Writing Wednesdays: Top 10 tips for a first-time writer

September 09, 2015
Writing for the first time can be hard, so in this post I share my top ten tips for new writers.

A little while ago, Anonymous asked me what my top ten tips for a first-time writer would be, so here they are (with any links to longer Writing Wednesday posts for more info)…

1. Write the book you want to read. (Read more here.)

2. Be passionate about the book you’re writing

You’ll be way more motivated to work on the book and to finish it, and you’ll be less likely to give up than if you’re writing something dry and flat just because you think it will sell.

3. Find a way of writing that works for you.

(By this I mean, if you’re busy with school, then maybe you can find time to write in free periods, or for an hour at the end of the day before you go to bed? Maybe you need to set yourself a goal of 500 words a day, or just write when the mood takes you.)

You might like this post for advice on finding your writing style.

4. Find a writing community.

Whether it’s a fanfic site, something like Wattpad, or you just follow some writing blogs on Tumblr. You don’t necessarily have to share your writing if you really don’t want to, or be actively involved, but just having these communities will keep you motivated. That said…


It doesn’t have to be with your mum or your best friend or anyone you know. That was why I took to Wattpad so much: there, I was just Reekles. Nobody knew anything about me. They didn’t even have a picture of me. They read my book just because it appealed to them, and not because they were my friends and being polite to save hurting my feelings. Trust me when I say that even seeing three people reading your work and having one comment is a massive confidence boost. Be as anonymous as you want, but share your work! It can really help.

You might like this post on why you should be publishing your work online.

6. Read.

Read books in your genre. Read books with the kind of character you’re writing. Read books just because they look good and you want to read them. Reading around will help you develop your sentence structure, your vocab, give you ideas of other characters and tones and whatnot. Just read a lot. Totally worth it.

You might like this post on why reading is important when you’re a writer.

7. Don’t give up. Don’t. You. Dare.

I BELIEVE IN YOU, NEWBIE WRITER! I BELIEVE YOU CAN WRITE THE BOOK. YOU CAN DO THE THING! Sometimes it can feel like you’re wasting your time and the book you’ve started writing is going nowhere, but give it a chance. Maybe it’s just that the last few chapters/last scene you wrote aren’t working, and you need to rewrite them. Maybe it’s a bit of writer’s block. Maybe you’re just not feeling very inspired right now. Maybe you’re simply too busy with work or school or whatever and don’t have the energy. None of that means that you should give up. And on that note…

You might like this post on how to stay motivated and finish your book.

8. Learn to deal with writers’ block.

You will encounter this. (Some people think it’s a myth, but I personally am a wholehearted believer of the dreaded writer’s block.) It may seem insurmountable. It may last for a few days, or months. You can check out my post on dealing with writer’s block and different ways to try and overcome it, but again, don’t let it kill your motivation and bury it six feet under. Keep that passion for your book going!

You might like this post for some advice on how to deal with writers’ block.

9. You will be your own worst critic, and that’s okay.

There will be times that you feel like you’re wasting your time and your writing sucks and the plot is just a rehash of this idea from a movie and your characters are clichés and you would never get a book deal out of this. I know I’ve felt like this sometimes, but you can’t let it stop you. This is where sharing your work online can be a huge help: it proves that there are people out there, even just one or two, who value your work, and proves that you’re not wasting your time. (And heck, if you like writing, who can tell you it’s a waste of time?!)

10. Learn to be your own biggest fan.

Champion yourself! When you’re feeling a little down about your work, try reading over a scene you’re really proud of. And don’t feel guilty for feeling proud of your own work! Let yourself think that this book is the best thing you’ve ever written. 

Let that drive push you to finish your book. Love your characters, your plot twists, the subplots and the metaphor you threw in that you just adore. Even learn to love those cliché lines or the bits of dialogue that made you laugh out loud when you read back over them. I don’t mean that you have to be big-headed, but just because you can be your own worst critic doesn’t mean you can’t be your own biggest fan, too.

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