It begins by beginning.
Now, having had “broken into” the world of writing, I am often approached by aspiring writers asking for the “way in.” Of course, I try to help in any manner that I can, but truly, there is no secret. I had always considered myself a writer, but nothing happened for me until I truly accepted my love for writing and implemented this passion into my life as a necessity rather than merely a hopeful hobby. The beautiful thing about being a writer, and artist in general, is that we have the freedom to create our own opportunities. I can write as little or as much as I would like and can still be a writer. Of course, that won’t get you anywhere quickly. The best advice I can give is to share what worked for me.
You will only ever be as big as your own imagination. This is very true for any industry, and is especially true in regard to career endeavors within the arts. You like to write, you do it often enough, you’re pretty good at it, but here’s the problem, you never call yourself a writer. Hey, that’s ok, we all take things at our own pace, but before you cut yourself short and invite that horrible knot into your stomach, stop and think of what you’re really doing. You want to be a writer more than anything in the world, and a person just asked if you were a writer, and you mumbled some incoherent excuse and cut yourself short? This does you no good.
If you cannot believe in yourself, then who else will? The thing about being a writer, other than necessary writing skills, plotting ability, and actual execution of the work, is this – you are your own brand now. Yes, you and your wild world of spinning tales are now a hypothetical company, and if a company does not believe in their product, then why would consumers (aka potential readers) invest in you? Again, you are only as big as your imagination, so don’t cut yourself short. Begin by telling people that you’re a writer, and don’t say “aspiring writer.” If you read, then you’re a reader, if you garden, you’re a gardener, if you write, then you’re a writer.
“There came a time in my life where I had to ask myself:
Am I just someone who likes to write or am I a writer?” – Victoria Lopez
We must also understand what type of writer we are. We should never put ourselves into a box, but again, we should know our strong suits. I’m a creative writer and poet, and believe me, you’d probably never find me at an academia based seminar for research writers. Find your niche writing community, and don’t be afraid to reach out to local individuals who inspire you. It’s a two way street. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right when a friend or complete stranger reaches out to me through Facebook in compliment of my work, or asking for direction.
Research your local area for writing circles, non-profit organizations, volunteer opportunities, author readings, and open mic stages to see where you can make your mark. Remember, you are a company, and a company needs to have a platform. Your community is your platform, invest in it and you will find that your work is more inspired and all around better received.
I am personally so thankful for social media, if it had not been for Instagram, and sadly a broken heart, I may have never began to put my work out publicly. Instagram became my creative outlet. I stopped taking selfies, and started posting poetry instead. While, yes, social media is all fun and games, it can also open a lot of doors and allows you to network with artists outside of your local parameter. Use the top trending writing hashtags to boost your work and go read other online poets work as well. Go interact, it’s all about networking. No one will give you an opportunity unless you ask for it, so put yourself out there. Any social media platform is a good place to start.
This is a really good way to practice finding your written voice and projecting that into an online presence. You will practice your mentality of not only being a writer, but will also be setting your foundation toward becoming a public figure as well.
This has to be the most important piece of advice that I could give you, if you’re a writer, then write. Write every day, all the time, on paper, on your computer, in your brain when you’re driving. Ask yourself the important questions. Don’t write what you think people want to read, write what makes you pour out and spill over. Be honest with yourself when writing, and when you feel like you have nothing else to write, ask yourself another question and keep writing. Inspiration is all around you. The best thing that a writer can do for themselves is to begin. Writer’s block? There is no such thing. Pick up a book, look at some art work, flip through old writing journals, go for a walk – there is always something to be written, sometimes the truth simply is that we are not ready to write it. Push the boundaries of your creative self.
Set a goal for yourself. Do you want to write a poem a day, 500 words a day, a novel in year? Whatever your goal is, keep yourself accountable. Get a daily planner and schedule your writing into your daily routine. Are you an early bird? Write in the morning. A night owl? Write at night. You don’t have time to brainstorm or outline a plot? Well, you shower, don’t you? Multi-task and use any free time you have to be creative. Allowing room in your life to think like an artist will lead the way to becoming a more sure artist.
You are the only person who has your message. Reinforce your message everyday through your writing and put it out into the world so that your voice can begin to make its impact.
And now, a poetic thought:
You, my dearest darling, are a wonder to behold. Do not doubt your worth when blind eyes fail to see it.