Becoming A Writer

Create a workspace

Have you ever fancied becoming a writer? Don’t know where to start? Don’t know what type of writing you would like to do but you have that feeling that it is something you want to do?

Don’t worry, many writers start here. The one thing that is important is that you want to do it and the easiest way to get to where you want to be is to simply start writing.

Yes, start writing now, today, every day!

The thing is you are very unlikely to become a best-selling author with your first piece. Writing for many takes lots of practice, very few people can just sit down and write something to be consumed happily by the masses, it takes time. Time to build your confidence, time to build your audience, time for you to learn just what type of writer you are.

This being said there are many ways you can start your writing career and start to get your words out there without delving straight into writing the first book. Many people write books and never have them published. If your dream is to be a published writer you can grab that dream and make it happen in the next week if you want to.

See writing is not just about writing large pieces or books, it’s about getting what you want to write about in front of readers, getting your stuff out there, taking a chance on starting to build an audience and seeing what works.

Get Writing

 

Where To Start

Where to start can be different for many people. Some people may want to take writing courses first before putting their work in front of others, something to build their confidence.

Others like me started writing on a blog, either their own or someone else s (guest blogging), some write on writing platforms such as medium, some try their hand at writing for magazines and websites. All of these ways can be monetized so you can start to earn money while learning and perfecting your writing skills.

You may actually find you are very good at a style of writing you never even gave a thought. And this is one of the reasons I recommend trying out more than one of the above when getting into writing.

Not all at once. But, once you have settled into a routine of writing on a regular basis and have had some work published on one platform maybe look to diversify and try something new. Finding your writing style is key to both enjoying and getting the most from your writing. If you enjoy your writing and are good at it, chances are you are going to engage your audience more and keep them interested or even captivated until t

When to Write

When should you be writing? Many people just will tell you to write every day. Set a writing goal and try to reach it every day, even if it is only 500 words. So until HERE!

Yes, the word “HERE” in the previous sentence was exactly my 500th word. See how little writing that is. It is a goal that is easily accomplished each day and depending on the speed of your typing only takes between 10 and 20 minutes and what’s more, you don’t even need to be at your desktop or laptop to achieve this.

You could do as I do and download the KeepNotes app to your phone and use this for writing on the go. You can write on your phone and then log in to Keep Notes from google once on your laptop or desktop and simply copy and paste it over to whatever you are working on.

Often I will have an idea for a blog post while out and use this to start the post or at least create an opening paragraph and rough layout or list of what I think I should cover or maybe notes of what research I may need to do to put the blog post together. If I didn’t take notes at the time of the idea or as soon after I get it as I can I would most probably forget. Even if in socially company,  a quick trip to the bathroom to take notes can be a lifesaver when it comes to not passing up good ideas. Although, make sure you don’t take too long!

The next thing to take into consideration is when to actually write. Try writing at various times of the day to see when your writing and creative skills are at their best. This is different for everyone so there is no point getting out your bed super early if your mind just isn’t up to the task at that time of the day.

I do write better first thing in the morning and can be up and writing within half an hour some days. This is when I function at my best but this is not the case for everyone. I have a friend who functions better at night, with everything she does. After tea time is when she is more focused and able to work better without distractions and with a deeper level of concentration.

I know there are lots of business gurus and entrepreneurs out there that believe and teach that getting up super early and working out before you start working and writing is key to being successful, and yes, maybe that is what works for them, but it is not what works for everyone.

Take your time to try different times and methods of writing and really learn what suits you. There is no point getting up half an hour earlier each morning to write when you simply aren’t at your best or able to mentally function at your best just to write to a 500 word a day goal. You may find that spending the same amount of time after dinner writing actually produces double the words and better quality writing from yourself.

Start writing

Where To Write

Where to write is just as important as when to write. Some people need a quiet area like an office or small quiet corner of a room where they are not going to be disturbed too often or by much. Others can write just about anywhere and are able to simply “zone out” of what is happening around them and all the noise. Some people like to write with music playing in the background, some need to have silence. Again, this is something you are going to need to learn about yourself.

I can’t have music on or I will often type the wrong words, usually the lyrics, rather than what my brain is trying to compute to the keyboard. I also like my own space for writing. Somewhere I can just leave everything set up and go back and forth to it as it suits me throughout the day.

