Today it’s my privilege to welcome my friend and fellow author, Meghan Weyerbacher. In a recent #fmfparty Twitter party, Meghan shared such helpful writing tips I asked her if she’d be willing to turn her writing advice into a guest post so more people could read it.
I’ve had the joy of spending time with Meghan in person twice — first at the 2017 FMF Retreat in Kansas City, Missouri, and again at the 2018 Festival of Faith & Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is delightful, and she is also a prolific author. Be sure to check out the links to her books below!
Affiliate links have been used in this post.
TOP 3 WRITING TIPS FROM AUTHOR MEGHAN WEYERBACHER
1. Don’t Edit as You Write
We all work differently, but if you’re like me, editing as you go can be a real killjoy. It must be done, yes, but the idea we once had might slip away if we stop to polish the previous sentence.
It might feel more productive to edit and story tell at the same time, but nine times out of ten, the different sides of your brain will war with each other, and you may find yourself accomplishing less.
When you are in the creative flow, the misspellings and grammatical errors need to take a backseat. If you use Microsoft Office, potential error highlights may be distracting. Click here and scroll down halfway to learn how to shut the feature off so you can focus.
Whether it’s a paragraph or chapter draft, keep the creativity flowing by allowing yourself the freedom to write without editing. You can always go back the next day with fresh eyes and work on those fixes.
2. Find A Trusted Proofreader
Speaking of fresh eyes, don’t be afraid to find yourself a trusted proofreader to go over your work. I made this mistake when publishing my first romance series. You will be shocked to find how helpful a proofreader can be even after investing in editing software and an editor.
I thought those two phases would do the trick, but I had not factored in having someone new look at my work after I made more changes once the editor’s suggestions were taken.
Fresh eyes on a mostly polished project may still find errors, giving your work an extra boost toward professionalism.
It’s always better to slow down and do things right the first time, rather than have to go back and fix things. Of course, I am speaking as an independently published author. Traditionally published authors will have a team all ready to go, to work on their manuscript.
Indie authors can do this too, but will be paying out-of-pocket. This is where the compromise plays in. Saving money can be done, but when it comes to editing, it’s an area worth investment.
There are many editors and proofreaders available. You can search the inside matter of a book you enjoyed to see who is listed and reach out to them, or check out places like Reedsy.com, where client reviews are showcased. I have personally done both. See what works for you!
3. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten started on a writing project only to want to quit halfway through. Most things start thrilling, but it’s perspective and pace that keep us in the race to the finish.
In his book, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, Jon Acuff says, “Starting is fun, but the future belongs to the finishers.” If you haven’t read it, it is my highest recommendation, even for non-writers.
My favorite piece of advice to give writers besides not giving up is to keep your eyes on the prize by remembering your why.
You can post your project goal near your workstation, close enough to get in your face. It’s competing with all kinds of distractions unless you’re blessed to work from a WiFi-less cabin on an island. In this case, I am not jealous. I promise, really. Do you believe me? I don’t.
Okay. But what about if you work from a car? Then use a sticky note on the dash. There’s always a way, trust me.
“Don’t give up” by giving yourself a sustainable word count goal. Some people work better in sprints than by spreading their work out.
What if a mom only has Saturdays to write for three hours? Then she must make those three hours count. However much she can get done in those three hours can be her weekly goal.
We won’t know what we can do until we try. From there, we can feel out whether it’s sustainable or not. Proper pace helps prevent burnout which ultimately helps us finish!
And Lord have mercy on us because life does happen, and sometimes our weekly goals get wrung out in the dryer.
Again, what would I say when this happens?
Don’t give up.
Rooted Peace, Book 3 in Meghan’s Small Town Secrets series, is currently on sale!
Click HERE to check it out on Amazon
Meghan Weyerbacher is a passionate thirty-something wife, mom and youth leader. A storyteller since a child and first published at twelve years old, she longs to lead the younger generation to Christ by way of slow conversation and deep-bellied laughs.
When she’s not with her people, you can find her reading, running, strumming the guitar, or writing novels in her current series. Connect with her at meghanweyerbacher.com or over on Instagram and Twitter.
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