“Write like you’ll live forever — fear is a bad editor. Write like you’ll croak today — death is the best editor. Fooling others is fun. Fooling yourself is a lethal mistake. Pick one — fame or delight.” ― Ron Dakron
Writing is a steep, uphill battle but it’s fierce and it’s beautiful and you’ll regret walking away from it before you’ve seen it reach its potential.
New people, experiences and opportunities to write about won’t stop coming into your life but you need to make space for them. Reexamine all your current relationships, obligations and habits and if you find value in them, hold onto them tighter. If their value escapes you, it’s time to let something go.
Resolve to be awesome for the rest of your life, starting right now. Just because.
Writing goals are not reserved for January 1st. Get in the habit of setting them monthly, hell, even weekly. Set them so that you’re moving forward and always trying to progress. Your writing can grow stagnant without them. Beware.
Confidence is an attractive thing. Readers dig it. Non-readers dig it. We all dig it.
Negative people chip away at your spirit. Flush the toxins and get yourself into a better writing head space.
And if you slag off another writer because their abilities fail to impress or interest you, maybe you’re on the road to toxicity. Peer relationships are too valuable to muddy with what you perceive to be the shortcomings of other writers. If you can’t find enjoyment in someone’s writing, don’t read it. Plain and simple.
You’re human and as such you’re going to waste many hours focusing on who you aren’t, or who you want to secretly be. But you won’t ever wake up and magically become that person. You’ve got to embrace what you bring to the table. If you don’t like what that is, have the courage to change it.
Regret is a very real thing. It’s going to happen to you at some point. Don’t hold onto things forever but learn from them and let the past go. The past will be a dictator if you let it.
Yes, when we write we create worlds, but the world doesn’t revolve around us. Turns out we’re just punctuations in a much larger story littered with periods and commas and dashes. How are you helping that story to be better? How are you being the best punctuation you can be?
Tech advancement is coming at us fast and furious and it’s all too easy to let an emoticon laden text do the talking for you, too easy to click a Like or +1 button instead of engaging people in an actual dialogue. Never lose sight of the beauty of a conversation where you can watch a person’s face express actual emotions. Let a person know that they are worth your words. They are worth your presence. They are worth more than just letters on a screen. Face to face connections are fading faster everyday. Please don’t let the machines win.
“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 exinteritus. 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.