Creative Writing Tips - Believing In Yourself
The first step to becoming a writer is believing that it's going to happen to you. (I know, easier said than done, right?)
But that belief is key.
It's what will motivate you to put in the necessary work day after day.
It's what will give you the confidence to push through roadblocks and keep going.
The work you put into your writing won't have instant results, so you need that belief to keep going.
Without the belief, writing can feel like a waste of time. It can feel self-indulgent, even childish.
You probably have a busy schedule with a lot of responsibilities: a job, family, etc. How can you justify taking time away to pursue a daydream?
The dream of becoming a writer can seem as far-fetched as a fairy-tale. But it doesn't have to be just a fantasy.
There are different kinds of daydreams...
Winning the lottery -- statistically very unlikely.
Kissing a frog and turning him into a prince -- even more unlikely.
Finding a magic portal to the land of Narnia -- you can keep trying, and good luck to you.
But getting really good at writing...
Finishing a book...
Becoming a published author...
... Those are actually doable.
At this point, a little voice may be piping up in your head, asking questions like: "What if I'm not good enough?" "What if I can't come up with a good enough story idea?" "What if I screw up?"
Or you might be discouraged by past experiences:
- writing projects you started but never finished.
- story or poem ideas that just fizzled out.
- writing schedules that you didn't keep.
You might compare yourself to successful authors and feel that you can never achieve what they have.
But those authors started out where you are now. Really. They probably suffered from the same doubts. They procrastinated. They wrote failed stories or poems.
Once upon a time, they were on the other side, daydreaming about being writers. For some of them, publishing a book might have seemed as far away as the magical land of Narnia.
It's easy to imagine that other authors were born talented, born with finished manuscripts in their hands and publishing contracts on their desks. But that's not so.
J.K. Rowling was once an unemployed single mother, struggling to make ends meet, writing notes for her Harry Potter novels when her baby daughter fell asleep. She was depressed and felt like a failure.
Stephen King was also struggling financially and discouraged about his writing when he started work on his first novel, Carrie
. He quickly decided that he was wasting his time with the novel and threw his efforts in the trash. Fortunately for him, his wife found the pages and rescued them.
So how did these authors get from where they were, to where they are now? And how do you cross over to the other side (assuming that you don't find a magic portal in your closet)?
1) Build your confidence.
The first step, as I said before, is to believe that you can do it. But that's much easier said than done.
It is helpful to have a support system, cheerleaders who will support you and keep your confidence up (as Stephen King's wife did for him). A support system is also very useful in terms of accountability.
You can look for local writing groups in your area or form your own.
Our online course, "Be a Writer Now" will give you a built-in support system and accountability to keep you working toward your goals.
2) Design a path.
You'll want to make a plan for your writing. The plan should be doable. It should also feel enjoyable or exciting, so that you'll stay motivated.
Our online course "Be a Writer Now" will show you how to design and carry out a personalized writing plan.
3) Turn writing into a habit.
You might assume that you don't have enough time in your schedule to write regularly. But you might be surprised.
All of those authors you admire -- most of them wrote their first books while juggling full-time jobs, families, and other commitments.
Our course "Be a Writer Now" will show you how to carve time out of your schedule, even if you're crazy busy. The course only requires a commitment of 10 minutes a day.
No matter how busy your day, you can likely carve out 10 minutes for your writing.
Reading and writing regularly is the answer to that little voice that asks, "What if I'm not good enough?" That's how you get good.
"Quantity produces quality." - Ray Bradbury
Turn writing into a habit, so that sitting down to write becomes automatic. If you have to think about it every time, you are leaving yourself open to self-doubt and procrastination.
Our course "Be a Writer Now" will show you how to make writing fun so that it becomes a treat you look forward to every day.
“This course has jump started my daily writing and made me excited to write every day. I wake up happy and brimming with ideas to start my writing for the day.” – Katherine Brand, previous "Be a Writer Now" student
4) Learn to think like a writer.
With practice, you can train yourself to become more creative and productive.
Once you develop a writer's mindset, you'll discover great material for stories and poems all around you. Staying inspired becomes easy.
You'll also find yourself working on your stories and poems in your head while you're doing other things. In addition to making you more productive, this is a lot of fun, like having an exciting secret life.
“If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space.” - Joyce Carol Oates
(WARNING: For safety reasons, don't actually try to write while you're driving!)
5) Take action.
Don't just wait around for it to magically happen for you. Magic portals only appear in fairy tales.
If you really want to be a writer, you have to take action.
We're about to reopen our online course "Be a Writer Now", which will make it so much easier.
In this course, you will design and start living your life as a writer *even if you're crazy busy*. The only time commitment is 10 minutes a day.
"Be a Writer Now" makes the process so fun that you'll want to keep going. Students have told me that the course has brought great joy into their daily lives...
- the joy of brimming with creative ideas
- the joy of believing in yourself
- the joy of finally feeling confident enough to call yourself a writer.
“I can’t get over how I have changed in only 1 month. I am happier than I have been in a long time!” – Mary Durso, previous "Be a Writer Now" student
I'll send out an email to our writers' email group
as soon as "Be a Writer Now" re-opens, with details on how to get into the course.
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