Be Daring — Write about What You Don’t Know!

You know how everyone tells you to write about what you know?

That’s a big fat lie that, if you have believed till now, you must erase from your system.

I’ve read many articles lately that suggest writers write about what they “know best,” as it is safer that way.

Well, if that’s what you think, I’m not judging you. In fact, I believed it, too. But now, I’ve come to a different conclusion: be daring! Dare to write about things you don’t know perfectly, or which you didn’t experience personally; write about things that might disturb the others, write harsh truths and soft apologies.

Writing has a life of its own — only be experimenting and trying one can learn something.

I think that, as a writer, one cannot evolve unless he attempts to write about problems that he cares about, although he wasn’t the subject of it.

I find the statement ridiculous now because only by trying to understand and write about a subject you don’t know well you can evolve. During my writing process, it happened several times that I wanted to insert paragraphs about things I didn’t know, but my character should have known. It’s alright — some research did the job. Indeed, it takes some time; it’s not like I click on the first link I see available and that’s it, but in the end, it was worth the struggle (not to mention I knew something new, too).

That brings me to my second point: every writer wants to have interesting characters, which are different from his previous works. At some point, you’ll want to write about a nurse, an accountant, a producer or a cinema star. I doubt you know indeed how their lives would look like (unless you know so many typologies of people that it’s not a problem for you to find out, in which case, would you mind giving me a call and let me know how you met all of them? Haha.), but it doesn’t have to stop you from writing them in a realistic manner.

Research. Research. Research.

Let’s make it clear: I don’t say that writing about what you know best is wrong; but if you write only about what you know, it might become boring for both you and the reader. Improvement comes from challenges, not from the comfort zone.

It’s hard, and I know it. But if you wish to be a good, life-time writer, it’s an insignificant obstacle and nothing more.

Be daring!

Rebecca Radd Signature

 

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Don’t Be Shy!

You might have already published something or you might still be on your way… No matter the situation, congratulations! Not many have the courage to take this path. Today, I’m going to get a little personal and talk about why you should not be shy when it comes to admitting that you’re a writer or talk about your book.

Believe it or not, although I’m a sociable and brave person, when I had to talk about my work with someone whom I knew, I instantly froze. It was not that I was ashamed, but I found it strange to talk about myself as an author, a writer. It felt uncomfortable. Should I know the persons, things only got worse. I didn’t want my friends or acquaintances to think I’m changed only because I managed to get my book in the market. I was afraid of being judged…

Talking about my books was just as hard. People would usually ask me “What’s it about?”, and I had to summarise it in a few lines. They would then, because of my anxiety and the brief talk, regard me uncanny and change the subject. Inside my heart, I was craving for letting others know what made me write a certain scene, or why did I start the book in the first place, but I was shy. Looking back in time, it’s not a big surprise since I was a teen author. Who does take seriously a fourteen-years-old girl?

It took me more than ten months to convince myself I should be very proud and not let the situation overwhelm me.

If you confront with something similar, know that you’re not alone. I’m not going to lie to you, the path won’t be easy, but you can overcome this feeling! Don’t be shy!

If you’re a newbie and still work on your book, don’t be afraid. You’re stronger than you can imagine.

There is no real secret which I can share with you. Everyone has to win this fight with his own forces in his very own way. We are different and respond uniquely to experience, but that’s a good thing. I wish there was something, but it’s not.

Believe in yourself! Don’t be shy! Don’t let anyone put you down, because working on a novel or publishing one is a big deal!

How to Be Constant

I’ve written an article about why constancy is important in a writer’s life. I decided that it was only fair to come with some solutions for those who might say “It’s not possible.” I was reticent in the beginning myself, so I could understand these types of comments.

  1. Change your mindset

I want to make it clear from the start. If you sit down and write because you think you’re forced to follow a schedule, and you consider the experience of writing only a few paragraphs a waste of time, you’re doing this wrong. You have to start by changing your mindset. Be open to new and don’t brush off this method immediately. Give it a chance and try to make it work. No one forces you to write – it’s just a commitment to yourself.

  1. Make a schedule

Hardly will one manage to write every single day. That’s why I have a proposition for you: make a schedule. Add other two days for writing aside from your current one. When you can handle those as if they’re a piece of cake, add two more. When I say to make a plan, I am thinking about having some sort of calendar where you can check your days. Visualising your goal has a great impact.

  1. Make writing a priority in your agenda

Some of us, because we find pleasure in writing, don’t consider it to be a priority in our day. But if you put it on your agenda, you’ll endeavour to mark it, just as you do with all your other duties. Choose half an hour to write whenever you’d like throughout the day. You have time to read this article, to stay on Facebook, to read the news… I’m sure you can find an open window.

  1. Be passionate!

It would be better to write about something you’re truly passionate about. It will ease the transition. Or you could write about some that you admire. Do you have a favourite show or book? Do you intend to tell me you haven’t died to know how a specific character would act in a situation? You have the power to create that! You should have a much fun doing this.