So again, this can be trial and error, but most importantly it has to suit you and allow you to produce your best work. So whether it is at the kitchen table, your own office, a garden shed or a cafe, find what works for you and use this as much as you possibly can for when you are writing.

 

A Writer’s Mindset

Another important part of a writer’s day is being in the correct mindset to write. This is especially true as you grow as a writer or are taking on the task of writing full-time. Just like athletes get into the right mindset before an event or an actor before performing, you will also have to have a shift in your mindset before writing for the most part.

It is often difficult going from being a parent or being out socializing to coming in and sitting down to write, there has to be a shift somewhere in your mind. You need to clear your head of what you may have been doing and be able to settle into a more focused mind for you to sit and write.

It is often good to have small cues or routines that you complete before you sit down and start writing. The more you perform these the more your subconscious mind will start to recognise them and start to shift preparing you and your mind for the forthcoming task. It is like having a little ritual you perform before bed each night. Having a similar ritual before writing also has its advantages.

This is where I really appreciate having a small office in the house where I do almost all of my writing. This is on my desktop rather than on my laptop although I do have to use my laptop if I am away for a few days or wish to work in the garden. But even I can see the difference in the work I produce between the two. I am around 30% more productive when I am writing on my desktop computer.

My little ritual is to grab a drink from the kitchen, normally this is a bottle of water that I have had in the fridge, I will log on to the computer, quickly check all emails, deleting any I am not going to read and taking a mental note if there are a few I need to go back on and read when finished. I then log out and turn off all notifications, close all tabs apart from the one I am writing on. This helps me limit the number of times I am disturbed and saves a lot of distractions, as I can be very easily distracted and this can lead to a lot of procrastination if I am struggling a little with the piece I am writing at that particular time.

Create a workspace

I will read through the previous few paragraphs where I finished writing the last time or If starting something new I will read through any notes I have taken and then I am ready to start.

This small 5-minute ritual or routine makes it much easier to transact into a good mindset for my writing. This also comes quite naturally and wasn’t a forced routine but one I simply fell into overtime, well a few months of starting writing. The turning off notifications simply came from endless distractions and I recognised how counterproductive this was for me. The water is simply to keep me hydrated and stop a caffeine slump that I would get be taking a coffee into the office.

I also have strict rules about not eating while I am at the computer, this means if working for longer periods of time that I actually go and sit and enjoy a meal rather than it being consumed mindlessly leaving me feeling hungry earlier or worse, snacking.

You have to find what works for you, this may come through trial and error or you may know yourself well enough to put together a basic ritual or routine that is going to work for you. You can always make adjustments as you go or overtime as things may change.

 

Getting Your Work Published and Building an Audience

Now that you know when to start, where and when to write and have developed a good mindset for sitting down to write you are also going to want to think about getting your work published.

Every writer wants to have their work published and have an audience that likes it, anyone who says otherwise is lying. It can be terrifying putting your work out there for the first time. Lots of questions and worries will run through your head.

What if no one reads it? What if people don’t like it? What if it’s rubbish?

Firstly someone will read it, even if you have to print it off and give it to your partner or send it to a friend at least one person will have read your work.

Next, not everyone will like what you write, that is simply a fact. Your writing will not be to everyone’s taste or level of comprehension or understanding. Don’t sweat it! There will also be people out there who do get it and do like what you are writing and that is where you are going to find your audience, the people who understand you and what you are trying to communicate through your work.

publsihed

And Yeah, maybe your first piece will be rubbish, then maybe not. All writer will tell you, they have looked back at some of the stuff they wrote when they first started with some mixed feelings, some of the embarrassment, some laughter, some even question “What the hell was I thinking?”.

The thing with anything in life is the more you practice it the better you become at it!

Depending on the writing you do, will depend on where and what platforms you use to get your writing published. Some research online will help you with this. If a blog is what you are looking to start I would highly recommend you check out Wealthy Affiliate, I use this site myself and it has the most amazing support network and training for bloggers. From getting a website to monetising it and beyond, everything is covered on this platform.

You may also like to check out writing platforms such as Medium, Scoop.it and Freedom With Writing.

Whatever you decide to write about, start today, just get started and work on the rest as you go. The more you write the better you will become and the more your confidence will grow.

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