Top 5 writing commandments to follow in 2020
Maybe it’s just me, but when the year started there were so many things, I wanted to get on top of. But the plan doesn’t always match reality. This is not to say that there has been no progress, but growth is far from linear. Here are a few of the writing commandments you should follow if you feel like you haven’t made the kind of progress you envisioned. And even if you did, these tips will help you grow as a writer in 2020 and allow you to achiever the goal you had set for yourself this year.
Although for most of us scrolling through social media feeds is the black hole where all ambitions and creativity go to die. But Pinterest is different. The overall look and feel of Pinterest as well the running themes there are motivation, focus and positivity. Sounds like millennial jargon but here’s what; it works. Pinterest is a great platform for creating vision boards and collecting inspiration especially if you’re writing fiction. It a great place to create inspiration boards and like I said before, Pinterest is an inspiring community and you’re likely to not get stuck in a Facebook induced anxiety spiral or an Instagram and YouTube rabbit hole of envy.
The journal that we spoke about in an earlier blog post should essentially be a goldmine for all your ideas, tasks and goals as a writer. The best thing that you can do with it is create outlines for your stories. Outlines help keep you grounded as a writer. They keep you focused, and they allow you to create the best scenarios and character sketches without getting overwhelmed with the complexity of what your yourself created. It’s like a plan of action that you can follow and refer to as a you write your story.
Interview your characters
Interviewing your characters helps you create interesting and relatable ones with a life-like disposition. There are so many Tumblr posts that criticize the overused and unrelatable character traits that everyone is sick of reading about. An example of this would be female protagonists who have small appetites and how it makes real women cringe to think that our love for food is apparently something patriarchs need to oppose and police so desperately by creating (otherwise inspiring and charismatic) characters that don’t eat so much and take up of less of the world entitled space, so that you should too.
There are so many archetypes that fiction and mainstream media follow through without realising how tired real people are of reading these. So interview your characters. Ask your female leads if they would like a cheeseburger with some fries. Ask a male lead if they cried to ‘all too well by Taylor swift’ and stop writing about a boring poster child of misogyny that nobody cares about in 2020.
Forget about finding a writing voice.
Finding a writing voice is the equivalent of finding the right ink pen or a spot for your office space that when you do find, will hail an era of great creative ideas and productivity. It’s also utter bullshit. The longer you put off actually writing, the worse you will be when you write. Writing is a skill and in order to build that skill and reach a level of expertise you need to write regularly and excessively. The more you write the more shitty drafts you have, and the more shitty drafts you have, the closer you are to a great one. The only reason why you don’t have an individual, authentic writing voice, is because you haven’t started writing yet. In conclusion, do not make excuse, make progress.
Build a community.
As an aspiring writer, one of the smartest moves you could make is start building a readership or an online community as early on as possible. Not only does it improve your chances of getting published, it makes for a much more prosperous and impactful release day when your book does finally get published. Isn’t that the dream? Read more about the importance of building an email list here.