What Every Writer Wants in the New Year

Authors always set goals for themselves. But with the New Year fast aproaching, everyone is thinking of those nasty little resolutions that we never follow through on. Or maybe we don’t have any yet. Whether you can relate or just don’t have anything planned, these 5 resolutions will resignate with any writer. 

1. To Finish The Unfinished  

Maybe you never wrote the ending to your novel or decided to take an extended break in the middle. Maybe you gave up due to numerous plot holes. We all have that unfinished thing in the back of our minds, yearning to one day be complete. 

2. Fame and Fortune

Maybe this will be the year when that publishing deal finally goes through. 

3. To Create Something New

Write down that poem you’ve always thought of! Start that new novel that you’ve been dreaming about! Just do it! 

4. To Feel Connected

Try out that new social media outlet. Join that local writing group or book club, or even start your own! Having other writers like yourself is a great motivator! 

5. Feeling Like You’re Going Somewhere

We all have different dreams and desires. We all want to feel like we’re getting closer to those dreams. So go ahead, take that next step. Write a query letter or put your book on Amazon. 

Authors Need Love Too

Since I’ve been home for winter break, I’ve had some time to reflect. Last night, I suddenly started thinking about my future…I have no idea what’s going to happen. There is never certainty as a writing major. 

Anyway, I realized that being an author, like many other things, requires a support system. When I was in high school and all my friends wanted to read my works, I felt like I was on top of the world, and I wrote nearly every day, finishing books left and right. 

Now, after not having a publication in over a year and begging for beta readers, I rarely write anything that’s not for class anymore. 

The thing I realized about authors is that our career really depends on other people. A teacher, for example, needs a class. But students will always be around. An author needs beta readers, then for a publisher to like your idea, and then the public needs to love it as well. An unmotivated teacher can still show up to work. An unmotivated author can’t write. 

So this holiday season, I’d advise everyone to show some love for the writers in your life. Stop by their Wattpad account and read something, or ask them about that poem they scribbled in their notebook. Tell them you can’t wait for their next book. Chances are, they’ll appreciate it. 

Why Real Critics Shouldn’t be “Sugar Coating”

A while back when I first started doing critiques on Wattpad, I noticed a common trend in the posts of the advertising critics. This trend was usually at the bottom, and was under the caption “Sugar Coating.” These critics wrote in their post things like, “I will sugar coat” or “Please let me know how much sugar coating you would like.”

I was baffled. If they weren’t going to be giving honest reviews, then what were they doing? Well, when you look at it, being a Wattpad critic is a great way to get follows or reads on your own story.

Then again, I’m sure that many critics know the backlash we receive when someone doesn’t like what we have to say. I’ve been called a “bully” and a bunch of other names by Wattpadders.

The thing is, we shouldn’t let that stop us. There is no way on earth that I’m going to stop telling people what is wrong with their story because I don’t want them to get upset, or hurt their feelings. I’m not saying you should be a jerk when you go out and critique someone’s story, but you definitely shouldn’t be super nice.

By doing this “sugar coating” and giving them nice feedback when their story actually stinks, you’re only damaging the writer. That doesn’t help them improve and could even lead to cockiness. Because let’s face it, when people tell us our stories are really good, it bumps up our ego a notch.

Ending point: Don’t sugar coat. Be yourself when you critique. If you’re not giving helpful feedback, you might as well not give it at all.