“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.” — Lili St. Crow
The simple definition of what constitutes being a writer is:
A writer writes.
While I find this answer simple, honest and direct, it is not wholly true. You can, in fact, be a frustrated writer, a person who has writing on their minds but hasn’t yet made the time to commit their words to the page. That’s okay because it’s never too late to start. While I can’t speak to why you personally need to write, I can offer my opinion of why you should write.
It’s life changing.
Writing helps you reflect on your life and the changes you’re making. It clarifies your thinking. Doing it regularly makes you better at it. Crafting words for an audience helps you think from a reader’s perspective. Writing daily stimulates the brain into coming up with new ideas regularly and helps you work on your problem-solving skills.
The only thing standing between the thought of writing and the act of writing — is you. You need to plant your butt in the chair and put yourself into the proper frame of mind to write. It’s as easy as following these simple suggestions:
- Open yourself up to the wonder that surrounds you. Reconnect with that childlike curiosity. Be present and engaged in your life and the world.
- Understand that criticism isn’t your enemy. Accept it as it comes, learn from it and grow.
- Be passionate. About people. About life. About yourself.
- Stop hiding from fear. Face it, experience it, overcome it, then write about it.
- Stop trying to be normal. There’s no such creature.
- There isn’t a reason not to write. Don’t make excuses. Don’t accept them either.
- Pack your bags and move out of your comfort zone.
- Learn to approach writing with an attitude of gratitude. It’s a pleasure to write, not a chore.
- That person who stares back at you in the mirror? That’s not who you are, it’s who you used to be. Make a habit out of shocking yourself by taking risks.
- Fall in love with reading and the act of writing. Whenever you push the pen on paper, do it like you’re on your first date.
- New experiences create new story ideas. Expose yourself to as many as possible.
- You have a darkness inside you. We all do. Step boldly into the dark corners and explore the traits and characteristics you tamp down in an effort to fit into society. There’s juicy material just waiting to be excavated.
- Recognize when it’s time to take a breather. Stepping away and occupying your mind with something else allows you to return with a fresh perspective. Don’t stay away too long, though.
- Creatio ex interitus. From destruction comes creation. Make a habit of destroying something when you write, then build something new from the debris.
- Take no experience for granted, not even the mundane ones.
- Stop envying what other people have or what they’re doing with their lives. Concentrate on being you and be happy with yourself. Seriously.
- No retreat, no surrender. If I may be so bold as to quote Ed Harris from James Cameron’s The Abyss, “You never backed away from anything in your life! Now fight!” Never Give up, no matter what.
Sally forth and be writeful.
— Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys