Have you ever stepped into an office supply store, and felt that ripple of excitement? Perhaps you love the sight of paper and pencils, or a new document on your computer screen. If you’re like me at all, you might relate and you might have thought…”I should be a writer!” That is, until the doubts. Now, you have to squelch doubts so you can get on with writing.
You know the doubts I’m talking about. They’re the ones whispering that you don’t have what it takes; that you’re not good enough to be a writer. Baloney! There are definitely traits that will help you succeed if you want to be a writer, so I’ve decided to share them. I want everyone who dreams of writing, to find a voice of encouragement here, and what better way than to share information and resources?
Do you have what it takes?
1. Skills: This is one of the most obvious concerns. I can’t tell you if you have the skills, but I can tell you that you can obtain them. Lots of free writing help exists on many websites. You can also find a school with a Writing or English degree. If you don’t already have a library card, get one now. Like, right now.
2. Time: I prefer to have a lot of time available to write, but really you can jot down ideas or write a few lines here and there. Just keep a small notebook with you, try downloading an app for your phone or similar tool to help you write wherever you are. Those few minutes will eventually add up.
3. Patience: In relation to time, you might have picked up that you will need patience. We’re not talking, “wait until the microwave is done” patience. We’re talking about “wait until the cicadas come back” patience. Don’t let doubts creep in if you don’t think things are happening fast enough. It is going to take tons of time and work.
4. Commitment: You can probably tell from the “patience” section that you’ll need a certain amount of dedication. If you don’t ever give up, you’re the type of person who can make it as a writer!
5. Long-term View: One of the best things I can recommend is to train yourself to take a long-term view. Writing is a profession that in most cases starts out slowly. Writing is slow, editing is slow, drafting query letters and waiting for answers is slow.
6. Keep Learning: Writers need to continually better themselves. Read grammar books, read books in your genre, write and edit the heck out of your writing. Take courses and use library resources to keep improving.
7. Small Steps: Train yourself to recognize and be happy with small steps: writing a hundred words in a day, writing a query letter, submitting work to a publisher/agent.
8. Networking: It might be easiest to think of this as connecting with those who can share experiences with you. It can be people with similar goals, but at varying stages of development. You don’t have to sit around hoping to get the inside scoop from J.K. Rowling or Stephen King.
So, are you a writer?
If you saw everything above and it leaves you feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and focus on #7. Success doesn’t plunk down in your lap, it creeps in like a ninja when you least expect it. If you have the perseverance, and the willingness to practice, fail, and try again then I have every belief you can succeed!
Check out my Writer’s Resources for some homemade forms, and also links to helpful sites.