Hi, and thanks for dropping in. I’m Martin McConnell.
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So here’s the thing. Writing is really hard. Sometimes I forget the struggles I went through on my writing journey. It’s easy to say, “Just write the damn book” after you’ve collected a stockpile of novel drafts, revisions, and a horde of short stories. But I understand new writers, you have doubts. Well I’m here to answer all of them.
Everyone has doubts. Take me for instance. I’ve been scribbling off and on my whole life. My first attempts at writing books were all nonfiction ideas, most of them spiritual or scientific in nature, and sometimes a combination of the two, mixed with a dash of Philosophy.
I took a long, hard look back to my first novel writing attempt. If you have any doubt about your ability as an author, believe me, I’ve had it too, and I still have most of them. But writing isn’t one process. There’s no one solution, no matter how much I want there to be (so I can write a book about the secret). Everyone has a different style, a different approach, and every writing process out there has been met with both success and failure. As you are writing your novel, you will have days when you question why you ever bothered starting. You will have doubts. Just bookmark this page, and any time that happens, come back and remind yourself that you are not along, and that you CAN and SHOULD do this. Write the book. Don’t worry, you got this, and I got your back. You can email me anytime.
I’m Not Good At Writing
Here’s the secret: neither is anyone else! Those smug bands of writers that think they posses some magical skill, ignore them. There’s an audience out there for every voice, and a voice for every audience. If you need a reminder of that, then just look around Wattpad for a little while, read some garbage, and then look at the glowing reviews.
I’ve met people who absolutely hate Stephen King, or J.K. Rowling. Haven’t met any James Patterson haters yet, but I’m sure they are out there. Why? They’re awesome bestselling authors, right? Simply put, even bestselling authors have critics. The real difference between them and you? They have enough of an audience that they get flooded with hate mail. Their feeds on social, I’m sure, include a daily dash of criticism. People own forums will openly rant about how much they suck as writers, and deserve no recognition at all. Yes, even the big names, suck at writing, if you ask the snooty grammar snobs and literary wizards.
Maybe you are just finding your voice now, or perhaps you don’t even know where to start looking yet. We’ve all been there. I wonder if I’ve found mine on a weekly basis. The more I write, the more my style changes. When I started, I wanted words on a page, and a good story. Now I find myself fiddling with tone and tempo, and various other stylistic effects. I don’t do this because I feel I have to, the people who like my writing hardly care, as long as they’re entertained, but I pick at my own words now much more than I used to, and I still think that they are crap sometimes.
The secret to better writing, is more writing. If there’s a specific area you want to improve, read a couple blog posts on the topic, and experiment with it as you move your novel forward. There’s no rule against learning, and you can gain insight from reading other authors, but even with all of that, keep writing. When you finish that first novel, and turn back to page one for the first editing pass, you WILL see how much you have grown as a writer, immediately.
I’ll Never Get Published
My comment on this is generally, who the hell cares? Did you start writing because you like writing, or is your novel some kind of ploy to make money? If it’s the latter, then stick to non-fiction, and if nobody wants to publish you, then self publish. A block of ISBNs and a great cover design could be considered an investment. Or start your own publishing house and promote other people’s work.
Writing isn’t about getting published, and there are publishers out there who aren’t going to do much for you anyway, aside from the initial advance.
This one applies to everyone, not just writers. At least, anyone with a goal. Stop lis…
I know that some think I’m a writing robot, just cranking out 1000s of words every day…
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Hi there! I have a treat for you today. If you want the performance of a high dollar Mont Blanc rollerball without spending the $250 entry price, this is a cheap way to get an awesome writing tool.
But it wasn’t grandma’s house I was heading to. In fact, I’ve run out of grandmas, but…
If you are looking for my infamous advice about getting started freelancing and making money from your own words, like I do, check out my resources page.
My goals are simple. I want to make a living writing, start a self-sustainable farm, help other writers and authors to become sucessful (even more than me), and inspire everyone (I want to be a muse when I grow up). New writing tips are posted on Thursdays, enjoy.
Life is a story. You are the main character. Drive your own plot.
Did you find what you were looking for? If not, drop me a line, let me know why you dropped by, so I can add it to the site, or if it’s already here, make it easier to find. Contact me at email@example.com and let me know what I can do to help, whether it’s a post you would like to see, an idea for the website, a nugget of writing advice, or just to say hi.
If you like reading or writing short stories, you might also like my Facebook group: Flash Fiction Phenomenon