Frustrated, two fingers hunting for letters, my mind screaming, “type faster.” All I can think is I hate writing. I really do. The issue is to finally move on from my job and into the life I want to live, I have to become a writer. I know that is going to be pretty hard if I hate it.
That is how I felt over 11 years ago, the actual time of that thought was June 11, 2005. The reason I know that is what I was thinking when I wrote this blog post: Starting the BLOG!!! on my first blog at blogspot.com. I couldn’t stand to write. It is still there thanks to the Internet Gods as proof.
Here I am 11 years later a paid writer. I have written four books now three self-published and one published. I have gone from hating writing to loving it. I can’t get enough. I have even taken on a new project of writing a fantasy series that I have always dreamt about. I have become a writer. I am an artist – that is cool.
Back in the days of hate, I remember taking out a business card from my wallet every day and staring at it. On the back it said, “I love to write.” I would affirm this all the time. I would be out running and I would chant, “I love to write, I love to write.” It was my form of neurolinguistic programming. I had no choice to but to love it. I had to it was my dream, and you know what those affirmations worked. I stayed at it until I found the love.
I wanted to give you a few tips on moving from hate to love, or at least from not liking to rocking it, and working up to be a pro. These a few of things I did, and still do:
- Become a better typer. My mind moves so fast, that was my main frustration my fingers would not keep up with my thoughts. I originally bought a software program called Marvis Beacon Teaches Typing. I would practice that daily until I moved from two finger typing to actually being able to crank out some words. Now, my fingers almost match my thoughts. I can rock the keyboard.
- Get a mentor. I listened to Stephen King’s On Writing over and over again. I still listen to it once a month religiously. Who is a better teacher then Stephen King. I highly recommend getting On Writing in audio and have the literal King teach you how to write. This is priceless.
- Get around other writers. I have the honor of being friends with Sean Platt and recently his partners at Sterling and Stone, Johnny B Truant, and Dave Wright. These guys are gold. They are teaching writers all over the world with their podcasts, and books. They also hold amazing events that I try and attend every year, called the Smartest Artist Summit. You don’t have to be alone to be a great writer and with what these guys have put together they will help you immensely. Make sure you check them out.
- Write. You knew this one was coming. The only way to become a better writer is to write. Remember, most first drafts are shit. Don’t be a perfectionist, just write. The more you write the better you will get at it. The better you get, the more fun it is.
I understand writing can be daunting. It is one of those things that can be intellectualizing challenging. We tend to write to make ourselves feel smarter. We use big words, try to make people think we are smart. The truth is, that intellectual writing can make your writing suck. Keep it simple, that is the key. Third grade level writing is easier on the mind and will actually get you farther then twelfth grade writing. You are not writing for you Grammar teacher.
Learning to write for your audience is one of the most important things you can learn. Build loyalty and keep it simple, and you will find their are readers of your work. I get it, sometimes it is hard to find the muse, believe me she is there, focus on the love of writing and you will be amazed at what you produce.
One bonus tip, if you are stuck on your writing read Stephen Pressfield’s book The War of Art on resistance. I actually keep the last page on my desk. It will motivated you to get those fingers typing.
Much love, as always please leave thoughts below, if you have ideas that would rock for you to share.
More tips on becoming a better writer are covered in this article on AcademicHelp.net