Don’t beat yourself up if there are days when you slack. It will happen. Then, inhale deeply and remember why you do this. There is a day tomorrow, too. If you are harsh on yourself, it won’t contribute to improving the process or making the experience enjoyable.

5 Weird Things Writers Do

Now, everyone is different, and these things that I’m about to list below might not apply to you. However, I’ve noticed that most writers have these features in common. It’s funny because I consider that any groups of artists – painters, musicians, sculptors – have their own “weird” habits.

I don’t think you’d have a solid reason, but I’m going to proceed by saying that I do not intend to offend anyone.

That being said, let’s start!

  1. They don’t know how to relax

A regular person works for eight hours a day, and that’s it. A writer’s job never ends, by choice. They will think about their plot while they’re dining, note a reply while talking to you, and find inspiration in a person. Writers usually don’t know how to relax – mentally speaking. There’s something bugging them constantly and the urge to write in order to clear their mind is unbearable – still, they end by engaging into another project in no time.

  1. They would mercilessly refuse you

Writers are compassionate, and they would go out once in a while. However, their natural habitat is the home. Nothing compares to its comfort. If you ask them out and they haven’t seen you in a long time, they will accept. But if it isn’t a one-time occasion, be sure you’ll be mercilessly refused. According to the grade of friendship that’s between you, the writer will either say he has other plans or that he’d much rather stay inside and read or write.

  1. They are unconventional

Writers are unconventional people. I love, for example, to wear strange coloured lipsticks – black, blue, dark plump. Every writer has his signature, his boots, his crazy hair colours, or his accessories. They are creative people so it’s normal for them to be out of the pattern. In addition to this, they’d interrupt you in the middle of the conversation, pull off a notebook and note an idea that struck their mind. Normal people will wait for the afterwards or do it discreetly, but writers know that good ideas are not to be neglected.

 

  1. They ask nicely their computer to do something

A sane person would probably not talk to his/her computer. Still, I find myself in this situation often. Whether it is because my laptop is about to crash and I plead that he works until I hit save or my Internet is about to disconnect and I speak as if the laptop could do anything to prevent this from happening. Once in a while, I would politely as it to prepare me something to it only to be able to finish what I’m writing. Despite my nice behaviour, it would never do as I tell him. I love him, though – yep, my laptop is a male.

  1. They are overly protective of their characters

Artists are protective of their work. It’s normal and no one questions that. Yet, writers take it to a new level. Did you just criticise their character, their baby? You’d better be prepared to be told why you are not right. For them, the characters are not only that, they are human and their children. Would anyone let his/her children be talked inappropriately? Writers are so caught in their story’s world that, at times, they forget people have different opinions.


That was my list of things which could be weird simply because they are unusual for a “normal” person. Though, I think that we should define our own reality. By my rules, I am perfectly fine.

Do you do any of these things?

Tips for Mastering Social Media

My social media skills have never been the best. Once I published my first book and I understood the importance of creating your audience, I tried very hard to improve them. Happily, I succeeded in what I wanted. Still, the struggle was real. The hard part was finding the most reliable approach.

But lucky you, I’m willing to share my discoveries! We writers have to be united, after all. All that I’m about to tell you might seem obvious, but when you find yourself in the actual situation your eyes aren’t open and your view so clear. Everything is a blurry mess, usually.

Without further ado…

  1. Create a schedule

The very first thing you should do is create a schedule. It will help you keep track of your posts, know which days you should be active on a certain platform and help you with time management. The real question is: do you know how to make the schedule? I suggest that you begin by taken a blank paper and write down the platforms you’re using and the week’s days. Mark gradually when you post on a certain platform. Also, try to post at least three times a week on every single platform. You must not post on the same days on all the platforms. It’s comfortable, but a lazy thing.

  1. Posts’ variety

Now that you have a schedule – and you follow it – you need to think what post you’re going to make. I think that unless you have an announcement, you shouldn’t have the exact same post on every account. Again, it’s lazy. You must invest time and creativity. Variety does matter, especially for your readers. But bear in mind that this is your audience, so post think related to your field of work, or subject in which you are very interested. “Silly pictures” as those with “It’s Monday/Friday” are fine, as well as those who have a funny pinch. But it’s all down to your personality in the end. If you’re poetry or novels are dark and morbid, go for something like that.

  1. Stats

Stats are a feature that you have access to on almost any platform that can be used for promoting yourself. You should keep your eyes these because they tell you the most what were the most viewed or liked posts, which hours and days were the best. According to the stats try to adapt your content and schedule. It will not only please your audience but also attract new persons.

  1. Write posts in advance

Life is hard and keeps you busy. I know; it happens to all of us. That’s why, when you have spare time, you should write some posts in advance. Constancy is very important to keep your audience engaged. If you post once a month, people will literally forget who you are. Don’t let them! You can usually schedule posts which help you have something published in case you don’t have time to write in the scheduled date.

