Writing Tips for YOUR Craft

Welcome to Writing Tips for YOUR Craft. To make things easier, we’ll shorten that large title to a simple acronym, WTFYC.

Here are WTFYC I will share new tips every week to help you with your craft. We’ll cover a plethora of topics in different depths, including world-building, dialogue, character building, descriptions, metaphors, and more. Truly, the possibilities are endless.

Each “lesson” will have a short challenge at the end for you to optionally participate in to test what you’ve learned. These challenges are usually quite short and will take only a few minutes to complete. I want to keep things simple!

Here on WTFYC, I will also be inviting different writers and industry professionals to participate in lessons, giving their best tips for you. This is all about improving your skills.

While this isn’t guaranteed to make you the next online sensation or NYT Bestseller, the hope is you will finish each lesson having learned something new. WTFYC is focused purely on writing. With anything, improvement comes with practice.

WTFYC is a fun group of lessons that will be cross posted on my Wattpad and personal blog. While you’re participating, feeling free to use the hashtag #WTFYC on social media. The more the merrier!

Buckle up and settle in, because we’re about to have a lot of fun.

5 Tips to Conquer NaNoWriMo

Many writers are beginning to scramble to get ready for what is known as NaNoWriMo, or rather “National Novel Writing Month”. All over the world, writers join together to hit their writing goals and complete a novel within one month. NaNoWriMo has been a wonderful tool for many authors. It helps us get our words down and creates a huge sense of community.

As you continue reading, I will include 5 of my tips as we head into National Novel Writing Month. Of course, these tips might not work for every writer, but they might work for you! For the sake of shortness, we’ll be shortening to NaNoWriMo to NaNo!

1. It’s Okay To Suck 

Wait, what? Yes, it’s totally fine for your writing to suck during NaNo. Don’t expect your novel to be absolutely perfect. Actually, writing it in under a month should make it far from it. What you need to focus on is getting the words on the page. This should be a rough draft of what you want, not a final manuscript.

One of the top tips I got when I won my first NaNo was to not edit. For someone like me, who always wants things to be perfect, not editing as I write can be incredibly difficult. If you’re a perfectionist like me and try to edit your novel while writing it during NaNo, you are more than likely not going to complete your word goal during the month.

2. Prepare Your Novel 

You should have a general idea of what you want to write as you head into NaNo. Even if it’s a one sentence summary of the general plot, that’s okay. The more you know you’re writing, the easier it will be. Don’t be afraid to make plots and summaries of chapters or descriptions of your characters.

Try to decide whether you would like to be a pantser or plotter before NaNo starts. A plotter is someone who plots their entire novel or parts of their novel before they write it. A pantser is someone who writes without plotting their novel. It’s okay to outline your book chapter by chapter, and it’s also okay to only have an idea of your setting or protagonist. Just make sure you are prepared to write how you enjoy writing.

3. Set Time Aside 

During NaNo, it will be a good idea to set a specific time aside each day to focus on your writing. Add a few minutes daily to your schedule to write. Do nothing else during this time. Turn off your notifications on your phone and computer (some people suggest even disconnecting from the internet). During this time, you will only be writing. Allow yourself to fall deep into the motions of getting your words onto a page.

By setting a time aside to write, you’re also practicing scheduling and organization. See, NaNo has more perks than just writing!

4. Just Keep Writing 

During NaNo you might find yourself in holes you don’t know how to get out of. We all face these boring moments in our writing when we want to get to an intense scene instead of writing filler. It’s okay to jump around your novel, as long as you keep writing. Every moment counts when you are trying to finish a novel in one month.

Sometimes, I’ll find myself writing the ending scene before I start. Other times I’ll write the scenes that excite me. The important thing is to continue writing, even if it’s not in order!

5. Have Fun! 

My final word of advice during NaNo is to remember to have fun. Don’t stress yourself during this time. While it’s great for learning how to meet a writing deadline (or deadlines in general), don’t let yourself be consumed by needing to hit it. NaNo is a great time to learn more about yourself as a writer and how you enjoy writing. Spend NaNo reflecting on why you write.

Do you have any special tips for conquering NaNo? Let me know in the comments!

Success For Artists: Support Other Artists

As an artist, finding success usually isn’t a very easy feat. Most of us, including myself, are looking for some sort of formula that will launch our careers. For someone who spends an incredible amount of hours and days working on one project, it might be shocking that I am a bit impatient, too.

The biggest word of advice I can give to artist’s who are just starting out and looking to launch their career is to support other artists. Trust me, it’ll pay off in the long run. Think of it as your first task in marketing. This little tip is for any type of artist, if you create something, to me you’re an artist.

But how do I support other artists? I’m broke!

Don’t always think of support as being direct monetary value. We’re living in the digital age, where a vast number of our customers and supporters are found online through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you see an artist’s work that you enjoy, then share it. Your support will not go unnoticed, and more often than not, other artists will start to support you, too. Now, you’ve started to grow your network!

Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

I know your concern, too. What if they take my customers? It’s a scary thought, of course. But remember, as an artist you have a different kind of connection than regular businesses. Not only do your customers and followers keep in touch with you because of your artwork, but they do it because they enjoy you! You are your brand, and those followers will stay in touch with your brand. Sure, sharing another artist’s work might give them some more customers, but what might happen when they share yours? Exactly the same.

Supporting other artists can be one of the most fulfilling things. If you often find yourself comparing yourself to other artists, the best thing to cure that is to support them.

Happy supporting, and happy art making!

I know, telling a person to believe in their own self is a lot easier said than done. Trust me when I say, however, your personal development is of utmost importance. Taking those steps to begin to believe in your own personal being, whether it is in business, work, school, or just life in general, is absolutely and fantastically amazing.

Often times we find ourselves sitting alone, wondering if what we’re doing is right. We’re human – we don’t always make the right decisions and things don’t always work out. It’s perfectly normal to plan something extensively and have it blow up in your face, but what truly matters is our perspective. It’s alright to get frustrated for a moment. Don’t allow the frustration to hold onto you for too long though, put your faith back in yourself and trust that the next step will work.

How do you get back into trusting yourself, though? Mind over matter. We have this notion ingrained into our thought process to not move past failure, and we have to change that. You are capable of absolutely anything that you put your mind to. You’re probably thinking you’ve heard that a million times before, but GASP there’s that notion sneaking through. See? It’s still there. It’s a work in progress to teach ourselves to think otherwise, but trust that it’s possible.

Trusting in yourself can help in a multitude of ways. Are you a small business owner trying to get your start (or perhaps you’ve been in it for awhile, but you’re still pushing)? Trusting in yourself helps you get over those obstacles that will of course start appearing in your endeavors. You have to trust yourself that you’ll get through them.

Success doesn’t appear overnight.

Knowing this can completely change how you do things. Constantly remind yourself to stop comparing yourself to others and instead know that you can achieve anything. Start a dream board, pin those ideas, and get going. When disaster occurs, your mindset is what decides whether or not it was truly a disaster.

Trust that you can learn from your mistakes and continue growing to becoming the best you possible.