Today’s post will be brief and to the point…
very much unlike my recent ones. Which have been long.
But also to the point.
Now on to today’s point.
Which isn’t a needle or the point of a knife.
I’m not funny.
Recently I declared that to me, being a writer is no longer some goal I have not yet achieved because I don’t have any books on shelves. Being a writer, today, is what I do every day.
I share this because I know that I wasn’t alone in thinking that I haven’t become a real writer unless I have books on the shelves. That’s so not true. If you, or I, want to write, make efforts to learn the craft, write often and seek to improve and reach writing goals, you’re a writer.
I work with closely, in the company by whom I am employed, with some writers. None of them have books published, but they practice the craft, absorb all they can when they can interact with other, more established writers, and they do their craft often.
I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but I’m going to say this now because I am certain it is fundamental to your feeling successful as a writer and even achieving tangible success: write often, and if you can, write every day.
Here’s what I think all writers should do: take an honest look at your day and what you do throughout the day. Make a list of your number one priorities for the day, then your number two priorities and so on until you’ve listed everything you do, or ought to do, in a day.
If you’ve got those lists done and you DON’T have writing on one of those lists, you haven’t made a real commitment yet.
I’m trying to remember who said it, or where I read it, but I remember a discussion of values and priorities. This is so vital to your progress (and mine!) as a writer. You must work, if you are employed, and you might have to be looking for a job, if you are unemployed. You might be a student, so you absolutely must go to classes and get your reading and other homework done. You might also have children and have the myriad ‘musts’ that go along with those walking, shouting, jostling blessings.
But if you ‘want’ to be a writer, then be one. Make it a priority. Treat it as a real thing that you must do.
Incidentally, here is a mighty good song that I am listening to while writing this:
If you treat writing, learning the craft, telling your stories, revising your stories and everything else connected to your writing and your writing career as a top priority, you will find that some things that are NOT AS IMPORTANT have to go.
You might have to watch a little less TV, play fewer video/computer games, or even read a little less.
Don’t eliminate those completely by any means; they are great food for writing.
So today’s message is that you are a writer already. Now act like one. Every day.