I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember. When friends and teachers enjoyed reading my stories, it spurred me to focus on getting the right qualifications to study Creative Writing at University. Through hard work I’ve learnt so much about what I can do, although I am still learning. Whilst I was studying for my A-Levels, I spent a lot of my free time writing fan fiction; not a very skilled writing platform, but it’s great practice and you build up a following of readers who, if they like you and your work enough, will continue to follow your writing as you progress.
In addition to all my jobs, I’ve just been put in charge of The Little’s Social Media pages. It’s not easy, I’ll admit, but I’ve always been a busy person. Whilst I was at uni I held 2 jobs, as well as writing and studying, so now that I’ve left uni I need something to fill the time I spent studying! I try to force myself to write about 1000 words a day on both of my novels (500 for each) and then I go back and edit them. I think the trick is to plan and pace myself; even if I’m on a roll with a chapter I’m writing, I won’t get too carried away, otherwise I’ll come to a wall where I’ll be stuck on what to write! I also work well using lists, and let me tell you there is great satisfaction in crossing off tasks on to-do lists!
Tips for writing a novel? Just keep trying. If you’ve got an idea, just go ahead and write it. Plan how to write it if you can. The more you plan, the more of your world you can explore. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar and all of the technicalities – that’s what editing is for. Creative writing ideas won’t just happen if you idly sit around waiting for them; I listen to music to inspire me, or go for long walks and watch movies. You’ve got to keep your creative side ticking over, so I do a lot of drawing in my spare time…when I have any!
Having a website as a writer is vital, so that you can display your work and let others easily see what you can do. The great thing about Social Media is that you can interact with fellow writers, and eventually fans of your work. I’ve been a member on the art website deviantART for many years, and those friends now closely follow my writing and support me, which is very touching and keeps me writing! As well as the faithful readers on FanFiction.net who followed my chapters and reviewed them as soon as they were submitted. Being in touch with the people who read your work is important, and won’t go unmissed.
With being so busy I need to look after my lifestyle to ensure I don’t run myself into the ground. I was the same at University – I came to study and get my degree. Whilst I did have a social life and made some amazing friends, I didn’t actually have an alcoholic drink whilst I was at uni. I spent my time writing, playing games, watching films and anime and even went to conventions. Now I’ve left, I’ve relaxed a bit and can enjoy a few moderated drinks once a week or so with my partner, but it’s there to unwind at the weekends or when hanging out with friends. I think there is a horrible assumption that if you go to uni then you must get drunk all the time. I was the student that didn’t drink, which shocked most but also earned me a great deal of respect. So now I drink more than I ever have, but after one glass of wine, I start feeling sleepy!
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