Become a writer.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Tony Morrison
How do I become a writer? I get this asked quite often. By so many.
So let’s try to crack this oft-asked question…
How to become a writer in six easy steps?
The answer is simple. If you want to become a writer, you’ll have to write. Every day. Without fail. Without an excuse. Without self-doubt. By beating the odds. And by overcoming the blocks.
Now, you may have a day job. You may have trouble sitting down at a particular time to write. You might be having doubts about your writing abilities.
Trust me, I went through it all. And I’ve learnt to silence the snarky voice in my head by writing. Once you start giving shape to those thoughts as words on paper, your doubts will be silenced. No wonder many consider writing as a meditative pursuit.
Now, let me share a few tips that will help you get started.
- Write daily. And by daily I mean seven days a week. You may take Sundays off. I do. It helps me to get back on track on Monday with renewed vigor.
- Set an hour. Set a time and stick to it. It can be midnight. It can be early morning. It can be your commute hour. Or your lunch break. Whatever works for you — is your best time. Once, you find your time, don’t change it.
- Choose a place. Choose a particular corner, away from distraction, noise and chaos. Sit in that place or position everyday. A familiar, comfortable surrounding is ideal for you to get those words on paper.
- Set a target. Some set it in hundreds or thousands of words. Some settle for pages. Some try and finish one chapter a day. Choose your target and stick to it.
- Do not edit. Do not edit your work before you’re finished. This is particularly true for novelists and short story writers. We all have a tendency to go back on the words we have written. Call it being in love with one’s work or the exact opposite. Or, the search for the unattainable goal — perfection. Do not waste your time or effort in editing your work before it’s done and dusted. Once you have the first draft, edit without mercy.
- Be kind to yourself. No matter how many times you slip and abandon your routine, know this — you can always go back to restarting it. No one will judge you. And most importantly, stop judging yourself harshly.