Take yourself seriously as a writer in 3 steps
You want to write, and maybe you even want to publish your writing someday. You hear lots of advice from established writers about developing a routine, writing every day, reading widely, and so on. You want to apply this advice, but you still aren’t quite sure you can or should do this writing thing. Do I have anything interesting to say? Would anyone want to read what I write? Will I ever be any good at this at all?
Don’t fall victim to negative self-talk and sabotage your writing efforts before you even begin! Take these three steps, and take yourself seriously as a writer:
Name yourself a writer
Claiming the title of Writer might seem premature if you’re just starting out, but there is power in speaking our intentions. Calling yourself a writer in your own mind means you are directing your will toward becoming one. Speaking it out loud—such as when someone asks you what you do—gives the intention even more weight. Now you have to back it up and write! Begin referring to yourself as a writer and people might ask to read something you’ve written, after all. In this way, you are making yourself accountable to your friends, family, and acquaintances, but most importantly, to yourself. Call yourself writer enough and it will begin to feel and sound right. (Now go write!)
Invest in writing
“Invest” doesn’t have to mean money, first of all. Classes, workshops, retreats, conferences, and festivals are wonderful opportunities to meet other writers, but exposure to the literary world can be as simple as getting a library card and having an internet connection. Inspiration can be found in a good book, a famous painting at a museum, a website that offers writing prompts, issues of online literary magazines, photography blogs, or on the nearest nature trail. Investments of time and energy that you spend becoming a better noticer of the world around you will help you build a reserve of ideas and topics to write about. (Now write them!)
Put words down
You’re calling yourself a writer and learning to notice more and better. Now you have to actually put some words down on paper or screen. Carry a notebook or journal with you and get in the habit of jotting down images, interesting words, snippets of dialogue, anything that catches your senses. These little snippets can become stories, poems, essays, blog posts, or even a novel or memoir someday. Set goals, perhaps a certain word count per day or week—whatever fits your schedule. This is the actual brick-laying of writing, and there are no shortcuts. Writing is work! To be one, you have to do the work. No one can do it for you, no one is going to be more invested in your efforts than you, and if you don’t take yourself seriously, no one else is going to, either.
Now get to work, writer!
Do you remember the first time you called yourself a writer? Share with us in the comments!
Related reading: Should you compose on paper or screen? 3 ways to tell
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