You can find yourself experiencing a number of stages as you journey through a writer’s life;
You crawl out of the primordial ooze to start your path on the Writer’s Journey. This is the stage full of enthusiasm, ideas, and storytelling creativity. You write because you love it, losing yourself in another world, and encountering characters that come from the nether regions of your imaginations.
Doubts begin to nag at you. You might read some books on how to improve, start looking at classes to hone your craft, and writing might become a struggle at times because of these doubts. You start to wonder if you’re good enough, if your stories are compelling to catch the attention of an agent, and you wonder if you have what it takes to be a published author.
The more you learn, the doubts grow bigger. Why is my grammar so horrible? What the heck does ‘passive voice’ mean anyway? I’ll never be writer. What was I thinking? I’ll never publish anything.
This is the stage you should consider joining a group, or taking a class to improve your writing. Writing is about storytelling, and if you have good stories to tell, then the grammar, punctuation, lack of detail, 2-dimensional characters, and all the other elements of a story can be fixed. Its not a problem, but a challenge to overcome.
You improve, comparing old stuff to the new stuff, and confidence surges you forward. You learn more skills and habits of writers, and you find writing can be an ebb and flow of creativity, but that you still need to write. Those characters are nagging you to tell their story.
You realize the business end of publishing a book, and hope is either restored, or at this point, some writers might give up. I encourage you to persevere. Why deny the world your stories and chance to see your work in print?
Working past doubt, and just getting the story written, editing, and formatted for submission. This is the ‘unfun’ part of writing, if you ask me, but I feel one of the most important aspects of the process.
You dare to submit! This is a huge step, and you’re almost to the end. You submit your work, and wait – and often deal- with rejections. KEEP ATI IT! YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!
Someone finally recognizes your genius and agrees to publish you! Validated and renewed, you set to task to write more stories and head on your way of a published author. Although, sometimes, too many rejections prompts some authors to find other ways to publish, such as self publishing.
Here are a few tips to help you evolve faster:
Read books or take a class about writing. This can seriously help you learn the elements of a story and how to work a story into something publishable.
Join a writer’s group. I must provide a warning here as well- some groups can end up crushing your will so you want to find one where the members are encouraging and focused on helping you improve rather than cut you down. Consider starting your own group if you can’t find anything local.
Take breaks from time to time.
Put yourself out there so people can find your writing and comment. Yes, its frightening to open yourself for feedback, but I found the positive feedback helped tremendously over the years to bolster my confidence.
Enjoy the journey, not always focusing on the destination. Remember why you started this path to begin with! We write for ourselves as much as anyone else.