And so another week begins…
You might be wondering why I didn’t post anything last week. I did post about it, but I never really explained what happened. So before we get the ball rolling, let me just briefly explain my absence in one sentence.
Some idiot basically pushed over the local network-hub-box-thing that keeps my neighbourhood connected to the internet; destroying our connection for nearly a whole week.
So there you have it…
Moving right along!
Last week I gave you all part one of my “8 things I wish I had known when I started”. Today, I’ll be giving you part two! It needs no more introduction than that really, so let’s get going shall we?
Set A Schedule
You might not realize it, but we writers tend to procrastinate more than an underachieving high-school kid. It’s not that we want to, but we just can’t push ourselves to get to work when we need to.
Writing, or any art-form for that matter, is not like a normal job. You don’t have set hours with a boss watching you to make sure your work gets done. You are your own boss. You set your own hours.
That might sound great, but boy is it a trap for the unprepared. If you don’t set out a schedule, and stick to it, you’ll never end up getting to work. You’ll end up procrastinating forever. And trust me, almost no writer is immune. The only way to make sure you are productive, is to set out a schedule. How do you think I keep updating this blog regularly? I have a schedule set out!
Nothing is scarier than the blank page looming ahead. You both want to dive in and run in terror. The best way to make sure that you show up for work (and writing is work) is to set a schedule and make yourself stick to it. You won’t beat procrastination with a half-assed attempt.
If you want more advice on how to beat your procrastination, click here!
Write Every Day
I mentioned this in my post on good writing-habits a while back. Every good writer needs to write. And not just once a month, or even once a week. You should really be aiming for every day. At the very least five days a week should be your minimum.
Didn’t I just talk about working on your discipline by setting a schedule!? Well this is very similar. Form the habit of writing every day and you’ll end up following the schedule automatically. They go hand in hand. This, however, is not the major reason for writing every day though.
You need practice. Every writer needs to practice their craft every day. I don’t care how good you are, you need practice. There is no ceiling with writing. There is no end-game. You don’t get a trophy for becoming top-tier before being sent home. There is always room for improvement. There is always someone better than you. There is always something you could be better at.
Not only that, but you also grow as a writer. You become a better writer by gaining experience. Let me ask you this: Would you rather pay for a painting done by someone with 50 years of experience who constantly works on their art, or someone who has been meaning to work on their art for the past 50 years? It’s kind of a no-brainer.
Build Good Habits
If I didn’t make it abundantly clear with the post I wrote a while back, you need to form good habits. You need to have some things so ingrained in you that it would feel odd if you didn’t do it. Things like writing daily, for example.
I won’t spend much longer on this point as I’ve already made a whole, separate post on it. I will just say that building good habits could be one of the most important things a new writer (or even an experienced one) could do for their career… Besides actually writing of course…
So get working on it!
Arguably one of the most important things a writer needs to remember. Having fun is as important as writing itself, in my opinion. If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth doing.
Why do we write? For money?
No, we write because it’s what we love to do. It’s our passion. We find the act of turning words into stories incredibly enjoyable. Unfortunately a lot of things can get in the way and make us lose sight of what it is we’re supposed to be doing.
You’re supposed to have fun. You’re supposed to enjoy this. If you’re not, then something needs to change. Trust me, if you’re not having fun and enjoying your writing, your readers will know. Not only that, but you’ll start to resent writing.
Is that what you want? I didn’t think so. If writing is your passion, you need to let it remain your passion. So go out there and make it fun. Make your writing something you love to do. That’s what being a writer is about. Telling a good story, and having fun in the process.
Hehehehe… For money… I crack myself up sometimes…
Alright guys, that concludes this two-part post on things I wish I had known as a writer. Am I missing anything? What things do you wish you had known when you started? Let me know in the comments!