hard work, but means you're in the driving seat.  You may want to sign up to social media, if you haven't already, and even start your own blog.  Getting bloggers and well known writers to interview you won't hurt either, and neither will guest radio interviews and appearances.

Blogging is difficult, but what isn't these days?  You need to cut your teeth somehow, and starting at the bottom is the best place to start.  Once you start dipping your toes, things will start to make sense, and start coming a little easier. 
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