[A WRITER’S LIFE] 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Writing

Writing is the purest form of expression.
You bleed your heart out on the paper, hoping it would turn into something remotely worth reading. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

But that’s not the point.

Writing words is easy. But writing something that makes someone want to spend their time on? Well, THAT’S the tricky part.

And its this fact that trumped me up in the beginning of my journey. A few words in and I would start overthinking it. And eventually, I would give up – for days, weeks, months on end. I failed to realize that this was a process and I couldn’t possibly hope to write a masterpiece every time I put up my pen, or punched the keyboard into oblivion. *shrugs*

And now that I look back, I wish I’d known the following things before I started writing:

Refrain From Judgement

It’s one of the easiest thing to start judging your own writing, especially in the beginning.

You are so consumed with the idea of writing a brilliant piece that you cannot wait to edit and re-edit it until it turns into the next viral post or the next best selling book.

But the reality is that it doesn’t happen that easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. And it CERTAINLY does NOT happen with a few weeks even months of practice.

This realization – although a bit painful at first – puts you in the attitude of learning, one that allows for creativity to flow unobstructed. AND THAT’S WHAT YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON IN THE BEGINNING ANYWAY. 

Don’t Get All High and Mighty

This is another trap that beginners can very easily fall into. They overestimate their writing to the extent of closing their minds to suggestions which ultimately results in their undoing, wouldn’t you agree?

It’s because of their unwillingness to see room for improvement in their writing that it never grows, never flourishes into something worth reading.

undefined

I have seen it happen with my friends who have recently taken up writing as a hobby. And every time they write something half-decent, in their minds they are suddenly the great-great-great grandson of Shakespeare, which is really fucking annoying to see, NOT GONNA LIE! 

There is ALWAYS room for improvement. Hell, even Tolkien’s writing could’ve improved with time. How many more masterpieces would he have spouted THEN! 

Self-Expression

When you read all those already established writers – writing in a set style that’s gotten them loads of success, you see it as a roadmap for YOUR success as well. You think that what worked for THEM will work for YOU as well. 

THAT’S A TRAP. DON’T FALL INTO IT. 

Understand that the ONLY reason other writers are successful and at the level that they are today is BECAUSE THEY LET THEIR INNER SELVES SHINE THROUGH THEIR WORDS. 

undefined

They speak from their heart.
They write from their soul.
And it’s reflected in their work.
Can’t you see that? 

HUNDREDS of books are published every day and yet only a fraction of them manage to make a reader FEEL something; make them go mad for the characters! WHY IS THAT?

BECAUSE while MOST of those authors write solely for one time sale, one time read purposes, a precious few write to leave a lasting impression on the reader’s heart. They want to create something that the reader would want to revisit, again and again, and again. And THAT’S WHERE THEIR STRENGTH LIES.

Write from your heart, and watch magic happen RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

With a dream of becoming a great writer comes great responsibility – of practicing the art, every single day. 

If you want to be better at something, you have to REALLY work at it. Put in REAL effort. Make time for it. And say no to any excuses that might seek to hinder your progress.

I’ll give you a personal example. When I was in 4th standard, my best friend once got bitterly humiliated by our class teacher. Why? Because her handwriting sucked. Yes. It sucked more than Mr. Darcy sucked at his proposal to Lizzie, and THAT’S SAYING SOMETHING! 

She cried and cried – THE WHOLE FUCKING DAY. Nothing I did was cheering her up. It seemed that the fact that she had been found wanting in some aspect was really bothering her. And she wanted to do something about it. That VERY day, I decided to help her better her handwriting, since I was pretty good with my cursive, not that I am bragging. 🤣

undefined

We worked every day – in every single free period – on her letters. Slowly, they started to improve. And by the next semester, she was writing even more beautifully than me! The SAME teacher who had humiliated her was now using her handwriting as an inspiration for other students of our class.

You see, she CARED for her the fact her handwriting needed improvement. And so, she worked at it. Every single day.

Would her life have turned out worse if she hadn’t improved it? Not necessarily. But it’s all about what you care for – and it can be the most insignificant thing! It doesn’t matter. 

If it bothers you then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

If you want your writing to get better and better every single day, WORK AT IT, EVERY SINGLE DAY. And if you don’t, then you simply don’t care about improving it THAT MUCH. 

Remember to Enjoy the process 

We all crave for the end as if that’s the ONLY thing left in the world! What we fail to realize is that the fun is in the journey; the learning is in the journey; the experience is in the journey; the joy is in the journey. 

