Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Are You Waiting For?

So many people say things like "I've always wanted to write, but I don't have the time." Or "I've always wanted to write, but I'm not sure I can do it." Or "I've always wanted to write, but maybe I wouldn't be good enough."  You can fill in the second part of this sentence with many reasons that you haven't tried writing, even though you've always wanted to.

Writers are not born. It's a skill that can be learned Yes, some writers definitely are more talented than others, but everyone can learn the craft of writing. Like any skill, it doesn't just happen. Here's my list of things that are needed:

1.  The desire to write
2.  Making time to write
3.  Learning about the craft of writing
4.  Doing writing exercises
5.  Write something every day

The desire has to be there before any of the rest can be achieved. The strength of your desire to write is paramount. And yes, you must create time to write. We all waste time throughout our day in one way or another. Think about it and harness that time as your writing time. Or get up earlier, stay up later, or write while waiting for an appointment.

Read books and articles on the craft of writing and do the exercises in them. Don't do this for a month and quit. Make it an ongoing activity. And definitely write something every day. Keep a journal, do a writing exercise, write a description of something you see. But write a little something every day.

Practice makes perfect. A cliche but one that still makes good sense, no matter what skill you're trying to perfect.

There's no time to start writing like now. You don't need to begin with a full story. Try a paragraph, then two, and move on. What are you waiting for?

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