I’ve not been doing this for long, but I thought that I’d share what I have learned so far in my quest to become a writer.
Procrastination was my worst enemy.
I see the word procrastination through the writing community quite a lot, and I can understand why. When I first started writing (with an aim to gain an audience), I discovered that my procrastination was at its worst. On my free days, when I should have been writing, I would keep stalling and waste half of my writing time. (The main culprits for this being Netflix and the PlayStation.)
I don’t believe that this was through laziness or not knowing what to write, it was through a lethal combination of habit and self-doubt. Too many times did I have the “Oh, what’s the point” attitude.
I can honestly say that coming onto WordPress, and finally putting some of my work out there, is inspiring me to write more. I’ve kicked my old habits, and procrastination is at it’s minimal. I force myself to write before anything else, and even if I only have a few good paragraphs after my five-hour writing session, I am happy with myself for trying.
Having a clear goal of what to achieve on writing days is a good idea.
Realistically, at the moment, I only have four days in which I can write. This means that I have to plan accordingly in what I want to achieve in those days. I aim to enter a competition every month, post on here twice a week and finish my novel by the end of the year (as well as maintaining full-time work).
I began attempting to achieve this with a word count goal on those days. This, however, did not work for me. I found myself either going well above my goal, which was great. Or being severely lacking, which left me feeling disheartened.
Instead, I now give myself a short project to complete, such as a post for here or a short story. I then work on a longer project for whatever remaining time that I have left. All thing’s considered, my writing is moving along at a pace that I am happy with.
Inspiration can be found everywhere.
Since I’ve started writing, I have been finding inspiration in everything. I regularly stop to take notes wherever I am. From the many great posts that I read on here to the reluctant trudge to the day job. From the novel that I am currently reading (American Gods) to the all too British weather. It’s everywhere.
My mobile is suddenly full of little notes for story ideas, sentences and even entire paragraphs, from light bulb moments that I have throughout the day.
Self-doubt is pointless.
I think that it is safe to say that, for me, self-doubt was my biggest hindrance in beginning my writing journey. Not only did it stop me from putting my writing out for people to read, but it also prevented words from even reaching the page. Self-doubt for us creative types is very human, it can’t be helped, but it is pointless. I spent a lot of time building up an anti-critique armour that I don’t yet need. I’m aware that I probably will one day be faced with negativity, but that’s not now, and I’ve wasted so much writing time worrying.
With self-doubt, every word that is written is suddenly a specimen that needs analysis. This slows down the writing process considerably. Without it, we can ebb and flow with the words (then edit the crap out of it later).
With the help of WordPress and people around me, I am over my self-doubt. I can now focus on honing my chosen craft and be the best that I can be.
I hope that you found that interesting or possibly even helpful in some way. This is just the beginning for me, there is a lot that I want to achieve, and nothing is stopping me now. Thank you for reading.