There are so many classes you can take, so many books you can read, and even so many things you need to really become a “writer” – or at least that’s what people think. But what makes a writer? Is it the cool, vintage typewriter sitting on your desk, or the degree in journalism? Is it the writing workshop you attend every week? No. It’s the writing that you do. Are you a writer if you just put down a couple of sentences in a notebook but never return to it? No. Are you a writer if you add to your writing every day, whether it’s pure genius or total crap? Yes. You are a writer the day you decide to start writing and actually start writing.
Stop Saying “When”
We are all guilty of waiting for that perfect moment to do something. We think we need to get a degree, a nice desk, a nice computer, a wide array of notebooks, before we can actually start writing. To really start writing, stop saying “When.” “When I get that desk,” or “When the kids go to college,” or “When I feel better.” No, that’s not how this works. You’re not a writer until you start writing so start now!
Set Yourself Up
Just getting started, and giving yourself time and space to start writing, will go a long way. Do you have a wife and / or kids? Do you have a demanding job? Do you get easily distracted? Set up a time, a place, and stick to it – write at that time in that place every day.
Stop Investing in Useless Courses
There are great ways to improve your writing, whether it’s through a school / course, or through a peer editing writer workshop, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars on writing courses. This is especially ridiculous if you don’t even have a body of writing to work with yet – you don’t know what areas you need to improve upon. You can check out some great books on writing from your library, watch all the YouTube videos want, and read literally thousands of blogs. You can even take one or two cheap writing courses online. But investing thousands of dollars in something that you have nothing to show for is just too steep.
Don’t Get Caught up With Editing
So many people end up writing like 250 words a day because they’re so stuck on editing out every single word. You know those days – the ones where you don’t know if you want to write “He ran” or “He jogged,” and you end up arguing with yourself for hours instead of just pushing past it and editing later. This is a new writer’s Kryptonite, and can be easily alleviated if you just write and keep writing. Finish the first draft – even if it’s crap. You can always go back and change it, but you can’t go back if you never finish!