It’s a rule of thumb – if you forget to appreciate HOW you get there, you won’t appreciate it WHEN you arrive there either. Because the “end” – the achievement of your goal – will only last for a few moments but the journey? It’ll change you – for the better – if you’ll allow it to.

I spent MANY days and nights loathing the process and craving the result. But I couldn’t just skip that part, could I? And getting irritated with it was only going to make it THAT MUCH HARDER. So I decided to just – Write Everyday. And enjoy what I write!

AND THAT HAS MADE SUCH A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE!

So guys, don’t forget to have fun while you are in the process because believe me, you are going to miss these moments later on. It’s true that we never really realize the value of a moment once it’s lost but we can for sure try to, can’t we – try to enjoy the present, detaching ourselves from the outcome, and just having fun with it? 😉

WE CAN. AND WE MUST. ❤ ❤

These are the things that had I known and REALIZED in the beginning, I would have spared myself A LOT of frustration and anxiety. And now I hope that these points will help someone on their journey as well. 🙂 ❤

AND NOW I wanna hear YOUR tips and tricks as well. 😉 What advice would you give to your younger writer-self?

[A WRITER’S LIFE] The Fickle Muse //Tips + Tricks To Keep Her Happy and Generous//

Eyes closed. Shut, more like – focusing on the dark insides of my mind. “Help me, please”, I shout. But a burst of shrill laughter is all the response I get

On the verge of tears – I beg her TO JUST FUCKING GIVE ME AN IDEA – ANY IDEA WILL DOO! 

It’s really very difficult to please THE MUSE, isn’t it? I mean, you never know when she’ll start acting off and leave you in the lurch with no clues and a bullet to put in your brain should you be defeated before she graces you with her presence again!

Ugh, SUCH A DRAMA QUEEN.

But fear not! Although she loves to play a mean game of hide & seek, I am going to tell you some of her most BASIC TRAITS so that you can catch her before she runs away without giving anything in return for all those hours of frustration! 


🌸3:00 AM

That is her favorite time. You might suddenly wake up – feeling groggy, afraid, or even confused – with a hint of an idea in your head, just roaming around like a fly just about to die. 

YOU GOTTA CATCH IT BEFORE IT DROPS, THOUGH! I am serious, catch it in it’s flight because otherwise you may risk losing it forever.

undefined

Get up, no matter how much you might loathe doing so, and WRITE IT DOWN. Yes, don’t you make the mistake of “keeping it stored in your memory till the morning.” Because the muse is moody. There have been cases where she came back and stole the ideas from the mind of the writer, JUST BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WRITE THEM DOWN ASAP.

Scary, isn’t she? Well, she is the only goddess we poor writers get so we have to play by her rules, no matter what. 

🌸Troublesome

One of the things that she likes to do the most is troubling you when you are busy. She might come in to surprise you with a fantastic idea for your post, say, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF DOING THE DISHES.

Imagine having to walk to your room ALL THE WAY FROM KITCHEN – with soapy water dripping off your hands – putting your work on hold, JUST TO WRITE THE IDEA IN YOUR PHONE! 

undefined

But it’s necessary as well because if you wait until AFTER you are done with the dishes, you may not be able to remember it again – EVER – and may die of guilt! So, yeah, keep in mind that she WILL disturb you when you are busy so KEEP A NOTEPAD WITH YOU AT ALL COSTS.

Doing this just might save your writing life by helping you build a gold-mine of ideas to pick from WHENEVER YOU WANT! 

🌸Jealous

When you start getting hooked on her fantastic ideas – flowing in so effortlessly, granted that she’s in a good mood – you never go back to brainstorming and other lame practices! YOU JUST FEED HER EGO AND SATIATE HER PRIDE WITH CONSTANT AND EFFUSIVE WORDS OF PRAISE.


But, let’s say you get inspired by someone else – a friend, a relative, your dog – whoever! And you decide to work on THAT idea BEFORE working on the muse’s, SHE WILL BREAK UP WITH YOU. SHE WILL RUN AWAY – and not alone, mind you. She will take with her every single idea she has ever graced upon your monkey mind!

WHAT WILL YOU DO THEN? Because your friends and other scarce sources of inspiration cannot possibly save you EVERY TIME, can they?

So, take my advice and PRIORITISE HER AND HER IDEAS – ALWAYS.

🌸Demands Sacrifice

In the earlier times, The Muse used to demand severe payment from the writers – their favorite pair of socks, pages of their most beautiful books, ordering them not to shower for a week straight. Every aspiring writer was required to practice cooking her favorite meals as well, just in case she gets hungry while helping them write. She also used to appear in their dreams and interrupt their sleep just for fun, you know!

