Being a writer is one of the hardest but most rewarding passions to pursue. Unless you’re thinking monetary rewards in which case, be a doctor or something. I kid…not really.
How to be a writer is another challenge. Here are 3 simple tips to follow so you can call yourself a writer too!
1: Carving Time
The single most important thing when it comes to writing is actually WRITING! The number one excuse I hear (and have used) is
“I don’t have time.”
I know it might feel that way but let’s be honest, there’s time. You have a few options. Either accept that you’re never going to write the next great American novel – or find the time. Take note of how you’re spending your time throughout the day. How much are you spending:
· Watching TV
· Browsing the internet/social media
· Playing video games
· At the bar
· Chasing dates
You see where this goes? You have the time, but you’re not prioritizing writing. Find a time that you can use to write, whether it is 30 minutes a day, or an hour, and keep to it. Be consistent.
I only started prioritizing my writing in the fall of 2018. So, just a few months ago. However, I decided to write in the morning, before my day starts, and that meant waking up earlier, around 5:30 am to write; which meant going to sleep earlier, which meant adjusting my night routine, which meant eliminating caffeine after 5 pm. It seems like a lot, but it was actually easy after the first week.
I wrote every day, regardless if it was a few hundred words or a few thousand. I didn’t put pressure on it, I just enjoyed writing. Now, as of this post, I have 53,000 words, 168 pages written. You can do that to, one page at a time. Just make sure to keep writing!
2: Don’t Get Hung Up On The Details
If anything prevents you from writing, put it aside and come back to it.
Look, I know what it is like to write a line, or a paragraph, or a page, and think, “This sucks, I need to revise it right now.” However, that can lead to frustration, and exhaustion, and eventually quitting.
I’ve quit so many times in my life, taking months off before writing again. It wasn’t until this recent attempt that I decided not to get hung up on a line. If something doesn’t feel right, I just highlight it inyellow and move on. The important thing to remember is that writing is rewriting. You can always come back and make it better!
3: Take It Seriously, And Make Sure Those Around You Do Too
Yes, that means your spouse, children, friends, etc. My wife is very supportive and understanding about my writing, but we’ve bumped heads a few times when I said,
“I can’t right now, I have to write.”
Those around you will see it as a “hobby,” because you’re not getting paid (at least I’m not, yet!) to write. So, if it gets in the way of what they want you to do, whether it is a chore, or drinking, they will tell you that your writing can wait. If those things fall inside the time that you’ve carved out (see step 1), then you must choose writing!
Obviously, you can make the exception if it is an emergency, like hospital worthy, but not emergency like, “Bro, it’s my only night off this week.”
That’s it! 3 Simple tips. Make time. Keep writing. Take it Seriously. Do these things, every day, and you will be a writer! Good Luck!
Guest post contributed by R.J.Harrigan. R.J. is a writer from Woburn, Massachusetts, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts in Boston with an MA in English Composition, and a poet with over 20 years of experience. You can find his musings and a snippet of his memoir on his website www.rememoirme.com or read his poetry at www.rjharrigan.com .