Monday Notes: 5 Ways to Become a Writer

img_3443Sometimes I jot down a note and it’s very negative. When that happens, I re-focus and make it a positive post, like this one.

***

I’ve written since I was in elementary school, fifth grade to be exact. However, I didn’t consider myself a writer until six years ago. Once I accepted this part of my identity, I started observing and listening to writers and “aspiring” writers. I’ve determined if you want to be a writer, then this is what you’ll have to do:

Start Writing Now that my writing is public knowledge, people confide in me. Cousins, the man at the Florida Writers Association conference, and the woman who asked me to ghostwrite her novel each want to write. But when I ask them what they’ve written so far, the answer is nothing. I advise each of them the same. Start writing. Whether it’s a public blog or a private diary, the first step is to begin.

Make Time to Write I often thought my job was getting in the way of writing. That wasn’t the truth. And because no one was going to offer me more time in the day, I had to shift my priorities. Instead of watching the Today Show every morning, I wrote for two hours. Then, I began my regular day. Where could you shift your priorities so that you can make time to write?

Take Time to Edit After you’ve written something, consider that your first draft. All writers have first drafts, and second, and thirds, and…you get the picture. As a former English teacher, rarely have I seen a masterpiece written in one fell swoop. When you take time to write, that means you might find yourself pondering over the use of the word stroll, saunter, or walk because you know each one of those words will change the connotation and flow of your sentence. So take the time to think about the words you’ve written in a meaningful way.

You Think Your Stories Have Already Been Heard Probably. I mean an infinite number of books have been written and read. But not yours and not the way you can write it. Comments about The Unhappy Wife have validated this concept. Recently, Story Teller Alley approved me to sell my book on their site. One of the reasons it was accepted is because of originality. A reviewer said,

Although stories of unhappy marriages have been told before, because these are all true stories and each person is different, the stories are all different.”

I’m glad the innovation shone through. Sometimes people read the title and assume they know what’s inside. But it’s a false assumption. Likewise, if I would’ve thought these were trite narratives, then I might not have written the book. So my advice? Don’t worry about it. Somebody wants to read it the way you’ve written it.

You’re Worried about What Other People Think If you follow my blog, then you know I write about many things that have happened in my life. Stories include family, friends, and people I barely know. I couldn’t write half of what you read here if I stopped to worry about someone’s hurt feelings and reinvention of history. Initially, an Anne Lamott quote helped me forge ahead with authentic writing, “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” That quote changed my entire creative nonfiction writing life. The other part that has helped me write the truth is to separate fact from emotion. For example, it’s a fact that my dad packed up my belongings in the middle of the night while I slept. Consequently, I felt abandoned and pushed aside because of what occurred. Stick to the facts and make clear when you’re describing an emotion.

I hope one of these sparks the writer in you. Trust me. Someone, somewhere is waiting to hear your voice, even if the someone is you.

Advertisements

177 thoughts on “Monday Notes: 5 Ways to Become a Writer

  1. There are so nice and helpful people , they criticize in a helpful way. I think the best way to write is not giving up. Some people writing negative thoughts are poor because often they lost their wishes. So, I give them friendly thoughts finding back their own dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I´m happy to say – thank you for following my blog.
        Be wellcome 🙂

        Let me say, our small conversation inspired me to a new article. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, you know what I’m going through – Take Time to Edit!

    “When you take time to write, that means you might find yourself pondering over the use of the word…”

    And now I spend days pondering about whether to put the comma or not. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post. When I first started my blog in 2013, I said it was because I had so much to say and felt safer talking to strangers than to people I knew. I still believe this. I have doubted myself throughout my blogging journey and I have to remind myself why I started in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have often thought that one of the hardest parts about being a writer is actually writing something. And the other hard thing is beginning to think of ourselves as writers. I remember the first time I claimed that title, and it was liberating!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. These are such good pointers, and you’re right with just write. It sounds so simple, yet it can be painfully hard. I found that with my blog. I’ve found that with getting back into creative writing, which slipped away a few years ago with other things going on and I’ve not been able to pick it up since. I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was in high school; never written a jot towards it. I get stumped with the premise and can’t get past that. And you’re right, so much has been done before but it’s reinventing it, with your own passion and thoughts and experience, to put an individual spin on it that will make it stand out from the crowd. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Caz xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome Caz! Writing can be the hardest part about being a writer, but you gotta find a way if you really want to do it, or at least that’s what I’ve come to understand. Even if you’re the only one who ever sees it…write.

      Like

  6. So many people ask me how to start a blog and my first answer is always “just sign up for a free blog and start writing.” My first blog was totally anonymous and I just wrote whatever and didn’t care about page views or sponsored posts. It paved the way for the more focused blog style I have now. But the first step is just to write it type something out and get the ball rolling. You can always edit later 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Perfect advise! I love what you said about shifting priorities in one’s day. I watch an awful lot of television. Between Netflix and OnDemand, there is always something to watch. My spirit is moving me to do a serious fast from this habit. I often tell myself, while, watching a program, “You’re putting your own creation off to watch someone else’s. It took me four or more years to write both of my novels due to not prioritizing writing everyday or sticking to a writing schedule. This will not be the case with the one I’m working on now. Thank you for the encouraging post.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post! I think writing is a job, like any other job, and a responsibility one takes upon oneself, and like any job and any responsibility, it requires a structured, concerted effort and a set schedule, inspiration or not.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. True for me as well, but I also don’t buy into writer block excuses. Anyone who claims it should go work as a reporter on a deadline or undertake to write grants on a deadline. When you don’t write, you don’t eat, blocks notwithstanding.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Awesome post! May I add on more point? I find it helpful for me to be inspired to write if I pick a niche and stick to it. It helps me focus and motivate me to write more. But then, I know different writers inspired differently. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I enjoy reading your blog Post. But this one is spot on. I have been trying to write but every time I come up with excuses. I think what I have in my mind is what you explained in the post too. It was an interesting post and honestly much needed Eye opener for me.
    Thank you.
    Hey take a look at my blog too.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I love this post and I just love writing! I personally think it’s magical. We can create entire landscapes with a few sentences, new galaxies and beyond. It’s like flying to me. I wrote a post about conquering writers block recently, so if any writers are stuck, come check it out.

    Liked by 3 people

Comments are welcomed

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s