As much as people think writing is easy, it really isn’t. Coming up with ideas and the actual writing are essentially easy but the doing it, sitting down and putting pen to paper or fingers to computer keyboard, are anything but.
But the only way to get better at writing is to do it.
So let’s make this, the year you break out and get into a routine with writing.
There are really only three things you need to know:
1. to be a writer, you have to write
2. to get a story, an article or a novel written, you have to write
3. to be able to do the rewrites, you have to have written
That sounds pretty easy right? All you have to do is write. That’s it.
But the truth is that something might be keeping you from writing.
How do you make writing a part of your routine?
Do you find yourself saying:
- I need to write
- I should write
- I don’t have the time to write
- I have this great story idea
- I want to write
- I really need to write
- I need to find time to write
Stop saying that. Because what has happened, and is happening is that writing, which is something you’ve looked forward to, has now become another weight . . . another chore to do . . . It has now become work!
Not what you want.
So let’s shift the mindset.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Make time to write
It doesn’t matter when. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day. It doesn’t even have to be every day. But you do need to consistently write. Think of it like your job or a doctor’s appointment. As much as you probably don’t like either one, rarely do you miss them. Put the time in your calendar or just know that for you, this block of time is for me to write. Guard it. Do not let other things take over that time. It is your writing time.
2. Know that your writing might suck
That sounds harsh but it is the truth. At times your writing will be really good. At other times . . . Your story won’t sound like it did in your head, which was brilliant. It might not sound all that good. It might not have gone where you thought it would. Accept this step, it is part of the writing journey. You have to write badly so you can write goodly (okay I know that’s not a word and my mom would give me heck for using it but you get the point). It truly is in the rewrites that any writer makes a story or an article or a book worth reading.
3. Forget the rules
English has a lot of rules. Forget them while writing your first draft. The rules or worrying about the rules—does a adjective come before a noun or can I use it as a noun? Is that how that’s spelled? Does a comma go here?—don’t worry about that stuff. Write your story. Once its written and you’ve done the rewrites to make it a good story, then you can add the punctuation, the sentence structure, the . . . whatever it needs to prepare it to be published.
4. You won’t write like the greats
It’s true, you won’t write like those authors you read and revere. At least not to start with. But then neither did they. They had to work at their craft before they got really good at it. They put in the time. You do to.
5. Write for the love of it
Write. Just write. Don’t even worry about whether it is the right story . . . that you’re the right person . . . that it doesn’t sound like you thought it would . . . that it didn’t go where you thought it would . . . what will others think . . . Just write. Your story is important to tell.
Make time to write.
The truth is that unless you write and make time to write, writing will be that thing that buzzes around your head and keeps telling you, you should write.
Unfortunately, it will keep you stuck.
When you allow yourself to sit down and write and make mistakes and realize your writing isn’t perfect . . . magic happens.
Every time you sit down and write, your writing will get better. Parts of it will become easier. Your stories or messages will sound better. And you’ll find that the rewrites may need a lot less work.
The best part . . . you’ll start to believe you’re a writer.
The truth is that writing will happen when you stop thinking you need to write . . . you should write . . . and you start doing.
Stop thinking and start writing!