Let It Flow, Let It Go: My Best Advice For New Writers

*approaches podium, trips over own feet, knocks over microphone*

Hi! So you want to start writing. That's all sorts of awesome, dude. And if I could give any kind of advice, it would be the following. 

Write every day. Doesn't matter what it is, or if anyone will see it. Freewrite. Write about how you can't think of anything to write about. Just write. That's what writers do. 

Let it FLOW. Don't overthink what you're writing. Some people are going to relate to stories about your cats, and some people are going to relate to stories about your mental illness. I speak from experience. You won't know what people will connect to unless you put it all out there. That's why I despise "drafts" or "outlines" or anything I learned in writing classes in high school. Throw all that junk away and write what you know. If you're having a rotten day, dammit, TELL the story. SHOW through your words how you feel and what you think. 

You're always going to have readers who disagree, or call you a hack, or a bitch, or whatever. It comes with the territory. But what you're also going to get, IF YOU'RE HONEST, is a reading audience that goes along with you on your travels and adventures, even if they all exist in your own mind. 

Don't censor yourself, for the love of Jebuddah. If you want to cuss, CUSS. If your mama is going to read your blog and swearing would cause drama? Make up words, like "Jebuddah" and "effing." People will know what you mean. Don't ever doubt that you have something to say, and that the way YOU want and need to say it is the right way. 

Your blog might resemble others. Lots of people talk about their kids because that's a huge part of their lives. Don't worry that you'll be pigeonholed. Your voice is your own and your writing is going to be your own, as long as you stay true to yourself. 

Feel free to ramble/make an ass out of yourself/open a proverbial vein emotionally. You're not the only one who has felt that way. You'll find an audience shrieking to the rooftops "OMG I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE!!!!" and that's an amazing feeling. I make an ass out of myself DAILY. Hourly, sometimes. I share everything that doesn't negatively affect others in my life. If family is off limits, stay true to that. There's no shame in keeping things private, especially if loved ones are involved. But if anything goes? That's AWESOME. Let it. You make your own rules and regulations, no one else does. No one wants a mirror of another blog, or article, or book. That's boring. DON'T BE BORING! 

But you WON'T be boring. Because writing is life. Writing is soul. Writing is your heart, poured out beautifully and hideously and in your own way. 

Just write. It's what writers do. 

Trust me, if you're honest with yourself? You have nothing to worry about. 


Let It Flow, Let It Go: My Best Advice For New Writers — 20 Comments

  1. Great encouragement for new and experienced writers! I read this with a smile, feeling much bolder about my novel and some of the choices I have made with it that are important to me and truly express my voice and thoughts. Thanks for an awesome post for the blogfest!

  2. Love the simplicity of your advice. Writing can be scary, too. But I have noticed that most people respect honesty and forgive you if reveal too much. We’re all human, and whatever you say or do — chances are someone else has said and done the exact same thing, or felt the same way, even if they rarely admit it, or present a facade online.

  3. *applause*
    I’m on it. Great advice. And it helps not to forget that “writing everyday” can mean almost anything, which will help keep you motivated. I’m very often guilty of not wanting to loosen up, but I think you’re right.

  4. Yes, yes, and yes. Writers write. If you want to be a writer, write. Write for yourself, write for others, just write.
    Words are beautiful. People are beautiful. People and words are beautiful. Read other people’s words. Read your words to other people.
    And keep writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I think it shows through your writing when you force it compared to when you write from inside yourself. If you write from the heart and are true to yourself your writing is much more natural. Lovely advice.

  6. Love this.
    My husband gave me similar advice. ” Babe, when you start a blog, you talk to yourself for 6 months. And that’s a good thing. Your goal should be to enjoy it, and to figure out your own rythm. Cause once you have an audience they will expect you to keep it up. ”
    Again. Love this

  7. Hi,
    Well, I am a writer and a relatively new blogger, and this piece was very inspiring and reassuring for me.
    The freedom and editorial independence of blogging (my sponsors like my style and they let me write WHATEVER I want) has made me write pieces often very fast on my blackberry, in the spur of the moment.
    Sometimes I have felt like I should have done more fact checking, or try not to anger some people with my opinions, because they sort of could have been more balanced if I wanted.
    ButI guess you are right, opinions will always have supporters and detractors, and that IS the beauty of opinions.
    Er, I think I have just angered one of my favorite rock stars beyond reconciliation, but I guess I will have to live with stuff like that happening, if I wanna speak my mind.
    Bottom line, THANK YOU for this article. It helped me make an important decision for the future.
    Weยดll see what comes from it…

  8. “Just write. It’s what writers do.”
    Someone asked me in an interview lately when I “realized I was” or “decided to be” a writer. I was like… uh… I don’t know what to say to that. I just… write.

  9. Fabulous piece, very inspiring. I’m one of those people who wants desperately to write, and spends lots of time planning my writing, and working out plots, and doing research, and talking about what I’m working on, and all the various ancillary activities, and yet somehow never really does a lot of writing.
    The problem is letting go of perfection and allowing yourself to NOT be perfect. Or, like you said, to make an ass of yourself. Very hard to do, especially for us neurotic writerly types.
    Anyway, thanks again. I may have to post this by my computer.

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