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Writing

Things I Learned From Writing a Manuscript

Writing is exhausting. I know this, you know this. But it’s also so much fun. Working on my story has taught me so many things. From characters, to scenes, to plot– the list is endless! Here are seven things I have learned these past two years that may help you!

1. NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THE ENDING

When I first began planning my manuscript, I was set on figuring out the ending. The truth is, I was forcing it. I wanted to know EVERYTHING, from A to Z. I wanted to be sure everything was going smoothly. I wanted to be prepared… whatever that means. The funny thing is that I thought I had written the perfect ending (because I didn’t think I could think of anything else) BUT… Voilà! I only figured out the PERFECT ending a few months ago (two years after I wrote the original one), and I am SO excited about it!

2. THERE ARE SO MANY POSSIBILITIES

Yes. Ideas change, characters change, and YOU change. The manuscript I have now is 90% different from what I had in the beginning. I made a somewhat major character minor, I completely changed the personality of someone else, and I added a new character! For the storyline, I altered details that wouldn’t disrupt the overall plot, but would still improve the story. Don’t think of one idea and stick to it forever! There are so many possibilities! Allow yourself to grow (which leads me to my next point).

3. YOU GROW WITH YOUR WRITING

This one is obvious but I wanted to include it anyway. So when I first started my manuscript, I knew that the more I wrote the more I would improve. However, I didn’t see a HUGE difference in my writing until I began working on my 4th draft! My writing changed, and so did I. My ideas evolved into better ones; I felt like a more improved version of me! It’s crazy what time and practice does, but it works!

4. YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR CHARACTERS

I did. I really did. I love them so much. I actually missed them when I had taken a 2-month break to allow my editors to edit my manuscript. It was torturous. To be honest, I felt lonely. Now, don’t expect to immediately fall in love with your characters when you first start writing. It took me a year! I’m not sure why, but I’m so glad! Admiring your characters makes you more interested in their story (just like a reader), which leads to better writing and ideas! 

5. IT’S OKAY TO BE FRUSTRATED

Every single person goes through this, regardless of what they’re doing. If you love it, you’re going to be frustrated. If you hate it, you’re going to be frustrated. It sucks, but it happens, especially when it comes to writing. There were times when I couldn’t come up with anything good and it was SO frustrating! But remember: it won’t last! Just push through! You won’t regret it!

6. FINDING THE PERFECT SETTING TO THINK

I’m not going to lie, this didn’t take long for me to discover. As embarrassing as it is to admit, my “thinking place” is the toilet. Yup, you read that correctly. I’m pretty sure that I got all my good ideas from sitting on the toilet and just thinking. Hey, don’t knock it till you try it. It’s peaceful, you’re alone, and you’re sitting! 

7. LASTLY, NOT TO GIVE UP.

This goes without saying. If I had given up months after I began writing, I wouldn’t be where I am now. My story is better, my characters have improved, and so has my writing! If you love what you do, don’t give up. You have so much potential. Just keep doing what you do.

WritingAlaa TahaComment