3 Tips for Better Editing

Today, I want to touch upon the editing subject. Editing is a very important part of the writing process. It contributes to polishing the work. This part, however, might be exhausting as it implies much patience and finesse. And when our perfectionist spirit kicks in, we better grip on something.

But editing doesn’t necessarily have to resemble a walk along the path of hell. I’ve discovered over the years how certain preparation could make the experience almost enjoyable. The short list that I’m about to present you does not only help with improving the experience but also with making the editing better.

So, without further ado, these are my 3 tips for better editing:

  1. Take a break

Haha. That’s, I think, the best thing one could hear when it comes to hard work, right? Can you believe that I’m not even joking? Let’s assume you’ve just finished your novella or novel. You’d want to get it done for good and start editing, probably. But the right thing to do is to let it cool for a while. You’re too caught in the story. Instead of frying your brain further, take a break of a month or two. It will give you a more objective view on your work and more patience. During the pause phase, do not touch the material, or think about it. Relax, do activities you enjoy and enjoy life.

  1. Read aloud

Editing is a tricky activity, especially when it comes to dialogue. In your head, the exchange of replies might sound perfect, but then, when you read aloud, it seems dull. When you engage more than one sense, your skills strengthen. It somehow makes the experience more real and gives you a quite objective work. It’s like you hear those persons speaking, and not read a dialogue. Also, reading aloud makes you realise whether or not the description is boring.

  1. Divide the editing into two phases

I observed that this works like a piece of cake. It’s a secret that no one wants to tell. Usually, when one edits his work he tries to take care of both style and errors at the same time. He might re-read his work to see if he’s satisfied with the results, and he’d still focus on both of them.

Editing should be divided into two phases: the style editing and the grammatical errors correcting one.

The author should start by looking at the composition as a whole, at the characters in order to make them believable and other things regarding plot and development. Unlike editors, writers don’t have the superpower of reading on letters – I know an editor with a vast editing experience and she lent me a trick or two -; that’s why the second round of editing should focus only on grammatical errors.

Criticism vs. Mean Comments

I am a writer. If you want to be one too, welcome in the club! Seriously, though, what was in your head?

Oh, keep calm, I’m just kidding.

I know – you adore writing, telling stories, and spreading emotion. I care, your fans care, but not everyone will care. Now that you’ve decided to follow this path, be prepared to be criticized and talked a lot of crap!

This post is born out of the frustration that some are not capable of creating anything, but they think it’s alright to tell you how to do your job. And I’m not talking about those who express a well-reasoned opinion which is not offensive at all. So, doing what I know best namely, -using my mood to create, not to destroy-, I decided that I should write about the difference between criticism and mean comments. In the future, I will also write a post about how you should cope with this last category.

Let’s start, shall we?

Criticism

According to the dictionary, the word criticism has the following meanings:

Criticism noun: criticism; plural noun: criticisms

  1. the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.
  2. the analysis and judgement of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.”

In my opinion, criticism is not necessarily a bad thing. It means that your work has woken up something into the reader. However, I think that only certain persons are entitled to criticize. I think that persons with a vast literary experience and analysis capacity can actually proceed on commenting on a piece of work.

As a writer, you may or may not appreciate the critics’ opinions, but it can give you a better overall view regarding your art. Art is subjective; so even critics may not be on the same page when it comes to it. It’s fine, though.

But let’s face it. A critic will never tell you how you should’ve written. He just analyzes what you give him. A critic that respects himself should never, under any circumstance, judge the writer. In addition to this, he should not criticize the book on a subjective level. He has to take into consideration the structure, the coherence, the uniqueness, the dialogue, the description, the characterization etc.

Moreover, the critic brings to light both the faults and the merits. It’s not an easy job to be a critic. I admire the people who can do it right.

Critics’ opinions should be definitely read.

Still, not many books get into their hands. The most writers will confront with:

Mean comments

You’ll probably find them quite often. I get it that not everyone has to like a certain work, but the way he expresses his disapproval is very important. The “mean comments” are those who don’t bring rational reasons for disliking your work, or comment on it after reading only few lines or a chapter.

It has to be added that mean comments are, in essence, rude. They often consist of insults towards the work and the author. It’s funny, though, that in general, the persons who write this kind of comments did nothing in the field even if they have an expert air – or they think so.

Unfortunately, these comments don’t tell you anything about what you’ve done right. There’s no way you’ll find any praise in them.

These comments are the ones which may hurt your feelings or make you doubt yourself. Also, they are the ones which shouldn’t be taken into consideration. Unless one is capable of voicing his thoughts without being impolite, I am not interested in hearing them. I won’t offend him or judge him, so why should he do so to me?


Have you encountered lots of this so-called haters? What’s your opinion on the subject and how do you usually react?