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April Fools-hardy Writing Tips

Writers have a lot going on. Not only do they have to write an entire dang book, but they also have to edit it and market it, all likely while working on the next book. Not to mention the fact that there's a ton happening behind the scenes and in-between.

And, of course, many of us also have day jobs and other responsibilities and obligations.

Paraphrasing Dr. Ian Malcom as I'm prone to do here on the blog, life finds a way to get in the way.

So how can a part-time writer with a full-time day job make it work? How can you still ensure you're making progress towards your writerly goals while balancing everything else? And how can you trust that the process will lead to success?

Some of these tips might be unconventional, maybe even a little controversial, but PLEASE make sure to read to the very end of this post. Everything will make more sense if you stick with it.

Write Every Day. No Exceptions.

One of the first things you'll be told as a fledgling writer is that you must write every single day.

This has admittedly been one of the hardest pieces of writing advice for me to follow, but if everyone is saying the same thing, there is likely credence to it.

Doing a little bit of writing every single day is one way to make sure you're making progress towards your goals.

Many writers find that it helps if you can set up a routine. Designate a part of your day that will solely be focused on your writing. For example, your "writing hour" may start after clearing the dinner table. If you're like me, that might be on your lunch break at the day job. Or you might set your alarm to go off an hour earlier so you can get some writing done before getting the kids ready for school.

Once you've set up that routine, stick with it. Consistency is key.

Even on the hard days, make sure to spend a few minutes working on that work in progress!

Take Every Speck Of Feedback Into Consideration

Among the most crucial of steps in the writing process is sending your WIP to a crew of trusted readers. Whether they're critique partners, beta readers, an editor. That way, you can get a feel for how your story sits with readers and fix any issues before querying agents and entering the publishing realm.

It's a good idea to have

Trend-Chasing—Just A Fad Or A Path To Success?

A lot of writers dream of publishing their work, and many aspire to pursue the traditional publication route, which often involves being represented by a literary agent and signing with a publisher.

Getting an agent doesn't happen overnight. Querying is a lengthy process that involves a lot of waiting and one fear every writer must face: rejection.

Your manuscript might be rejected for any number of reasons. It may not be a good fit for the agent's list or the writing is fine but not extraordinary. Or, simply put, it's not the right time for it; this might in part be influenced by the market and how likely it is that the manuscript will be bought by a publisher.

In a lot of circumstances, the reasons for an agent's rejection or your manuscript "dying on sub," a term used when an author's work has been taken on by an agent but it unfortunately doesn't get picked up by an editor or publisher, may come down to a matter of timing. What books are hot right now or are expected to be trendsetters as opposed to those that might not fit into that bunch.

Publishing is a business, and those making decisions in that realm have to take numbers into consideration.

Remember the boom of vampire fiction in the Twilight days or how successful YA dystopian novels became after The Hunger Games hit the scene?

Chances are, once Twilight and The Hunger Games became popular, publishers and agents were adding vampire romances and dystopian YA novels to their wishlists.

This mindset may only become more important to take into account in the age of BookTok. Right now, agents might be looking for the next Colleen Hoover or Fourth Wing series. If users on the platform are reading a certain type of book and recommending it, that's a trend in the making.

I'm not here to tell you what you should write but many writers who are hoping to appease the algorithm or the literary market are probably working on books of a similar ilk.

And if that's your plan, just make sure you get your spicy dragon book done and ready for publication before the market becomes too saturated for it to take flight.

Sleep Is For The Weak

We've all been told that everyone has twenty-four hours in a day. Whether you're a part-time writer with a full-time day job, a newly full-time writer with two or three published books to your name, or a well-known author running in the same circles as Tessa Dare or Julia Quinn, you've got twenty-four hours per day. No more. No less.

If you're like me and have a degree in English, chances are you've pulled an all-nighter or two in your day. And while I definitely didn't feel great the morning after, I got those essays written and turned in.

Sacrifice and grind, right?

Who needs sleep, anyhow? Who doesn't love the sensation of starting a writing session at 9 PM and getting so sucked into your work that you don't even realize it's almost 5 AM until the sun starts coming up?

After all, writers are said to dream while they're awake.

So allow yourself to stay up that extra hour or two at night in order to work on your WIP. Maybe everything you write will be a total, unintelligible mess that you can't make sense of in the morning but, hey, that's what editing is for, right? The main thing is getting the words down when you can--even if that means giving up a little shuteye.

So as I'm hoping you've guessed by now, this post was more of a parody than sincere advice worth taking (at least, I'm hoping it comes across as a parody. I don't claim to be an outstanding comedy writer by any means. I'm lucky if I'm able to get a chuckle out of my habitually bad puns most of the time).

Suffice it to say...

April Fools!

While these tips can help you make more time for writing or in theory make it easier to see your work published, they're not exactly the most helpful. Then again, a fair amount of writing advice found on the internet is best taken with a grain of salt, so maybe something in this post will work wonders for you.

For me, however, I've found that they tend to hinder my writing more than they help it.

I'll be back next Sunday with some writing advice that is actually helpful...



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