So, I hear you want to be a Word-Slinger? That you want to dance with a little lady named fiction? Well, for all of you who still call themselves “aspiring writers,” here are a few steps for the absolute beginning of your journey.
Because while there may be plenty of places offering tips on publishing, or writing your first novel, I thought I would share with you some advice on how to begin this crazy writer life.
Stop Calling Yourself An “Aspiring Writer.”
If you write, you’re a writer. Endpoint, done. You can, however, be an aspiring author. Hell, I’m a professional, and even I have to call myself that. But the point is, if you’re really serious about this whole writing thing, then call yourself a writer. Own that title.
Set Aside Time
And now comes the first hard part. At any age, and even if writing is your occupation, you will still need to find time to work on writing. And I’m sorry to say that for beginners, it’s going to be the time you usually play video games, or watch television. This is a sacrifice you’re going to have to make.
Find A Quiet Space
Some writers like writing to music. I too find it a good way to get myself pumped up beforehand (though I turn it off while I’m actually writing,) and that’s okay. But I can guarantee that you are not going to appreciate random loud noises. So find a nice secluded place to get the words going.
Start A Blog
Okay, now you get to do the actual work part of all of this.
“But why a blog?” I hear you ask.
It’s quite simple, blogging on a schedule will teach you two things real quick.
- How to not rely on inspiration,
- And how to let go.
Articles will have to come out every week/month/day, regardless of how you feel. You can edit them beforehand as hard as you want, but they will never be perfect.
But you’ll still put them out there.
You’ll still have to let other people see it.
This might be the most important step. It’s what separates the serious from amateurs.
Set A Word Target
This does not include blog articles. I repeat, do not count the words in your articles.
Every day, or at least every weekday, you have to write a certain amount of words. They can be fiction, they can be whatever you want. Do not edit them while you are writing them. Just keep going. If your word processor marks something as misspelled, you can fix that. But nothing else.
You’ll edit it later.
Now how many words should you do? Here’s my advice. Start with 500. If you find yourself repeatedly going over that because you’re so into whatever you’re working on, raise the target by 500.
Rinse, repeat, keep to it. It’s like physical training, there will be days where you’ll have to push yourself.
But damn is it satisfying.
Finally, Have Fun
Despite how serious the whole article’s been, above all: have fun. Art is supposed to be fun. Creation is fucking magic. Treat your art form with respect, but enjoy it as well.
Sure there’ll be hard days. Hard weeks. Hard months even. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. But as long as the feeling of being a writer, a creator of worlds, fills you with happiness, then keep at it.
Because this world needs artists. Artists like you.
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