Writing is a gift. Being a writer is unlike anything else in the world. I like to compare writers to snowflakes… no matter how long you search, you are not going to find two that are alike. One of the biggest problems with aspiring writers is that they try to fit into a ‘writer mold’.
What you have to remember is there is no writer mold. If you are a true writer, you are unique, with unique thoughts and unique ideas. You have something brand new to offer this world… your perspective. Let’s talk about a few other things that might help you.
Don’t try to be a super writer
Did you know that only 2% of writers become famous? Oh, there are lots of good writers, but most of them don’t sell truckloads of books. When I started my first book, I tried desperately to be like one of my favorite authors. Every time I started a sentence, I would ask “What
would he do?”
It wasn’t until I got really frustrated one day that I threw down the book I was reading and started writing my story my way. When I finished my first book, I liked it. I liked it so much I have read it about twenty times in the past ten years.
The reason I liked my own book so much was that it was my story told my way. My mother is my biggest fan in the entire world, and she loved it too. She said it was like I was sitting there talking to her. Nobody could be a better me than I could.
One thing that many people don’t consider is that everyone thinks differently. When you think differently, you have a different point of view. You and I could both write a story about the sinking of the Titanic, and the books would be totally different! I might write from the eyes of the skipper, and you might write a documentary of the facts. The same book in two totally different ways.
Be yourself. We already have an Ernest Hemming way and a Stephen King… What we need is a you.
Daily writing grows you
Have you ever noticed, when older people sit around each other and tell stories, they get better and better as the evening goes on? That’s because when they start thinking back, they are using parts of their brain that doesn’t get that much exercise. When they start using it, they get much more efficient.
You need to write something every day. It keeps you on your toes, and your readers are the better for it. If you have nothing else to write, start a daily blog of your life and every day you can make an entry. It’s really not all that hard.
I find that since I have started writing every day, I have become a much better speller, which was a big problem for me. I remember back in Beulah High School my English teacher, Mrs. Ware, used to tell me “There is no ‘H’ in SUGAR!” Like I said… spelling and I did not see eye to eye.
Remember… the more you write, the better you are.
Be yourself – Stop chasing the crowd
Just because somebody was successful in writing a romance novel, does not mean you should write a romance novel. If some guy at work wrote a ‘how to’ book on shaving cats, does that mean you should also write a ‘how to’ book? NO!
You should write what is in your heart. If you have always dreamed of writing a western novel because you like to write western, then that is what you should do. Do not let everyone else decide what you should write. If you do, you will be miserable and fail. The least that would happen is you would write a bad book.
When I finished writing my autobiographies, I really wanted to write a detective story. I have written three of them now, and even if I never sell a single copy, it’s alright. I like what I wrote, and one day, my children are going to read my books and like them too. If you are not proud of what you write, maybe you shouldn’t be writing.
Write your passion
Every day you can find someone who will say “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.” That is a true statement, and it is also true in writing. If you love the topic you are writing about, you will love writing. What do you think makes some of those older novels so wonderful? The authors loved something, and so they wrote about it.
Another great thing about writing what you love is how versatile you can be. Most people have several interests. Obviously, you love your family, so you can write a book about that. A couple of years later, you write a book about the horses you loved as a child. This was you keep yourself out of that box so many writers get stuck in.
I love the sea. When I wrote my Navy autobiography, I would laugh so hard when I was thinking back, my wife would peak in and see what I was laughing at. I loved writing it, and I couldn’t wait to write more. Of course, editing the book was torturous, because I hate grammar. I guess we can’t win them all.
Make your own box
Sometimes people just hate to see others succeeding. If your friends or coworkers tease you or give you a hard time about writing, forget about them. Most people do not have to courage to be successful writers. They will try to keep you down.
Don’t let others define you… Don’t let them keep you from being the great writer that we both know you can be. One day, when you have finished your book, they will still be there wishing they could do what you did.
Now, crack open that laptop… let’s write something.