Hello community reader,
Welcome to our ‘Everything You Need to Know to Be a Successful Author’ Blog. In today’s article, we will continue talking about the few precisely crucial habits every successful author needs to master to stamp their name in the history of writing and make it in today’s book publishing industry.
If you haven’t read the first part of this segment, then click this link here: 9 Simple Habits to be the Perfect Writer (Part 1).
Now you’re probably too busy to be reading another article. So before I dive right into the second segment, I’m going to bring you up to speed.
In our first segment, we talked about 3 valuable tips.
The first one is you should never, never, ever wait for inspiration. This is an especially important lesson if your goal is to hone in the skills of a perfect writer. If you MUST be motivated in order to get back to writing your novel or short story, then you’ve already failed the first step.
The second valuable tip is persistence. Frequency in your writing should be an everyday thing. That means setting a consistent schedule and following through to it for a while. And no annual vacations! We’re watching you :)
The third habit to mastering the art of the perfect writer is simple, proven, effective and there’s no room for excuses. Avoid this habit and you’re a headless flashlight struggling to find its purpose in life - whatever that means.
4. Practice Freestyle Writing
When you hear freestyle writing, what do you think of?
No! No! It has nothing to do with lyricism in hip hop or rap.
According to The Classroom:
“Freestyle writing revolves around the belief that being able to get words down on paper is a central step in the writing process. Understanding exactly what freestyle writing is and how it may affect your writing highlights its important role in writing.”
Here’s a better and more dramatic way of explaining it. Ready?
Good. Put on your seat-belts because we’re not slowing down.
“First, go to your room. A quiet room.
If you’re already in there, close the door.
Turn off your phone. Yes. That robotic entity which you hold more dearly than your health and happiness.
Now open your favorite notebook.
Grab a pen.
And don’t look up.
Good. You’re not done yet. Keep moving that pen.
What did I say about looking up?
This isn’t military school.
I said “DON’T LOOK UP.”
Just keep writing. No erasing. No going back.
Write anything. And everything.
Whatever random thoughts that are going through your mind, get it down on paper. Even if it doesn’t make any sense.
Doesn’t matter what you write.
Accidentally added the name of your childhood crush?
Well, too late for that. You better not erase it.
Now the whole world is going to read it.
Okay, I’m joking. Nobody cares about you.
And whatever you do, do NOT edit it.
No crossing out either.
It’s not like anyone with a brain will ever read your first draft.
Do you even have a brain? Well, I hope you do.
By the way, I just set a timer on your clock. You have 59 minutes and 48 seconds remaining.”
Now if you end up going through an entire hour of writing, and this is extremely unlikely unless you believe in yourself that you can do this -- you’re probably going to read through it and throw 60% of it away. If you’ve never free-styled, that number is much higher. Possibly around 80-90% will be trash.
But you know what’s unbeknownst to you?
Your writing skills have just shot up into the sky like a rocket. You’re no longer the same person. You are now one full hour better a writer than you were an hour ago. Exactly how effective is freestyle writing?
Let’s ask Albert Camus.
Among his many famous quotes is when he said, “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.”
Here he is confirming that your first ideas on paper may be really good but chances are they will not be presentable right away. So why not take advantage of your time and put down as many ideas on that blank sheet as you can? And the only way you can churn through so many ideas is if you write freely. If you want to learn more about the benefits of freestyle writing, we encourage you to read:
“Why is Writing So Hard?”
It’s an article in which we covered a lot about freestyle writing and how it could improve your writing skill at a more accelerating rate than any other habit listed on today’s topic.
5. Never Be afraid to Rewrite
You spent days and weeks writing tens of thousands of words, and suddenly you feel as though the messaging just isn’t right.
“What do I do?” you ask yourself.
You’re stuck. And I’m not talking about “writer’s block” kinda-stuck. Much worse. You feel like you want to do away with the whole architecture of your story. The plot seems unoriginal, and you just don’t like where the story is going now. You weigh your options and - “Oh no!” You shout to yourself.
A sudden realization has hit you.
Either you scrap the whole story or begin the process of rewriting.
“What do I do?” You’re sweating.
Is chopping through all these ideas really worth it? Or should you face the daunting task of reconstruction?
If you’ve ever felt this way, that’s a good thing. That means you’ve come face to face with adversity at least once throughout your writing endeavor.
So here’s the good news.
Rewriting isn’t as bad as you think. Instead, it gives you a chance to improve your work and this ultimately makes you a better writer.
It also forces you to read through your story - allowing you to find more subtle mistakes that you probably wouldn’t have found were you not on the verge of rearranging your plot.
Hell, did you know that there are writers out there who - believe it or not they write the whole story. And then, rewrite the whole damn thing on another software. Word-for-word.
At Alpha Book Publisher, we don’t necessarily recommend this strategy because it requires doing possibly more work than you have to - unless you have all the time in the world. It’s certainly something to think about though.
6. “Find an Editor. A Really, Really Good Editor.”
Let’s face it. You’re not perfect. You will never be perfect.
The headline itself is not misleading. Our definition of the 'perfect writer' has nothing to do with not making mistakes. After all, mistakes are what makes us human. Alright now, let’s dive in. Head First!
A good chunk of your time last year was spent on writing this groundbreaking novel and you feel satisfied after 85,000 words. You’re so confident in yourself because you’ve put in so much work you feel as though it won’t hurt a bit if you find a low-level editor since you’re such a good writer yourself.
‘Forget a low-level editor. I should publish this now,’ you think to yourself.
This mindset is popular among first time and indie authors.
While really good editors with experience and rave reviews charge an arm and a leg, you have to make sure you can afford it because you definitely don’t need a pile of cash. But you do need to make some type of an investment.
Or run it work through your friends. Ask a family member to get a second pair of eyes. If you can’t afford a really good editor your only option then is to find a couple pair of eyes.
Behind any great writer, a spit-and-polished editor hides in the shadow. And the last thing you want is going through all the pains of writing and publishing this beast only to find a spelling error on the first chapter after it’s been published and circulated.
Our next segment will be: 9 Simple Steps to be the Perfect Writer (Part 3). In this segment we will discuss the remaining habits you really need to make it in the book publishing industry. Before you click on that article though, we have to ask: Have you mastered any of these habits yet? Which of the following work ethic do you need to put more effort into? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.