How often do you tell yourself you want to be a writer, but never actually get started with writing?
Since elementary school, I loved writing stories. Throughout the years I’ve been encouraged to enhance my writing skills. I made the mistake of telling my mom that I wanted to write a book.
That was like five years ago and she still asks me if I’m done whenever we speak. And I have to tell her each time that I haven’t finished yet.
Truth is, I stopped writing that book a while ago. Many drafts were created in my living room with Scrivener and yWriter. I am still a new writer though.
Yet, I’ve got nothing published, traditionally.
So, how is it that I call myself a writer when I don’t have any books published?
I can call myself a writer because I write every day. I publish blog posts, emails, course content on a consistent basis.
So yeah, I’m a writer. Although new, I still write every day.
Writing every day isn’t easy for me and I can imagine if you’re still reading, it’s not for you either.
Don’t fret. I’ve got five tips that will help you as a newbie writer get those words typed.
Utilizing your note-taking skills are handy when wanting to write. Keeping notes of your thoughts, ideas, facts, etc. is a great way to have a collection of things to write about.
I have plenty of notebooks. Most of them are blank. Come to think of it, I enjoy collecting notebooks more than writing in them. What I realized is that notebooks aren’t great for me when it comes to taking notes, unless I’m in a classroom.
But my phone is usually near me and I figured I should put it to use. One of the most used apps on my phone is Notes.
Whenever something pops into my mind, I take out my phone and type it into my Notes app.
This system works for me. I’ve heard people recommend carrying a notebook around at all times or using Trello or Evernote. And I’ve tried all those things, but my one consistent is my Notes app.
Use a system that works best for you, as long as it helps you collect your thoughts at any time.
Read your favorite blogs/writers
I enjoy reading a variety of blogs in my spare time in different categories. Still, there are a few blogs I make time to read whenever there’s something new posted. These writers draw me in with every word and I don’t want to waste my time not reading them. Keeping up with my favorite blogs inspires me in my writing.
Check out writers on your preferred writing platform and see if anything inspires you. Do the same with blogs in your niche.
Let them inspire you but don’t get caught up in comparing yourself against more seasoned writers. That’s a dark path you don’t want to do down.
Eliminate online noise
I learned to eliminate online noise. I read many blogs every day and received conflicting advice on how I could become a blogger, and make lots of money. Obsessing over perfection, and reading more than I was writing, the information overwhelmed me. I felt like I wasn’t good enough to publish anything because I needed to be perfect.
Through my email subscriptions, I found blogs that didn’t contribute to my learning. I removed myself from those lists. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the blogs, but I needed to declutter my online life and start anew.
As a new writer, don’t clutter yourself with needless information. Figure out which blogs feed your growth as a writer, and archive those that don’t.
Write first, edit later
Often I find myself editing the first paragraph of my first draft. It’s a terrible habit. It’s also a habit that slows my writing, hence slowing my productivity.
Sometimes I get so engrossed in editing my first one or two paragraphs that I get frustrated with it and give up on the article.
What I suspect is that due to technological advances, I’d forgotten what it meant to go through the writing process. In the past, I wrote many drafts and edited before I submitted a finished product, but that was in school.
For my blog, I would type my first draft, do a quick edit, and publish. It didn’t cross my mind that I was doing myself, and readers a disservice. It wasn’t intentional, but I was guilty.
To remedy this, I turned off my grammar checker to focus on filling the white space with words. My grammar checker is reactivated, but I’ve trained myself to ignore the red lines and keep typing.
Create systems that work
Being a writer is neither easy or hard. It is simply something you do. However, you have to write to become a writer. If not, you’re a dreamer.
To go from dreaming about writing, to actually writing, you’ll need to create systems that work.
Goals are great to have. But you need systems — habits, that will make you write.
I know that I am horrible at writing challenges so I don’t make them a habit. Doing so would set me up for failure.
Failure makes me lose motivation. Let me clarify — a failure that I could have prevented causes a decrease in writing motivation.
If my laptop isn’t set the way I expect, I don’t write. My habit that includes the positioning of my laptop is crucial to my writing.
It’s a huge piece in my system.
The systems I’ve created help remove any barriers to achieving my personal writing goals. This is my personalized organization system when it comes to writing at home.
Find a system that works for you
To help me write, I created these systems. Without them in place, likely, I wouldn’t meet my writing goals, whether it’s 30,000 words or 300 words.
I have similar systems for maintaining my health and wellness goals too. I live my life within the systems I’ve created, and they work for me.
To become a writer who writes, you should figure out what systems work for you. The sooner you figure out a system that enables you to write, the sooner you’ll accomplish your writing goals.