Your writing…if you are a writer, you love it. And you hate it…and you love it…and you hate it…let’s be honest…being a writer is one of the hardest things a person can do. But if you are like the rest of us, it is also the one thing that you do that you can’t live without.
One of the things that many new writers don’t understand is that you have to take care of that thing that you love so much or it gets kind of rusty. Writing is something that you have to practice every day and you have to take care of it (and yourself) as though you are taking care of an actual person. So here are 10 ways to take care of your writing…that thing that you want to take care of you…
- Don’t change what drew you in the first place – You feel in love with writing. There was something about doing it that made you want to do it for the rest of your life. Don’t allow it to become something you do for money or because you “have to”…do it for the love of it and don’t change that.
- Let go – Many writers are “careful” when they begin and that’s okay but at some point you have to cut the apron strings and let your writing fly. Don’t stay in your comfort zone…explore.
- Keep growing – Every writer knows that this is a job that continues to give throughout your life. If you aren’t learning something new all the time you simply aren’t doing it right. Grow, grow, grow!
- Dream Huge – I have a friend who writes short stories. Every time we have lunch she talks about writing that novel but…she never does it. Let yourself dream big as a writer so that you are always striving for that larger project. Challenge yourself.
- Stop asking if you should be a writer – When I quit my day job I went through a period of anxiousness. Did I do the right thing, should I have kept my job, was I cheating my family…it was horrible. Then my spouse asked me one day, do you think you will ever stop asking yourself those questions and just accept that you ARE a writer? I had to think about that. I didn’t want to spend my life in doubt so I stepped up, labeled myself a writer and then started living like one. Be where you are…
- Don’t stop reading – Your writing will only improve in the shadow of others. Read everything you can pick up…you owe it to yourself.
- Get the equipment you need – I know a lot of writers who skimp on equipment. If you were an electrician you’d have the right tools and you’d make no excuses for that. Get what you need to do what you do.
- Be honest – Too many writers are out there trying to write something they have no business writing. You know those writers, the ones who are trying to write to the craze. It saddens me that so many became “young adult writers” after Twilight and Harry Potter. Who knows what kind of writing we are missing because of that. Be honest and be who you are as a writer.
- Be kind to your writing – We all have plenty of critics out there, you don’t need to throw your own negative talk into the ring. Believe in yourself and your work and then tell yourself it is good. There will be someone who will come along soon enough to try and shoot you down.
- Edit, edit, edit – Just like you owe it to your children to make sure they know how to act in public, you owe it to your work too. You wouldn’t send your 1st grader outside to play in his underwear so why would you do that to your novel. Do the editing, no matter how painful it is. You owe it to your work and yourself to put your best out there.
These are just a few things you can do to care for your work. There are others and if you think of some that are special to you, writer them in the comments section and share them. We all need to take care of the thing that takes care of us…the writing.
© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.