SHE USED TO BE VERY CRUEL INDEED.

But as times have changed, so has her demands. Be warned though – that doesn’t mean they are any less difficult to follow. If anything, I think she has chosen her form of payment PERFECTLY, according to recent times.

So, WHAT DOES SHE WANT IN PAYMENT?

She wants your focus – your COMPLETE ATTENTION. And your hard work. THE MINUTE SHE CATCHES YOU SLACKING, she blocks the creative flow FOR A WEEK – A MONTH – MAYBE MORE! *gasps*



DAMN! That woman really knows how to train her disciples!

Plus I TOTALLY speak from experience because she has done that with me before. And let me tell you – THOSE DAYS OF CREATIVITY BLOCKAGE ARE A TORTURE. I have endured them and I don’t wish to go through that EVER AGAIN!

So learn from my experience – GIVE YOUR PREFERRED ART YOUR COMPLETE FOCUS – or else you might have to pay bitterly. *sobs*

As you must have understood by now, THE MUSE is very difficult to please – always running about, always teasing you with ideas, and then taking them away. But, I hope with these tips, you’ll be better able to predict her next move and be better prepared when she comes next!

I am curious though, do you have any personal experiences that you’d like to share? Some irritating moments while writing – because THAT WAS HER TO BE SURE!
Let me knowww in the comments.

Until next time,

[A WRITER’S LIFE] Dealing with Unjust + Hateful Criticism //A Personal Experience//

I didn’t understand criticism – REAL criticism – until I faced it.
Experienced it.
Until it shattered me from the inside.
It became the biter pill I could neither swallow nor throw up.
It got stuck in the middle of my throat – like a hundred tears threatening to fall if I removed that fake smile from my face.

But I couldn’t maintain my composure for much longer. The smile did fade away. The tears did fall. I told myself- “It’s the internet after all.” – but for some reason, it wasn’t working. Because in some part of me, I knew that there were actual people behind those made up usernames, people for whom what I write was the most disgusting and untrue thing they had ever read.

People for whom my style of writing came across as desperate and needy.

People for whom my ideas were worth nothing, my words were worth nothing, my effort was worth nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Upto that point, I had only known love from my readers. And that sudden burst of hateful criticism was becoming a bit too much to bear. I ended up crying my eyes out, not going to lie. Because I was still far from reaching that point of saying a bold “FUCK YOU” to the people who didn’t like what I was writing. Sure, I wrote it – half-hearted – as a response – but deep inside, my insides were in a knot and no amount of consolation was proving enough.

Why? Why did it feel like that? Why did I feel their hate so deeply? Had I not acquired any self-worth at all? 

The thing is, it wasn’t a question of self-worth. It was the question of self-expression. I have always poured my heart out in everything I write, in every word I type with my little fingers. And for people to discredit it was like discrediting my life – the experiences I have had – the journey that shaped me into who I am. THAT was the hard part. That was what I was having trouble accepting.

The breakdown was real. But not long. I couldn’t afford to lose what little spare hours I get during the day over crying about someone’s rather unjust words. What I COULD do, however, was put my whole self into what I was about to write next. I was afraid -afraid that my desperation as they said is very prevalent – would show. But I didn’t care. I had to write. That was the only way I could see to release the hints of anger, loathing, and irritation that had seeped into me having faced that kind of hate.

It was time to bleed.
Tell my story.
The way I wanted to.
The only way I had learned how to.
Because take that away and what do I have?
Take my authenticity away and what am I left with?
Empty letters. Hollow words. Fake experiences, just for the sake of a few people who couldn’t understand me? 

I wrote – bled on the paper, let out all of my frustration all of my anger, all of my sadness – and converted it into a flawed yet genuine piece of writing. I felt at peace. I felt the beauty of quiet satisfaction, one that I had taken for granted but never will again. I hit publish. And I knew – in my heart, I knew – that it will be loved. It will be adored. It will be understood by the people who WANT to understand. 

The rest of them? Well, it’s a wide ass world with a LOT of people living in it. How could I EVER hope to please every single one of them? How could I touch every single heart pumping in this beautiful world? 

But, if my words are able to touch at least a single one, I will consider my mission accomplished. If even a fraction of my readers are able to feel my words in the depth of their being, I will have accomplished what I set out to do – WRITE.


Well, writing this was a bit difficult but necessary. I feel like there will always be criticism surrounding anything you’ll do. The trick is to know when it’s constructive and when it’s only meant to bring you down!

And now, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on it.
How do you deal with criticism?
Any past experiences that you’ve had with trolls in general?! xD
Comment and we’ll chat!