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Advice For Beginner Writers And First-Time Authors

Advice For Beginner Writers And First-Time Authors

Advice for writersToday, a lot of writers and aspiring authors are frustrated. Getting to grips with the challenges of the art of writing and publishing drives many crazy.

The frustration hit many from different dimensions and at varied intensity. For some, the problem is self doubts; for others, it’s getting someone to help edit their write ups or critique their blogs. And yet others, it’s how to break into the very unfriendly publishing industry which is hostile to new comers.

How do I know this?

Well, I’ve gone through the frustrations too, and I receive emails from writers almost daily expressing same. If you have any of these concerns, read on.

First, the bitter truth

No editor will sit beside you to help you edit every piece you write or review your blog for free. Editors need time to write too. Personally, I get so many such requests that I can’t attend to half of them, even if I stopped writing and used all my time for it. So I just don’t do it.

Also, publishers won’t accept unsolicited manuscripts to review from an unknown writer. You can meet hundreds of them. Not one will listen to you, except you’ve already made your mark.

The ways out

So as a writer or an aspiring author, what should you do? Here’s what I recommend:

#1. Educate yourself: Get hold of some great writing books and sink your teeth straight into them. If you’re battling self doubts or low motivation, get my book, Your Right To Write. If your grammar needs polishing, get Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. Read award-winning essays, get a dictionary, a thesaurus, just any helpful stuff.

#2. Follow writing blogs: You can get some helpful hands-on guide from more experienced writers and like minds. I recommend you start with these: Jeff Goins, Ali Luke and Farooq Kperogi.

#3. Practice with essay competitions: by pitching your skills with hundreds other writers, you’ll be able to gauge yourself, write frequently and strive to improve. Even if you don’t win, your writing will have improved. Remember, practice makes perfect.

#4. Consider self-publishing: Gone were the days self publishing came with the stigma that only failures who couldn’t survive traditional publishing opted for it.

I self published my book and it was a huge success, with over a thousand downloads in just 2 months. You can self publish in print if you have the funds – or online. But then, you need a meaningful audience to succeed online. So go get your writers platform first.

Or check out and join CreateSpace for free. It’s an Amazon company that helps you publish and sell your book anywhere in the world in both hard copy and soft copy and pays you high royalties.

#5. Finally, don’t lose heart: maybe this is the best advice I can give you. Great writers you envy today had stories of failures too. The manuscript of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Porter series, which has sold over 400 million copies, was rejected several times. I know scores of other writers with similar stories.

Like many things in life, succeeding as a writer or an author doesn’t come easily. But if you have a burning passion and are persistent, you will eventually make it. [Tweet that]

Question: Have you any advice for beginner writers or first-time authors? You can leave a comment below.

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-- Dr. Mahfouz A. Adedimeji | Fulbright scholar | Senior Lecturer, Unilorin | newspaper columnist

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. @MarsEzechukwu says:

    Thank you for those blogs you linked to. They are quite interesting reads. Keep up the good work, I appreciate all you’ve done for me and a lot of other writers.

  2. Thanks for this life saving tips.writing is just not easy,sometimes I may decide to write and I formulate my topic and also put down a good introduction but whenever I get to the body I just get tired of the whole stuff…that’s really annoying

  3. Hi Coach, a great work you are doing, you do it with so much ease one would think you have been practicing for a hundred years. Kudos.

    For those considering self publishing you can check, it is a great medium for anyone considering self publishing online, and it is free! It is what i use. They help to convert your book to at least seven different eFormats and then help advertise it on their online book store. You determine the price of your book and your book cover. If your book meet certain qualifications they would help ship it to bigger online stores such as Amazon, Barns and Noble, etc.

    And about the platform Coach talked about, you can join, it is another great platform aside from your blog where you can get a following and also meet with people of like minds who can help critique your write-ups. I am in naijastories, and i enjoy the experience. The Literature Network is another platform.

    And if you wish to better your English, in addition to what coach mentioned, you can read Correct English by J.E. Metcalfe, it is great book that would teach you from the very scratch.

    In the end writing, blogging, is no easy task, you just have to keep doing it to get better, believing that one day that desired breakthrough would finally come.

    • Hi Segun,

      Good to have your very thoughtful comment. I’m tempted to publish it as a post on its own 😉 I’ll check out Smashwords as I’m not familiar with it already. Well, Naijastories is great for networking and avoiding the loneliness that first come with starting a blog afresh. But overall, your control is limited. You’re just a tenant there.

      Thanks for your awesome ideas.

  4. Coach, you couldn’t have said it any better, ‘the loneliness that comes with starting a blog’ it is so discouraging you might wanna quit the very next day. But in my few months of blogging one of the things i have learnt that can make people more aware of your blog is the usage of simple but very catchy titles (i.e after you must have employed Publicize or anyother app to link your blog to facebook, twitter…). An example is the title of this write up, i just could not resist reading it. I got a spike in traffic when i wrote an article titled ‘why our pastors are disgracing us’. This is a strategy that newspapers, magazines use.
    Word of mouth also does wonders, telling your friends about your blog and encouraging them to help share your link helps traffic tremendously. I am a beneficiary of this.
    The use of tags and keywords can help your SEO (search engine optimization) making it easy for your post to be seen on the world wide web. I hear that acquiring a domain name can also aid this, but i am yet to try it out.
    Coach, feel free to use my info if it can be of assitance to anyone.

  5. Is that so? #confused# I will check it out. Thanks for the heads-up, and thanks also for the commendation, it means a lot coming from a respected colleague like you. Feel free to enlist my help for anything you may need in the future. Cheers.

  6. I believe it was network ish, i just commented on a post. And by way, thanks for info on the Airtel BB stuff. I have been able to cut down on my monthly expense from 3K or 4K to a mere 1,500 with even extra data to spare.

  7. I’m 15yrs old,also a beginner nd a wanna- be – writer Thanks 4 d tips!

  8. Thanks coach! Thanks again. And i mean, Thanks a lot! And to segun, can i have the name of ur blog? U ar a motivator

  9. okoro yvonne says:

    you are blessed.

  10. there’s so much energy, so much motivation on this page, thanks!

  11. Thomas Wuhe says:

    You are God-Sent

  12. Moronkeji Kikelomo says:

    It’s great getting this info, I need to be persistent about my writing now. I once thought it’s not going to be easy at all. Thanks a lot!

  13. I don’t really see myself as a beginner but I never took writing serious until I got firsthand experience what betrayal of trust can do to a mans life…. This tips were really helpful and your book is fantastic

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