4 Tips Every Aspiring Writer Should Remember

You're important. I know you are!

You’re important. I know you are!

Gone are the days where talent alone gets you a book deal. You can send your manuscript to 40 different publishers and unless it’s a one in a million type of first couple pages then you’ll get tossed in a file cabinet. If you want to make it you have to bring a readership to the table. That means not only writing but investing in your talent and in yourself.

Tip #4

Don’t worry about people stealing your words when you put them online. One of the fears I hear from a lot of aspiring writers is, “If I start a blog or share my writing with Facebook, Instagram or wherever someone might steal it.” There’s a good possibility someone will steal your words or content. I’ve written things on a Monday and saw variations of that content on a Tuesday. You can’t control this, you just have to have confidence that what they write will never be better than the original. The only way we get better as writers is to share our work and grow from criticism. You can’t mature as a writer if you’re not sharing.

Tip #3

Don’t do it for the likes, they mean very little. Social media is fool’s gold, yes, it will help you build a following but those likes are usually coming from the same people. You have to write with three things in mind. Who are you writing to? What is the message you want to send? What do you want to gain from it? Don’t ever be the person that convinces yourself, “I don’t care if anyone likes my writing as long as I like it.” That person never makes it because they can’t accept criticism. Figure out who you want to read your writing and mold it. Give it your spin but mold it to them. That’s not selling out, that’s just good sense.

Tip #2

Know who you want to be and become that person. Once you create an image on social media you have to live with that image. You can’t write about respecting women and then post statuses dogging women. You can’t be a music blogger and then tweet about how there’s no good music. Why? Because you have to be above the pettiness. I often write about dating, it’s because I go on dates. Why would anyone read about dating from a person that admits they don’t go out? Don’t be a hypocrite and sabotage yourself before you even get started. Pick who you want to be and be that person.

Tip #1

Write often. Write as though the words that are on the screen will be the last words you will ever write. There’s no secret to writing, no formula or short cut. You have to invest in words, you have to love words. You have to read. I read a book a week, sometimes they’ll be a book of short stories, sometimes full novels, sometimes self help books, I read. Pick up a book that you’d never pick up and read it. Some of the most talented authors never sell but they did what they loved. Kobe shoots hundreds of free throws a day. Peyton Manning is the first person at practice and the last person to leave. Writing requires the same dedication. Believe in yourself, believe in the words.

Sleepless Intimacy…

naked-thighs.jpgTwo ambien, a bottle of wine and a hot shower and I was still lying in my bed looking at the ceiling. Listening to the rain, closing my eyes for minutes at a time hoping the sandman would find me and take me off to sleep land.

My phone was off and lying on the pillow next to me as if it was a she. I wasn’t expecting anyone to call but I’d learned something about myself over this last year of self-inflicted solitude; if the phone wasn’t off I’d spend hours just picking it up and looking at the same numbers, the same pictures, the same text. Reading the same statuses on FB or the same content on Twitter. Writing was always an option but my mind was tired, it needed rest from creating and thinking.

The best sleep of my life always came when there was a warm body next to me. Her face in the crook of my neck, a heartbeat pounding away next to my ribs or next to my heart. Naked thighs warming my legs and reminding me why God made women for men. The more I thought about it the more real the images became,     her scent, her taste, that sexy half sleep, half drowsy moan that happens when I slip my hand under the covers and do my best to wake her up tenderly.

I hated those images, those memories.

I loved those images, those memories.

Two AM

You have one unheard message, first unheard message sent today at 1:45am… “I know you’re awake, what I don’t know is why your phone is off. I guess you have company or don’t want to be bothered. I can’t sleep myself so I was just giving you a call. I miss you. Write something for me.”

I listened to the message several times before I sat the phone on the kitchen table and took a long gulp from a bottle of water. My liver needed a rest tonight from anything brown. Picking up the phone, scrolling to her picture I wanted nothing more but to call her and tell her I miss her to. But pride is a double edged sword; on one hand it can help you do things you never thought were possible just because someone you love or even you doubted yourself. On the other hand pride can make it hard to forgive even when not forgiving causes more sleepless nights than is humanly possible.

Three AM

Sitting at my desk, I heard the gate opening and saw the headlights pulling into the driveway. Standing up, walking to the window I saw her car and against all my best efforts I smiled. Wanting to be mad at her just popping up, the loneliness was doing something to my mind; company no matter how damaged or volatile was welcome in the pre-dawn hours. I opened the door as she was closing the gate, sweats on, a t-shirt, rain boots and a bright pink rain coat. You would have thought she was on her way to second grade. “You look bright I said and wet,” she smiled and pushed me in the chest. “You wish I was wet and while you’re just standing there get me a towel.” We couldn’t stop smiling either though her standing here was a walking, living, breathing contradiction. I gave her the towel, sat her wet rain coat and boots by the door and hugged her as tight as was humanly possible.

“We can’t have sex tonight, you’ll fall in love all over again and I’ll let you. But I know we both hate sleeping alone so let’s come up with a compromise. You sit at your desk and write while I finish this book I brought.” She was leaning against the door, the towel around her neck. I kissed the forehead, it was impossible for me to fall in love with her all over again because I never fell out of love with her. “That sounds like a really good idea but on one condition.” What’s understood doesn’t have to be said, looking into her eyes, leaning down… Her lips still felt the same way I remembered, her tongue still sweet, her mouth still warm and wet. It should have been a soft kiss that lead to her reading and me writing but how do you tell your body and heart that something that feels so right is wrong. Picking her up, taking the book out of her hand and throwing it on the ottoman I carried her to my bedroom. I wouldn’t be sleeping alone tonight.