Some writers and teachers will tell you many definitions of the word writer. All of those would be incorrect. Any person that writes is a writer. If you hold a day job but write at night, you’re still are a writer, no matter how many people will try to convince you you’re a hobbyist or an amateur. How experienced, successful and talented a writer you are is another question, of course, but no matter where you are at the moment, remember that as long as you write, you’re a writer. And there are several things that you should know and keep in mind.
1. Set up your goal
Ask yourself, or even make a list, of all the things you want to get out of writing, and of all the reasons why you write. There is no right or wrong reason to write, unless you’re writing to hurt another person, in which case you should immediately stop. Make a list and include all the benefits you want to get from writing and all the reasons why you write. Keep them above your desk if you want. They will help you keep your focus when you feel you’ve lost sight of your goal. If you feel that you’re straying, check the list and decide whether you need to change what you’re doing at the moment, or whether you should change some items in the list.
2. Every person’s writing method is unique
Every writer writes differently. Some start at the beginning and work towards the end, some do the easy parts first and the fill in the blanks, others start at the end and work back towards the beginning. Point is, your writing method is as unique as your own DNA or fingertip. Always keep in mind that what has worked for a writer you admire might not work for you. However, this doesn’t mean that, as a writer, you shouldn’t look for methods that other writers use. Instead, try the ones that appeal to you and your instinct and develop your own writing method. When words and images start flowing effortlessly, stop for a very short time and ask yourself how you got there. Remember what you did so that when you hit a block or lack inspiration you can repeat the process.
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3. Ignore all writing tips and “rules”
If they don’t work for you, then they’re not right. Writing is more subjective and simply cannot be condensed into several rules that a writer has to follow. For example, some writers claim that you need to outline your novel, and each chapter in it, in order to write it completely. This is completely wrong for some writers, for whom the fact that they do not know where they are going with their characters is what makes the writing process exciting, and totally right for others who are unable to write their novel if they don’t outline the plot first. Follow your gut and your instinct and use the writing tips and so called rules that work for you, instead of trying to incorporate rules into your writing that will stifle your creative process.
4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
If you are on a roll, writing page after page and then you come across a word, phrase or a scene that just doesn’t come out right, then skip over it, and come back later. Don’t let anything interrupt your flow, not even lack of information. Leave the research for later. Even if what you write now is not correct, don’t be afraid of making that mistake and plow on. Remember that any mistakes you might make in your writing are just attempts at moving your story forward – attempts that are ultimately unsuccessful. Don’t be afraid to make those mistakes and correct them later in the editing process.
5. Writing is your main teacher
Use the act of writing as your teacher about writing. No tip, rule and guidebook will teach you to write better than writing itself. For example, take something you’ve written more than a year ago. Look at it. It doesn’t seem so good anymore, does it? That’s because the more you write, the better you become at writing. Of course, reading a good book, attending writing classes and reading the occasional book about writing itself are things that you shouldn’t shun either, but never stop writing. No matter what you do, keep writing. Remember, no matter how talented you might be, practice makes perfect.
Image credit: Steve Bowbrick on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic.
As a 22-year-old art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.