This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Menna van Praag is the author of The Witches of Cambridge, which is out now!
1. Tell yourself the truth. So many people tell me they want to write a novel but then say that they simply don’t have the time. That’s rarely true. Most of us could find ten minutes a day which, after several years, would give you a novel. Most authors, myself included, wrote their first novels in the cracks of the day, while holding down full-time jobs and raising families. If you really, really want to write a novel then you will find the time.
2. Write every day. Even if it’s only 10 mins a day. Momentum will take you to glorious creative places. If you stop writing it’s much harder to get started again.
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3. Have courage. I always come back to courage. I write a blog called 99 Days of Inspiration, based on my first novel: The House at the End of Hope Street. Every day I pick a quote from a famous female artist (writer, actress, painter etc) and write about it. Courage comes up again and again. Authors such as Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou say that of all virtues courage is the most important because without it none of the others will be expressed in the world. To be a writer you need courage; to be a human being in this world, you need courage. It takes courage to connect with people, to put yourself out there, to be self-expressive without worrying about being judged. I admire us all for doing that.
4. Read a lot, but don’t allow your love of books and admiration of other authors to intimidate you – you have your own unique voice and you will find your own unique audience. It doesn’t all have to be Shakespeare!
5. Be sure of your motivation. Don’t write if you’re doing it for fame and fortune. You can’t count on that, it can’t be the reason you write. I adore writing. No matter if I’d never been published I would have written for the rest of my life. I love words. I love sentences so beautiful and true they take my breath away. But I still have a day job. Very few writers make a living from writing full time.
6. Play The Sentence Game :-)