Each time you write and publish a story, you have accomplished what every wannabe writer is striving for. If the formula you use for your stories is successful, then why change it? Doesn’t it make sense to keep writing the same kind of thing as long as it keeps making money? Sure, you might answer, why not? Think of it like this, however: If you keep writing the same things, your readers will start to get bored with all the same old stuff – after while you will not only lose your readers, you will start feeling like you are spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Your bank account might be fine, but you, as a writer, are not growing. This article will give you a few hints at ways to stop those wheels spinning and get them on the right track forward to even greater audiences (and more frequent trips to the bank!)
Take a Risk
Planned risks will help you break out of the scope of sameness you might find yourself in. For example, do you always write non-fiction? Try your hand at fiction – it is fun and gives you a lot more freedom to express yourself. Don’t know how to start? How about a quick contest? There are hundreds of writing contests out there, but one of my favorites to get those creative juices flowing is the Center for Writing Excellence Fiction in Five Contest, the Writer’s Digest Short Story Contest, plus hundreds of others. Investigate them to be sure they are valid and then enter several. Contests are a great way to practice your skill, try new skills,and maybe even win a prize!
Try Something New
If you are trying out new techniques and risking yourself with your writing, you will find yourself in a place you don’t know what to do about. Perhaps your characters have gotten into some situation that is too deep, personal or even scary for you. Take the leap – and delve into the issue. Stretch your imagination, the only way you will discover if you can get through it is to try. I started a story on my blog that is getting very scary – I need to go and finish it so I can find out what happens to the two characters.
Let the Story Tell Itself
Sometimes your characters will start directing the story without you; if this happens, just let it go and see where it takes you. Sometimes the characters you create tell a much better story than the original one. So, sit back and let the story unfold itself. You can go back in later and polish it up for submission.
Throw Away the Clocks
If you keep one eye on the clock as you write, you may find yourself trying to end the story before it is done. Of course, if you are writing against a deadline, you will want to keep the deadline in mind, but allow yourself plenty of time before the deadline so loosing track of time won’t be a problem. Once you get in the ‘zone’ the writing will come more naturally, the story will develop, and you will have a great piece on your hands.
Explore Difficult Areas
When you ask yourself the hard questions in life, then write about the answers, allow yourself to be surprised by how your characters interpret those answers. Have your characters work through scenarios you have not experienced and let them apply THEIR moral compass to their actions, not yours.
Don’t Give Up
Believe in what you are doing. Do not give up on your writer’s dreams just because someone else says you are not making a difference. You are. Even if your writing changes one person or makes one person laugh, cry, or think about something, you are making a difference.