A Page a Day: 5 Tips for Aspiring Writers

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The following is a guest post by Bonnie Hearn Hill & Christopher Allan Poe

Publishing a book has never been easier!

Do you believe there’s a book in you? If so, here are five tips to help you put it on the page:

1. Find – and write – your passion.

Don’t spend your time wondering if steampunk werewolves will be bigger than vampires. Just write what you care about. You might start by making a passion list. Jot down everything you care fervently about, from world peace to chardonnay. No judging. The more you write, the more honest and focused you’ll be. Then circle the two or three topics that matter most and begin there.

2. Claim your time.

You’re busy. We all are. Mary Higgins Clark was a widow with five children when she wrote her first mystery. Yet she wrote for two hours at the kitchen table every morning before her children got up. Claim your time, even if it’s only ten minutes, and write every day.

3. Write without judging.

Writing and dreaming originate from the same part of your brain, so you are essentially dreaming on paper, or no doubt on the computer screen. Don’t let the critical editor voice interrupt your dream. You can and should edit later. Save your writing time for letting the words flow, without judging those words or yourself.

4. Find your voice.

The more you write, the less you will sound like someone else and the more you will sound like you. Nurture your voice. One exercise attributed to Ray Bradbury is called The Ten Thousand-word Sentence, and it may help free your voice from the constraints of ho-hum writing. Pick a topic. You might select one from your passion list. Then set a timer for ten minutes and write continuously – without ending the sentence or using any punctuation. What you say and how you say it may surprise you.

5. Reject guilt.

Regardless of how it may seem at times, meals will be served and kids driven to games and activities. Do not allow yourself or anyone else to make you feel guilty for taking  time for you. If you write a page a day, you will have a book in a year. That time is going to pass anyway. Send the guilt packing and get started now.

Bonnie Hearn Hill and Christopher Allan Poe are the authors of Digital Ink: Writing Killer Fiction in the E-Book Age.

 

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