The Power of New Writers
You finally sat down in front of your computer to write that book, or that post, or whatever it is you want to write, because you discovered your calling as a writer. You’ve come up with an idea. You made the conscious decision to become a writer. You are ready to take on the world with your words.
But after choosing the writing path, what do you do to reach that goal?
Here are a few things to think about when you become a new writer and start climbing.
Get Out of Your Own Way
First things first, when you decide to become a writer, you have to clear your head of a lot of things. Clear your head of the idea that you don’t need help because you are THE most talented genius. And try not to slip into self-doubt, believing you’ll never make it because you’re not good enough. In a word, be confident but not arrogant. If you really want to be a writer, you have work for it, and that means throwing aside the mindsets that stand in the way of you reaching your goal.
This is your first step to calling yourself a writer, no matter your experiences or if other people don’t see it that way. Jeff Goins talks about this very well in one of his books. He explains that writers are writers when they say they are, which I definitely agree with. When you’re at that beginning point, you have to know what you’re up against. You have to put in the work, take the time, keep learning, but as long as you work toward your goal, you are a writer. Just like an artist is an artist because they constantly practice painting, or drawing, or whatever.
Even if you haven’t published anything, you are a writer because you work at being a writer. But you have to ignore all the distractions in your head to keep writing and working. So where do you go from the bottom? Start by taking that first step. Confidently believe you are a writer and go from there.
Practice Your Craft, And Practice Everything Else
Obviously, writers need to write if they want to get better. Practice makes progress, after all. But there are others things you can do to establish yourself as a writer and continue practicing your craft. (I talk about some of them here).
As far as establishing yourself among other writers goes, publications such as literary journals, magazines, and even places like small presses are great places to get your name out there. (Building your writing platform, or brand, is good too.) These experiences are great because, when you keep sending your work out and building your portfolio, you can (or should) see your progression over time. Not to mention that more people get to see your work.
When it comes to practicing your craft, you can do more than just write. Finding a writing community is a great thing to do, getting feedback is another. Look up some writing blogs and see what advice other people are giving. Try networking with others. Look for opportunity wherever you can find it. Get answers to the questions you have.
The point is, you’ll never be done learning as a writer. And taking the time to learn is a mark of a good writer because you’re willing to improve.
Find What Makes Your Story “Your Story”
Lastly, building your career is great and all, but your writing is yours only, so it should reflect you and no one else. Writers need to find their voice. That’s one of the biggest jobs a writer undertakes when they practice their craft, other than learning how to write well. And the writer’s voice not only comes from how their story is written, but what they’re writing as well.
You’ll no doubt hear a lot about different types of writing styles, and how authors have put their own personal spin on them in the past. As you practice writing, the different nuances that you become attracted to works toward giving your writing a unique voice, the kind of stylizing that your readers will instantly recognize as yours. Finding your unique way of saying things contributes to your voice as a writer, but it also helps your writing improve, as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Additionally, when you sit down to write, you not only need to know how to write a story, but the reason WHY you’re writing the story. Ask yourself: is what I’m writing about something I’m passionate about? If so, how do I get people to care about what I’m passionate about? Why do I WANT to write this? Good writing will come with practice and time, but motivation is a must from beginning to end.
Let’s face it. Writing is a tough career, and it can be daunting when you get started. But once you start learning, you have to keep learning and taking steps from there. That’s what climbing is all about.
Want to know more? Click the LEARN MORE button at home. You’ll find some helpful links to my work in journals, which I have started posting here too. You can find me in Ariel Chart, The Cedarville Review, Nailpolish Stories, Bluepepper, 50 Word Stories, The Aurora Journal, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, The Drabble, and Anti-heroin Chic, Art of Autism, and Sledgehammer Lit. You can now also find my FREE microchap at Origami Poems Project, which I am now offering here for FREE.