So, you want to be a writer?
Well, you can if you put your mind to it and put in the hard work. However, there are certain things you need to be or do, to be a writer.
One – You need to put in the time.
Many of us dream about writing, but, to be an actual writer you need to WRITE.
Don’t just talk about it. WRITE.
Make time in your schedule. I know it’s hard. We’re all super busy people BUT you must set aside time to write. Work out a time and/ or, a number of words you want to write in a day or a week and STICK TO IT!
I know I’m being naggy, but you will thank me in the end.
500 words a day for four days a week is 2000 words. 2000 words over forty weeks is 80,000 words. And that my friends is a novel!
Two – Don’t be afraid of a blank page.
Write! If that blank page scares the hell out of you, write on it anyway. Sometimes, we haven’t got a clue about what we want to write. Write anyway. Often, once we start writing – even if it’s complete drivel – ideas and words begin to flow.
It doesn’t matter if it’s rubbish. You can’t edit a blank page. Get your head down and get writing!
Three – Don’t be scared of hard work.
I hate to tell you but, this writing game is hard. I think it was Hemingway who said, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’
Writing is heavy shit. It’s hard and it takes time. Time to write and time to learn your craft.
It really pisses me off when I watch movies and they have a writer who sits there tapping away on the keyboard and they’ve produced a full-blown novel in about half an hour, and in one sitting. What a lot of tosh.
Or what about the debut novelist who’s overnight success actually took ten years to develop?
If you don’t want to put in the hard work, don’t bother being a writer. It ain’t gonna happen.
Four – Don’t be afraid to fail.
Failure means you’re learning and you’re growing. That shit, my friend, is important. It will make you a better writer. It doesn’t matter how many times you fail, just make sure every time you fall you get back up and straighten your crown.
And anyway, is it really a fail?
Put what’s happening to you into perspective.
So, your new novel has just been rejected by another agent. Allow yourself time to be sad, have a drink, a walk or whatever you need to feel better, but don’t wallow in it. There are other agents.
I could bore you with tales of how many times very popular and successful authors were rejected but I won’t. Google it.
Failure is par for the course. Suck it up.
It’s not the end of the world.
Five – You need to be open to criticism but have faith in yourself.
This is a tricky line to walk. You have to develop the skill of being open to criticism but also have faith in yourself and your own writing.
This is not easy.
In fact, this is very hard shit.
You will get there but it will take time.
It’s important to be open to suggestions and criticism but be mindful that not every suggestion is going to be right. Sometimes, you need to rely on your own judgement.
This is a very hard skill to master. Only time and experience will develop this skill. And, even then, you can get it wrong. This is okay because mistakes happen. Mistakes are part of life.
Will it get any easier?
But you will become more confident the more you write.
And please, please, please, for the love of God, don’t be one of those authors who go after those who leave bad reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ve seen some really bad behaviour from authors who have commented on bad reviews calling people names and generally being a sucky person. That shit isn’t cool.
Grow a thicker skin and suck it up. Bad reviews are not only inevitable but also necessary to grow. You’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea and that’s okay 🙂
Okay, nag over!
What do you think of these points?
Would you add anything to the list?