I often hear people say things like “I can’t write”, “I don’t know how to write”, “I have never written before”. Writing is a skill and like every other skill, it requires time and practice to develop it. Nobody is born a writer. It is a skill that is developed through continuous practice. Most people think they are not writers because they have never written before or they think what they want to write is not good enough. And for some people, it is just laziness to sit down and write.
Whatever your reason for thinking you can’t write, the first step to becoming a writer is to write. There is no defined way to start writing, you just have to write. Your first draft will never be perfect and that is okay! It is a process that needs time, dedication and consistency. I remember when I sent my first draft to my editor. I had to turn the entire draft upside down to make it better but guess what, I didn’t make the same mistake in my second draft. Don’t be afraid to let your work be criticized by your editors. I love brutal editors because they produce the best writers. They are not dissecting your writing because they want to frustrate you or because they hate you, no. They are doing that to make your writing better. If you pay attention to those corrections and apply them as you keep writing, you will see your writing skill improve.
I understand that sometimes you really want to write but you don’t know where to start. You know what you want to write about, right? Don’t bother about how to start writing it from the “beginning”. Start from anywhere it feels comfortable for you, the middle or otherwise. When you are done, then you can go back and rearrange it in a way that will be easier for your readers to understand. The first thing is to ask yourself, “What do I want to write about?” Once you have figured that out, start from anywhere that feels comfortable for you. Don’t get caught up in making a “solid” introduction; you might end up not writing anything. Instead, start however you want and build on it.
While writing, you might want to stop, the fact is writing is not for lazy people. You have to be committed to it. It helps to have a target for your writing. You can start with something small, 500 words per day or 1000 words per day and slowly increase it. I started with a goal of ten pages per day and sometimes, it was difficult to meet that goal but I kept at it. Now, sometimes, I write more than twenty pages a day. Track your progress, it will motivate you. I will be honest with you, there will be some days that, you want to write but you are just “not feeling it”. It is okay to not feel it. Don’t force it, take a break for that day and come back later.
Another common excuse people give for not writing is “I don’t have time”. If you are reading this, you have time, so go and scribble something down now! I’m kidding, finish reading then go write. There is never time for anything, we make time for them. Get into your zone. Some write with music, while some prefer absolute silence. Some writers prefer typing on a computer, while the old-school hand-writing works for some. Whatever works for you, get into it and start writing.
Don’t be afraid to write badly, it’s part of the process. Your second draft will be better than your first and your third will be better than your second. It is like building a house, it’s not done in a day. You keep adding blocks and keep building. Whatever you want to write, a short story, novel, poem, article, it starts with one simple step; START. If you don’t start, you will never start. If you don’t write, you will never be a writer. To be a writer, you actually have to write. So start writing, I want to read it.
With love from, S.A. Trinity