25 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me as a Beginning Writer

Recently I was asked to speak at a local community college for National Day of Writing. Driving there, I decided to scrap my prepared speech and instead asked myself: What would I have wanted someone to tell me when I was an undergrad who dreamed of becoming a writer?

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1. You need to practice–maybe not every day but most days.
2. You need to have something to say.
3. You will get better.
4. You need writing colleagues.
5. You need writing mentors.
6. You don’t need degrees.
7. You will write some bad stories.
8. You will write some practice books.
9. The good news: You never get too old to be a writer.
10. Don’t just write what you know: go into the unknown.
11: Write what is dangerous.
12: Don’t outline (at first)–let it surprise you.
13: You need a writing routine if you want to accomplish a big project.
14. You style may and will change.
15: Cultivate beginner’s mind: hold onto that feeling of creative audacity even when you’ve been doing it for years.
16: Learn how to (really) revise.
17: Find readers you trust (and shower them with gratitude).
18.You must publish small before you can publish big.
19. Don’t rush to publish: wait until your work is ready.
20. Agents (publicists, etc.) are not fairy godmothers and they don’t have magic wands.
21. Learn how to advocate for yourself.
22. Support other writers.
23. The publishing world is small: be nice.
24. The creative process ebbs and flows–don’t panic.
25. You will change as a writer. Embrace it.

Happy Writing!

xo Nancy

P.S. Come revise with me in December! Just in time for your New Year’s Resolution, in this 3-day intensive we will revise some of your flash fiction drafts and get them ready for the next page!  Just a few spots left!

Flash Flurry: 3-day Revision Intensive Dec 27-29, 2019

 

FlashNano 2019: You Did It! Now What?

CONGRATULATIONS!

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And remember: Whether you wrote 30 stories or just 1 story: it’s still a win!

I will keep 2019 prompts up until next October when we prepare to do it again! Join me then!
All FlashNano 2019 prompts here

What now?

First of all, pause, rest, celebrate. You might be exhausted–I know I am!
Then revise.
The good news is: You have lots of material!
If you want to revise with me after the holidays, I still have a few spots left in my 3-day weekend revision class:

Flash Flurry: 3-day Revision Intensive
Dec 27-29

**And please let me know when all your great work gets published! I love hearing about it throughout the year.

Also you might want to consider joining myself and the flash fiction queen herself, Kathy Fish, on one of our our flash fiction writing retreats in 2020! Picture: time to write in an exotic location with like-minded others. Lots of instruction; lots of down time. And lots of fun. Friends are made; stories are written and perfected. Spirits are lifted and creative souls are inspired. It’s our favorite thing ever!

Flash Fiction in Costa Rica: Writing Wild in the Blue Zone
March 21-27, 2020

*we still have one discounted spot available

Flash Fiction in Colorado: High Altitude Inspiration 
Aug 19-23, 2020

And THANK YOU to everyone who has thrown some love in the tip jar! There were more than 800 people playing along this year–the biggest FlashNano yet!
Thank YOU!

PayPal.Me/ToGettheWordsRight

Cheers, and congratulations!
See you in 2020!
Love, Nancy