10 Things I Learned While Drafting
1. Routine is Crucial
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single writer in possession of good ambition would be in want of more time. I woke up every morning at 5AM and wrote for two hours before school which is as horrific as it sounds. Add onto the fact I’m a lazy teenager, however, it allowed me to get my daily word count in.
2. Find My Mind Palace
During those mornings, I’d write in Starbucks and I learned what was my ideal writing environment. I’m a homebody but being around other people just ensures that I stay on task. Asides from feeling like a real writer in a café, it would also be embarrassing if someone looked over my shoulder and knew I was watching Phineas and Ferb.
3. Learn What Works
When I started outlining, I tried every technique out there. I used the snowflake method, flashlight, three acts, four acts, you name it. Although the two that worked the best for me was the sticky method and fifteen beat structure. I had to modify the both of them for what suited my needs. It’s all just a matter of trying to figure out what worked through failure but never giving up.
Stephen King said that in order to create art, one has to consume art. Who am I to argue with Stephan King? Artists draw inspiration from art. I’ve already known how to read for pleasure, but reading for education was a whole other ballpark. With every novel I read, I’m expanding my vocabulary, learning about a writer’s voice, how sub-plots intertwine, and so much more.
5. Marketing Can Be Fun
Marketing sucks. I became a writer because I enjoy writing! I didn’t become a writer to dance with statistics but hear me out, marketing can be fun if you make it related to your writing. Wow! I’m just as surprised as you are. I used reverse psychology on myself and it’s actually starting to work out. I’ve started to find some joy in vlogging and blogging.
6. Lack of Practicality
For the most part, writing isn’t a remotely sustainable job. I’ve had to stare face to face with reality and the likelihood that my dreams won’t happen. The statistics aren’t in my favor so I needed a Plan B that I’m happy with.
7. My Writing Sucks
I’m a teen writer which means I am incredibly young. I also don’t have much experience not just in writing but also in life. That means I’ll be ignorant. Being a newbie will ensure that the only art produced is questionable at best, complete crap at worst.
8. It’s Okay to Suck
I’ve seen myself improve with more practice. Art isn’t a talent for most people, it’s a skill that one hones through hours of fine tuning. I know in a couple years I’ll be reading this back and cringe at my old writing. I wouldn’t have gained the education to cringe if I didn’t suck at first.
9. I Don’t Need Approval
I don’t need anyone’s approval because I won’t be getting it anytime soon. Even I can admit the ludicrous ambition of a teenager wanting to be a New York Times Bestseller is ridiculous. I won’t be getting anyone’s approval until I prove them wrong, so in the meanwhile all I need is my own approval.
10. Critique Partners are Amazing
I’ve found a couple of critique partners that I trust and damn-I’m so thankful. It’s such a relief to have other teen writers in my life that are just trying their best. Having people I can share my novel with is a safe haven I thought I would never be able to afford.