Writing is a demanding everyday challenge for any aspiring writer. It’s a journey with ups and downs for everyone who commits to it. It looks fearsome and scary. Many people are so frightened by it, they never write.
You are different, however. You found something out. You know that writing is rewarding. It’s a great joy. It’s healthy. It will grow you.
You also found out that despite all its fearsomeness, being a writer is fairly simple. It’s doable. Getting started is all it takes.
Seven essentials for a writer
- In order to be a writer, you need to be writing. There is no shortcut around it. Skip the philosophy and the thinking behind it. Close the books. Stop reading. Write. The more the better.
- However, it’s not about forcing yourself to write. It’s about a love for the craft. Materialising thoughts into words, enjoying type and writing applications (have you seen @deskapp?), using a pen, building words into a message - for a writer, writing is a defining and fulfilling event every time.
- A writer needs to find her own voice. Without it, she won’t be fit enough to withstand the demands and insecurities that go along with the commitment to writing. But finding that voice isn’t easy. It’s a long journey with trial and error.
- Finding your voice as a writer requires a connection with who you are inside - your motivations, your passions, your intuitions. Be honest with yourself and be aware of the conflicts that your inner self has to face. Forge a bond with it, strong enough to trust it. Let it guide you.
- This is why creativity needs to be a priority. Let the juices flow. Write and don’t be embarrassed about it.
- First draft first. Bring your thoughts to paper. Collect them. Write them down. No matter the shape and form they’re in. Set perfectionism and diligence aside. There is no such thing as a great first draft. The point is to just write.
- Write to publish. Have no fear about your writing. Put it out to the public. If you do so, things will start to happen.
And one more secret ingredient for doing even better
Writing and publishing is easier said than done - even if we do it for ourselves, first and foremost. We still want to be heard. We want people to read our work. We want to connect with an audience.
We want to arouse attention and we want the permission to interrupt. That’s why we want to deliver the best we can.
So how can you make your writing just a little better before it goes out to public?
One little secret is: Let your draft sit overnight. Write your piece as far as you can, close your laptop and just do something else. I call it „short term incubation“. Don’t publish what you wrote in that one session. Don’t publish any first draft. No matter how excited you are about your work and how anxiously you want others to read it. Let it sit, just a little longer. Come back later. Your draft ripens if you stop dealing with it. Let a day pass and then revisit it. It will make things clearer.
Then publish it.