When it comes to the writing game there are some rules you can’t ignore. These are the rules that are necessary for success. Today we are going over the top 5 rules of writing you must follow. Let’s get to it!
1. Make The Time
Here’s one of the most important rules you can’t break. Not even the masters can skip this one without paying for it. Just ask George R.R. Martin. In order to be a great writer, or just a published writer in general, you must make the time to write. There’s just no getting around the fact.
If you screw around too much and never get any writing done, well, it’s pretty obvious what’ll happen with your writing career. Nothing. You’ll never progress and you’ll never create anything people will care about—because it’s impossible to do these things if you don’t sit down and fucking do them! Turn off the TV. Close the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram tabs on your computer. Then put your phone on silent and sit your ass down to write! Everyday if possible. Make the time to write and you’ll see the rewards for your hard work come in.
2. Screw Inspiration. Just Write!
The key to becoming a successful writer isn’t about being inspired to create something amazing. It’s about sitting down and writing when you feel like dog shit and all you want to do is watch Netflix for six hours straight. Those who only write when they’re inspired almost always lose to those who write no matter how they feel.
Think about bad writers who’ve made millions off of mediocre work. They didn’t become successful because they were inspired and were tremendously talented. They succeeded because they got the work done.
3. Read Like Crazy
It’s no coincidence that the greatest writers were also avid readers. Nothing helps you create your unique writing style like learning from the greats who’ve come before you. No matter how different an author is from you or what genre they write in, you can learn from them.
The best thing a writer can do is read through a wide variety of genres and authors. You never know what elements will fit your writing style or what ideas you may get from the work of other authors. Now, I’m not talking about stealing their ideas or jacking their style, I’m just saying learning from the things they’ve done right and what they’ve done wrong. That knowledge can take you a long way in your writing journey.
4. Write About What Interests You
Why do readers read? To escape to a world created by someone else. An unfamiliar, new world unlike the one they inhabit everyday. How do you create such a world as a writer? Easy! Write about the things that interests you.
If you’re interested in something, chances are pretty good others are interested in it, too. If you can take the things that interests you and give them a unique spin, you allow readers to view things through your unique eyes. This sends them to a world unknown to them while holding the familiarity of a topic or theme that already interests them.
5. Don’t Quit Your Day Job
You know what’s a terrible idea? Yup, you guessed it. Quitting your day job to become a full-time writer. Unless you’re up to your genitals in a swimming pool full of money or get an actual job writing for someone else—like a magazine or newspaper—you’re asking for trouble if you quit your job because you’re banking on, well, making bank as a fiction writer.
Here’s an ugly secret in the writing world. Even well-known or famous authors have side jobs or day jobs. Many write articles for various publications for extra money. Some do speaking engagements to pay the bills. A lot of authors have normal day jobs and their novels simply supplement their income. I hate to say this, but being a writer is damn hard. Unless you’re selling the movie rights to your novel to Disney, you probably aren’t seeing giant paychecks coming your way. You figure it takes months upon months, if not years to write, edit, and professionally edit a novel. If you only make 15-30k from that, you’re probably not living like a king. Stephen King that is. A lot o his money has come from movie deals and the fact he writes at least one or two books every single year.
BONUS RULE: Stop Bitching
Writing is hard, and yet nobody is making you do it. So, why the fuck are you bitching about it? If you’re writing to make money, find another hustle. This one is only going to break you. If you’re writing because you have a passion for it and can’t imagine living without it, then there’s no reason to complain. You’re doing what you want in life.
Sure, we all want to do better, sell more books, win awards, all that good stuff. But crying about how hard it is and how things aren’t working isn’t going to make those things happen for you. You have to busts your ass and grind it out. It might take ten or more years before you become an “overnight success.” But if you really love writing, that wait won’t really seem so long. As long as you’re doing what you love, nothing else matters.
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