I polled my Instagram followers and they spoke–they wanted me to write a post with my best tips for new and emerging fiction writers! Before we begin, this post won’t be an extensive index for the writing craft. There is soo much more to learn when it comes to writing, publishing, marketing, etc! This is just a list of my biggest personal tips.


This is the first and utmost tip. Chew on it for a minute. Now answer honestly–are you writing in a genre you like, or a genre you know your friends like? Are you afraid of writing because you’re not good enough or skilled enough? Take a minute to write down your greatest doubts and fears. Keep that list, too, because one day, those doubts and fears will look miniscule.

Everybody is different. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, we all learn from our previous books (yep, even the bestsellers learn as they go)! So look at your list and make the decision… will you be yourself no matter what?

Because the world doesn’t need another author mimicking C.S. Lewis. The world needs new authors who are capable of voicing the stories God gave them. We each have a unique voice, unique stories to share. Don’t try to conform and sound, look, and act like the rest of the world.


Obviously, being creative is something you (hopefully) will never stop being, since it is kind of crucial to being a storyteller. But I see so many new writers conform before they even start sharing their stories with the world. I see new authors trying to follow the “lead” of other authors and trying to do what is trending.

Write what God has given you to write.

If you struggle with not being creative enough, or being original enough, whatever your doubts and fears might be… turn to God, turn to the Bible, dig deep. Your unique voice needs to be heard in the way only you can write it! Don’t follow other authors to be trendy, don’t compare yourself to authors, don’t dumb yourself down just to fit in. Be creative and be authentic!


First, everyone has their own pace and we should stay true to our pace! If you’re a slow author, cool. If you’re a fast author, also cool. But your story will not finish itself. Whether you outline or never outline a thing, finding your pace consists of figuring out how you work best (outlining, prep work, etc) and being flexible… and actually writing.

This means spending less time on social media browsing memes. This means spending less time of writer chat rooms (because they’re usually never writing, ha!). This means scheduling yourself so that your life, work, and writing take precedence over, say, TV shows, video games, or hours of chit chat online. If this sounds difficult, take heart! By scheduling your life so that you know your pace, you can actually write. If you actually write, you’ll start accomplishing little goals, and eventually, BIG goals and dreams!

If you struggle a lot with writer’s block or staying motivated, here’s a post I did for tips to battle that.


I cannot stress this enough. Not only will buckling down and finishing your first draft help you practice discipline, it feels amazing, y’all! It truly does! Most people forget that dopamine exists, so “whenever you recognize a task or project as completed, your brain releases a load of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for generating feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction and happiness.” (Source: Facile Things) Now imagine that feeling times 11000x because YOU FINISHED YOUR BOOK!

But to get that crazy YAY! feeling… you must exercise discipline and finish the draft. The first draft does not have to be wildly amazing. It isn’t meant to be perfect or published or polished. It simply must exist!

If you struggle with feeling inadequate or the “I hate my writing” blues, here’s a post about why hating our writing isn’t cool and a post about what your first draft isn’t.

Basically, schedule yourself, dedicate yourself… so you can have a finished first draft! (Another fun motivation I use for this step is promising myself I’ll print the first draft through Lulu.com!)


It can be tempting to rush into self-publishing or pitching your completed first draft. Don’t. There are some basics you must accomplish before your novel is published or pitched!

A novel can be good and be quality without having billions invested. But either route you go, you should do the best you can. Your first draft won’t be ready for the world to see, and it doesn’t have to be. Give yourself time to not only write, but learn to receive and evaluate feedback (with alpha and beta readers). This is a huge part of the publishing industry, so learning the basics now will help a lot.

One day, you will be a published author. Even if you don’t publish your first completed novel, have heart you will publish… but understand that it takes time to be ready to do so. You don’t have to rush to publish your first book. So take time to research the industry, the steps it takes to get your book ready for whichever route you take, and keep pushing forward.


If you’re feeling down by my previous tip, please, chin up! You should have confidence in yourself, no matter where you are in your publishing journey! Are you working on your first draft? Own it! Are you working with betas to polish the book? Amazing!

You truly have to choose confidence in the writing world. If you want to reach your dreams and hit milestones, it’ll take a lot of Jesus, work, tears, coffee, prayers, and confidence!

There is more to becoming a published author than just hitting “publish” or “submit”. Being a published author consists of working with people, marketing, visiting writer’s conferences, taking writing classes online, and more. It can even consist of emailing authors you admire (and flailing when they respond)! Whatever part of the journey you look forward to, or whichever part intimidates you, take heart. It’ll happen. You can do this!

God bless,



  1. Nicole Dust says:

    Love this post, Angela! While I don’t know if I’d describe myself as a “beginning fiction writer” in terms of how long I’ve been writing, I definitely still feel like a beginner. So this post was super helpful! I’ll definitely be using these tips throughout the coming weeks. 😀

    1. Angela Watts says:

      Aaaahh!!! I am so so happy to be able to encourage you!! ♥ Here if you ever need me!!


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