Writing Success – Imagine It, Touch It, Feel It.

Writing success

Author Annette Youngby Annette Young

Do you dream of being a successful author imagining your very first book signing or, about clasping that first copy of your book in your hands? Perhaps you just want to see your name in print or to win your first writing competition? Everyone who engages with the written word creatively has some idea of where they want their writing abilities to take them, and writing success is possible if you can imagine it with conviction.

I know that when I started out, I wanted to become published, I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to write, in fact, I tried just about everything. Going from one project to the next, ideas cascading in as I devoured each writing technique, hoping that with each new skill-set and a bit of luck, success was bound to be mine. Naive I may have been to think publishing success would drop gift-wrapped into my lap but, determination kept me striving forward.

Some of you will relate to that inner drive, that integral something that makes you need to create imaginary scenes, and dynamic and charismatic characters. I know that almost all my actions translated into how to conjure up scenes that were not only imaginable but that seemed real.

Visualising your goals is so important. It has to seem real to you before you can even start to make it happen. If you have doubts about your own potential, then you are as good as slamming the door in your own face. Everyone has doubts that holds them back but you have to put it into perspective. How much do you want writing success? As a creative writer, your imagination must be strong, you have to be able to picture success so acutely in your mind’s eye that it becomes almost a tangible thing. The more you see it, the more you can feel it and want to taste success.

What equals success for you? Everyone’s journey on the creative path is uniquely different but every obstacle is surmountable if you can approach it with determination. I used to see these stumbling blocks as a way of testing my resolve and that certainly worked for me. I surpassed my earlier goals but each day, week and month, I create new creative goals and imagine them becoming a reality too.

There is always a way to achieve your dreams, be it a book, a story or a film script. It might not be the easiest path but the harder the route, the more satisfying the taste of success.

 

 

Writing Success – Ten Minutes A Day

successful writingby Annette Young

Ten minutes a day, that really is all that is needed for writing success. In fact, I would say that the more time you have, the less productive you may be. I know it can be difficult to juggle work and family demands, I did just that for many years. I had a husband (ex now) who was grumpy if I disappeared into another room, laptop tucked under my arm and, who did not (would not understand) my need to write.

I had a full-time job and a part-time job teaching and I had already taken the first tentative steps towards writing professionally. I also had a disabled mother and as you can imagine, there were times when I had to drop everything to be with her as her health fluctuated up and down. Believe me when I say that I juggled profusely to fit everything in.

This is why I can honestly say, hand on heart, that ten minutes a day will do wonders for your writing. If you are a morning person, get up that little bit earlier and write then. I did my ten minutes during my lunch hour. I would get away from my desk and eat my sandwiches sometimes in the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral. I would spend a few minutes first absorbing the life that moved around me. I soaked up the atmosphere of the ancient building, I relaxed in the beautiful grounds and I would shrug off the stresses of the day. Then, I would write as fast as I could, timing myself to see how many words I could capture.

Were those short paragraphs perfect for publication? No, of course not. Sometimes I even struggled to read my own handwriting.

On rainy days, I used to try to find a quiet corner at work and to blot out the noise of a busy office environment and to let ideas flood through me. Sometimes the words were like a hard knot in my head, at other times they poured in fluidic motion out onto paper and I felt creatively satiated.

The point I am trying to make though is that a mere ten minutes a day of concentrated writing will be enough to train your brain and to make you ultra productive when you need to write. On those days when you sit at home and have hours at your disposal to write, isn’t it typical that those are the times when words do not come? Do you imagine them deliberately resisting your desperate pleas, knowing that the more stressed you become, the less likely that they will appear. Ten minutes of successful writing is worth more than an hour of hair pulling, head scratching and lots of screwed up efforts in the waste-paper bin.

If you find that ideas do not come on demand, write down a few enticing titles the day before, even allow your mind to mull over the words, teasing out new ideas and creating a series of what-if scenarios. Spend your ten minutes writing opening paragraphs to exciting new stories and then the following day, continue to write the next paragraphs and so on. Keep your brain challenged and don’t be afraid to push yourself creatively. If you can find just ten minutes a day to write, you can be successful. You just have to make yourself work at it.

“Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Writing Success – The Long and Winding Road

be a successful writerWhen I first realised that I wanted to be a writer, I didn’t expect instant success. I knew that there was a big learning curve awaiting me before I could write as a professional, I knew that experience would also play a part in my success and as a young writer, I wasn’t that worldly. Every experience, every rejection, every success all added to my determination to be the best writer that I could be. The journey wasn’t always easy, but it was worthwhile.

You can’t write with sincerity if you have not lived. I found that out. I was shutting myself away after work, feverishly typing away on an old typewriter (it was 30 odd years ago) and capturing thousands of words on paper. I thought they were good but not good enough. Turns out I was right. Publishers rejected them. It was soul-destroying.

To combat the hurt following a series of rejections, I turned to poetry and allowed all that inner angst to come out. Words flowed, inspiration peaked and it was like creative therapy. The hurt of rejection led on to other things, my interest in psychology and view of others, my passion for nature and the way progress often meant exactly the opposite in the real world. When I began writing about things I cared abut and had experienced for myself, my writing became much stronger, I had intent and belief. Then it dawned on me, my focus had been on writing about love and romance, and it was not really me. Sure, it was a fantastic market with lots of potential for publication but was I trying to write short stories just for publication? I realised yes, I didn’t really want to write about romantic love, as someone in their late teens, I hadn’t ever experienced real love for myself -not truly.

So instead, I started trying out different genres but putting my own slant on it. Plots became more evolved, I added layers to each story and sometimes those layers had sub-layers. I wasn’t creating a story, I was creating a micro world where I could construct fictional elements based on my own perceptions and desires. In short, I was adding a little bit of me into my writing.

Those rejections were a turning point for me. I grew up creatively speaking from that point.  It was still some years before  I decided I was ready to send out more manuscripts and I’d like to say that I instantly got published, but I didn’t.  But suddenly, it all started happening. I began to win or be placed in writing competitions, poetry that I had written with passion was suddenly accepted and I got my article writing break for the big national magazines.

For many writers, it is a long and winding road towards writing success. Many stumble and fall along the way. Some pick themselves back up and dust themselves off, others give up writing. The real writers among us never give in, even when rejections are like a proverbial slap in the face. We just keep going, mildly chuntering about the unfairness of the rejection and we learn from it.  I still learn even now and yearn to try out different writing techniques and wondering how to stretch my creativity still further. I don’t think I have achieved my best work yet and even though I am successful – I write full-time and I love my job, I know I can be better and write something amazing.

Goal setting never stops and once you push through fear of rejections, absorbing techniques and life along the road, success will happen. But you have to approach those goals with true resilience and dedication.

 
“Image courtesy of [stuartmiles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.