How to be a writer

If you want a no-holds-barred look at writing, check out Scott’s post here:


My view?

Anyone can write. There’s never been more opportunity for people to freely express themselves. Why, even blogs are built around writing and publishing – and millions do it for free.

The questions are:

    Have you got something to write about?
    What action are you taking to do it?
    When will you finish?

Trillions of words are written daily. Whether those words make coherent sense, whether they inform or educate or entertain, and whether they add a new perspective or approach will largely determine how well read those words will be. To start writing it helps to know what you want to say, who is likely to read your writing and how interested they might be. Set out knowing what you want to achieve at least broadly.

As Scott stated, unless you do something, nothing will happen. Perfectionism is a curse and prevents many from ever getting started. It certainly prevents anyone from finishing because no writing is perfect. None. The key to writing is … to write. Experts like Julia Cameron recommend developing the habit of writing. Write daily. By doing that, you get clearer on what you want to say and by exercising your writing muscle daily, you get better at it.

So much of what I read about writing focuses on getting started. That’s the easy part. Rewriting and editing and knowing when it’s in a shape to release to the world is the hard part. For every book published there are thousands more languishing as half written concepts gathering dust. Start writing with the end in mind. Have an idea of what your end-product will look like. And, if you’re game, set yourself a deadline with milestones along the way.

If you’re someone who feels they want to write, has wanted to write for a long time … get over it. Switch your thinking.

You are already a writer.

If you want to a published author, it’s easier now than ever. Consider yourself a writer first and then work towards being a published author.

4 thoughts on “How to be a writer”

  1. I feel like most of the obstacles to becoming a “real” writer are self-erected. People seem to create reasons why they can’t or shouldn’t work on their projects. I’m sure it’s similar with a lot of creative endeavors.

    Think about the writer sitting in his office, working away night after night, usually after a day job.

    There’s no outside encouragement in this ridiculously isolating pursuit. So if you’re a person who needs encouragement or affirmation you’re already in trouble.

    You’ve also got to have a rather big ego. Night after night, writing, working, without anyone telling you you’re doing a good job, or you’ve got talent, or to keep going. You have to really be self-sufficient and almost overconfident in your own abilities.

    Otherwise you’ll fatigue from self-doubt and the project will stagnate until whatever creative spark ignited it has died away.

    It’s a tough hobby and a difficult career to pursue. But as with all things, if you dedicate yourself and continue through adversity you’ll come out ahead.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jim.

      Not sure I agree that you need a big ego … a lot of writers I know certainly have a passion or a committment to a view that finds it’s expression through writing.

      But you’re right – it can be a lonely pursuit without feedback. Comes back to the reasons you write and whether you expect an audience, I guess.

      Keep writing away, Jim!


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