Guest Post: What I've Learned from Writing Three Books

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Hey y’all! I’m Meagan, and I blog over at Works of HeART by ML. I am so excited to be doing this swap with Ivy! We met just recently, but I’m already discovering that she’s pretty amazing! One of the things we discovered that we have in common is that we’re both writers!

I’ve been a writer for pretty much my whole life. I remember writing my first play in the fourth grade, (it was terrible, but that’s beside the point), and I haven’t stopped writing since then! Over the course of those 17 years, I’ve written 3 full books. And though I’m not a published author yet, I like to think that I’ve learned a few things about writing.

Writing is hard work
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just wake up to a freshly written page or chapter overnight without having to do the work yourself? Unfortunately, that’s not how writing works. Writing is work, really hard work. It can be so difficult sometimes, to tear myself away from the distractions of the internet, and actually put the words down on the page. But I’ve learned that the books will never get written, if I’m not willing to put in the work. And that means writing every day. Even when you don’t want to, and even when you can’t find the right words. Crappy writing is always better than no writing.

Write what’s in your heart
There’s so much advice out there for “writing what sells”. That’s terrible advice, in my opinion. I’ll admit it, I’ve tried to do just that, several times. But what sells, isn’t what my heart wanted to write. And so I failed miserably, every time. Instead, you should write the books that you want to read. Write the books that are in your heart. People will say they’ve got a great idea for you, and sometimes that works out. Sometimes the ideas speak to you, and sometimes they don’t. But don’t try to write for anybody else- it just won’t work. To me, writing is an immensely personal thing, and you should never sell out just for the money or fame, or even the obligation that you may feel when someone shares a “great idea” with you.

Nothing goes exactly as you plan
Some writers are planners. They outline every single page of their novel, and when plot holes and problems creep up, they often spend weeks/months/years trying to figure out exactly what went wrong, and how to make it fit the plan. Some writers wing it. They don’t outline anything, and just let the words pour out straight from brain to paper. When they find plot holes or problems, often, they abandon the whole thing and start fresh with another idea. Personally, I advocate a third approach. Outline, but don’t put all your hopes on that first outline. Problems will crop up when writing, and it’s better not to let it stress you out. Just go with the flow, and you’ll find things go a lot easier when problems do occur. Let your characters lead you; they usually know what they’re doing. 

The best ideas are often stolen
Inspiration is all around you. You only have to look for it, and then steal it! There’s a quote by T.S. Elliot that I love, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different”. And it’s so true. All artists steal, whether they do it consciously or not. But the best ones make the old idea better, and that is the true task as a writer. Take something and make it fresh in the way that only you can.

Never give up
As I mentioned above, I’ve been writing stories in one way or another for 17 years at least. My stories aren’t on shelves for you to purchase, they’re not printed and bound into nice pretty editions… Not yet, anyways. Becoming a writer is a hard, long journey full of rejection and disappointment. But don’t give up. After all, the thing that truly makes you a writer, is the writing. Not the contracts, or the money, or the recognition. Writing is a spilling of your soul onto paper, and breathing life into a new creation. It is a gift, but also a discipline. Treat it nicely, and it will treat you the same.

Author Bio:
  
Meagan Lindsay is a mid-twenties something Florida girl who loves Jesus, words, art, and so much more. She shares her passions on her blog, and has been writing almost all her life. If she didn't write, she doesn't know what she'd do. But her mom has always claimed she was born to be a Disney Princess, so probably that.

Make sure to connect with her on any of these platforms:
Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook | Bloglovin’ | Google +

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