[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?