“Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.”
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. It was more so of a matter of when I would start doing what I knew I had to do.
You ever buy the most perfect article of clothing? It fits you just right, it hugs you perfect in all the right spots, it’s the greatest investment you have ever made. You with me?
Alright, so what do you do with that article of clothing? I think this can go two ways. 1. You wear it all the time. You live in it. You breathe it, you go out in it, you sleep in it, you just can’t let it go. That is THE most perfect article of clothing you have ever bought in your entire life.
Or… 2. You keep it hidden. You look at it every day, you admire it, you even sometimes put it on, JUST FOR FUN, but then you put it back in the closet, you might even occasionally dust the area around it. You only wear it for special occasions. It’s so special that your wedding day might not even make the cut.
Often times, I felt myself taking the #2 way. It wasn’t because I didn’t love writing, I did. However, a lot of times our insecurities get in the way of our callings.
“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”
I believe that if you choose to be a writer — you are literally proclaiming to the world: “I am going to be open and vulnerable for all of you to see, poke, and prod at, for the rest of my life. As a career. I’m going to do this every single day. Spill my heart out to strangers, simply because I want to.”
In all honesty, it’s one of the most beautiful things you can be.
Share your story
Everybody has a story to tell. Everybody has dreams and hopes and thoughts and ideas. Some people simply choose to not share them. Obviously, if you are reading this article you have decided that you have a story that you want to share with the world. So get comfortable with getting uncomfortable because we’re going to start proclaiming to the world that we’re vulnerable. It’s going to feel weird at first. I remember the first time I produced an article that I felt had a lot more… heart and fewer facts than my usual articles. I went to bed feeling nervous. I was worried that someone would read what my heart was spilling and they would react negatively towards it.
“When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”— George Orwell
Be confident in what you have to say
This is the perfect second step. It’s perfect because after deciding that you are going to be sharing your story, you need to learn to be confident in what you are bringing to the table.
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”— Ernest Hemingway
There isn’t a single person out there who is a perfect and ideal writer. You might think they are, but every good writer knows that there is always room for improvement. There’s room for more imagination, more words to be spun, more scenes to be written.
Mistakes are a part of the process to greatness.
Make your writing a priority every single day
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
That quote was made for me. I’ve always felt that I needed to be in the utmost perfect environment in order to write. I need the light to be just right, I need the temperature to be not too cold, but not too warm. I needed my body to be in a state of peace.
My, how much time I wasted.
Ernest Hemingway wrote every single morning.
You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that.
“But I have writer’s block”
I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page. — Jodi Picoult
At the end of the day, if you want to be a writer, you have to write even when you don’t feel like it. No masterpiece was ever created by someone who only occasionally worked on their craft.
Something I have started doing is taking 15–20 minutes out of my day to simply sit down, and just brainstorm ideas. I write down headlines in my journal, 10 soon turns to 20, and 20 to 30. The majority of them are terrible, but the next day, I wake up, I drink my coffee, I stare out the window, I open my journal and I look over my headlines… I always end up finding a hidden gem.