Writing and Public Speaking
I dont go around telling people what to do. As a coach, I offer ideas and suggestions and invite people to try them on for themselves. However, I have noticed that there are some definite things that new writers should be warned about. If you are not a new writer, it cant hurt to be reminded of these essential clues to the writing life.
1. Dont blab. New writers are always excited about their projects. This is good! Ideas and energy turns sour when you are talking about it all the time to anyone who will listen. When you blab your ideas, you lose energy to write them. Save them for the page. Be a little mysterious and write, dont tell.
2. Dont be overambitious with scheduling writing time. Start small and plan in little bits of writing every week or every day. You may plan for 15 minutes for three days per week. Or ten minutes every day. Start small and build. New writers often think they need hours or its not worth it.
3. Dont spend all of your time reading about writing. You will know when you are procrastinating with books. When the urge to write comes upon you, and you go to read instead of write, you know you need to wean off the books for awhile.
4. Dont isolate yourself. Find other writers who are also working on writing. You can find them in workshops, at readings, in libraries and bookstores. You can put a notice up in bookstores and ask for writing buddies.
5. Dont compare yourself to others if it makes you feel bad. If you make a comparison and it propels you into your writing, the comparison has been useful. If it just makes you feel like giving up writing, give up comparing instead.
6. Dont stop yourself. If something you are doing stops you from writing, its not working. Reading, wandering, comparing yourself to others, reading books and thinking, Ill never do that, can all prevent you from writing.
7. Dont take writing classes and think that that means you are writing. You have to follow up this initial effort up with actual writing. Use the momentum of the class to continue writing after the class is over.
8. Dont get discouraged. Writing is a long process. Give yourself plenty of time to strengthen your writing muscles and build a writing practice that works for you.