author, creative writing, writing

4 Things Unpublished Writers Need to Hear

Good morning storytellers and inspiration finders, I hope you’re all having a wonderful week.

My week has been a very confusing one in regards to writing. Firstly, my third draft is going pretty well, in the sense that I am working on it every day and adding layers. It is also going pretty badly in that I am suddenly panicking about the pace, and writer’s doubt has weighed heavily on my mind. It’s also been an interesting week because ideas and inspiration for future projects have been flowing so rapidly, I can barely keep up with my note taking. Phew! What a week.

In light of my jumbled, writerly thoughts this week, I thought I’d dedicate this post to things all unpublished writers need to hear. These are things I’ve certainly needed to hear this week, so I hope they help you in your novel writing as much as they have helped me in mine.

This post is also going to contain three of my favourite quotes, because I was nominated by the lovely Aarika over at readtolivetowrite to post 3 quotes in 3 days, but unfortunately ran out of time. Do check out her wonderful blog, and I hope you enjoy the quotes embedded in my post today.

4 things all unpublished writers need to hear:

1. Don’t doubt yourself
This is easier said than done, and I know that as well as anyone! Writer’s doubt is a killer and it can zap your productivity and leave you feeling useless. Well, guess what? You’re not useless. You are an incredible creative and you can tell the story you want to tell, and you can get it written no matter how long it takes you. Be kind to yourself. You’ve got this.

2. The world needs your story
Yep. It does. Of course, you should write for you and you alone. As J.K. Rowling once said, “I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself.” But even when you’re writing for yourself, know that someone somewhere needs your story. It needs to be written, firstly for yourself but also for those potential readers. Keep going.
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3. It doesn’t have to be perfect
My favourite writing quote of all time is this: “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” – Sharon Hale. It is a beautiful way to sum up the first draft. Just tell your story. This is the most important thing, the only thing you need to do. Once you have your ‘sand’ you can build it into something amazing. But no novel is ever perfect, so don’t whittle away too much time aiming for perfection.
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4. One day, your stories will be published
This is not a personal guarantee, so don’t hold me to it! I can’t make this promise to any writer, and I can’t make it to myself. But I’m an optimist, so when I’m slogging the day away in my 9-5 I whisper to myself that one day, my stories will be published. This optimism is what drives me to work on my story every day, even if I can only spare a few minutes. There’s a wonderful moment in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film, where Harry tells Dumbledore’s Army “every great wizard in history has started out as nothing more than what we are now, students. If they can do it, why not us?”
And so, I say to you fellow writers, that every published author started off as we are now; unpublished. If they can do it, why not us?
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This is a rather short but sweet post today, but I hope it’s had some effect. I would love to hear your advise, whether you are published, unpublished or somewhere in-between, so do comment below or contact me any time.

Stay inspired,
and until then,
Keep writing,

21 thoughts on “4 Things Unpublished Writers Need to Hear”

  1. you’re right in there, my friend. Just keep at it long enough, and keep on ticking off the boxes as you go, even if at times it doesn’t feel like you’ll ever make it.
    every writer started unpublished, and even the best ones were refused by publishing houses at first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lauren, that’s a lovely comment, and I am so glad to hear it may have helped. It’s so easy to consider giving up on certain projects thanks to self doubt. But I really hope you do pick it back up again. Keep us updated? And best of luck ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are right. These quotes were something I needed today. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed as of late. Not with writing my novel but so many other projects on top of writing making me doubt I can actually do any of them. Shoveling sand into my sandbox is a mantra I use all the time. Thanks for these reminders. So happy to know you are showing up each day, persevering through your doubt. Happy writing. Can’t wait to read your book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, lovely ❤ And you hit the nail on the head with 'overwhelmed'. Live can completely get like that, can't it? I think often we put too much pressure on ourselves. I'm all for self motivation but we have to allow ourselves some time off every now and then! Hope you're okay, and I hope things become a little less overwhelming before long xx


  3. Great tips. I’d add: Study your craft. Having the desire to write a novel is not enough. You need tools. Sharp ones. And that comes from learning, reading, noticing, practicing, experimenting, writing, and revising. Good luck, M.L.!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Evelyn; for reading and for adding your advice. You’re completely right. Sitting down with an idea is all well and good, but there’s so much you need to craft a brilliant story that makes sense and feels real. I had to study so much police procedure to right this novel…without it, I’d have been wrong on a lot of things! Take care, and thank you again for dropping by xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s so easy to convince ourselves that all is lost. We aren’t good enough, no one cares and so on. But I am a firm believer if you have a story to tell you must tell it. Most people will not write a story even though they have one they would love to write.

    I have so much respect for people who go against the grain. Those are the ones who accomplish things others wouldn’t dare try. Watch a person’s expression when you tell them you write. They see you different. You are set apart of the others.

    Us writers are a stubborn group. Most of us keep going. That’s just our nature.

    Excellent post. Huge thanks!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love this comment. You hit the nail on the head! I have so much admiration for everybody I’ve met through the online writing community. Especially those who have hit rejections (I’m not at that point yet..eek! Nervous!) and still keep going. They all deserve much success, and I’m sure their persistence will pay off. 🙂 Thank you Bryan!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This 1000%! 😀 The writers I’ve met are truly passionate about their stories & determined to tell them. Really inspiring advice, especially no. 4. One day, your story will blossom, but ultimately it’s up to YOU to make that decision. Thanks for renewing confidence in my own capabilities ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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