So many people want to write. Yet only a few are able to gather enough momentum to turn it into something more than just a hobby. I wish I knew these simple facts about being a writer a little early in my writing journey.
Your writing is going to suck
… but that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything worth saying.
Nobody is born a great “anything”. Even great writers have to go through that process of being just okay, being mediocre and pushing through bad days and write, even if they churn out bad literature.
This continuous ritual of writing — sticking to the craft, day in and day out is what is going to polish your writing. You should be open to the possibility of failure, you need to accept that your writing is bad in order to improve and then get better.
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.” ―Mark Manson
Do not expect nor desire an easy writing journey. If you are going to do something worthwhile, something great, something that resonates with your soul, you need to put your heart into it. And it is definitely not going to be easy. But accept this. Accept that your dreams are big, that you expect a lot from yourself, and set out to make it happen. But expecting an overnight success is nothing short of foolishness. You need to get all the bad writing out there in order for you to start with the good verses.
You will have other priorities
It is difficult when you are a beginner writer, struggling to find words to express your deepest fears, desires, hopes and failures and what not. It can be even more difficult when you have other commitments apart from writing.
Whether you are a novice looking to start a blog along with his day job, or you are a stay-at-home dad looking to put his writing skills to test, your other priorities will take precedence and you will forget about writing for some time. It happens. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It does not mean that you don’t have what it takes, as long as you keep coming back to writing. And then there is going to be one day when you decide once and for all that you are going to give at least X amount of time to writing something, anything. This X can be any number. But make sure you are devoting time to your craft, everyday. Mastery requires insane levels of consistency, management and sacrifice.
According to Stephen Covey, the renowned author of Seven habits of highly effective people —
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” — Stephen Covey
Is writing important to you?
If yes, then make time for it everyday, however less that may be, otherwise, don’t even bother. It is that simple.
You are going to experience resistance
The phenomenon that we generally call “Writer’s block” was explained by Steven Pressfield in his book “The war of art”. In his book, he refers to it asResistance. It is the inner adversary that is standing between the life we want, and the life we currently have. It is that feeble voice that tells us to not speak up in a meeting even though we have something worthwhile to say. It is that“rational” voice that tells us that “Why would anybody read kindle books written by me?” It is that “voice of reason” that tries to help us not embarrass ourselves in front of other people by telling us not to write till we become great writers (Can you see how idiotic the resistance sounds now?)
This is a war against an enemy that lurks inside all of us, and the war can only be won by observing ourselves. The easiest way to defeat Resistance is to become aware of its existence. Your awareness towards it will force you to take action despite its presence, thus rendering it powerless.
Rule of thumb : The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we feel feel toward pursuing it. — Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Nobody is going to analyze your writing as well as you do
You need to become your greatest admirer as well as your biggest critic.
People might give you feedback at a surface level, but nobody can analyze your thought process, your common pitfalls and your strengths as well as you do.
If you feel your writing is not inspired, analyze and assess what inspires you. Try to understand what motivates people, what motivates you, and then write.
If you feel that you have trouble expressing some ideas, try to understand why your thoughts don’t flow as easily for that topic as they do for other topics.
A great writer/leader/dancer — literally a great anyone is constantly assessing himself. By doing so, that person is leveling up every time he plateaus.
Writing well is a journey rather than a destination. You keep treading that path, and someday, out of nowhere, you yourself will be immensely proud of what you wrote. Then again you will set some higher expectations from yourself, and will set out to achieve that. The important thing is to enjoy this journey as much as you can.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. It means a lot to me. 🙂