When you think about the writing process, what comes to mind? Is it a blissful scene of someone tucked away at their desk, smoking a pipe by a crackling fire and letting the Muses guide their pen?
It’s easy to romanticize the life of a writer. And while it can be a great hobby or career, writing actually is more difficult than it seems.
Here are three points to keep in mind.
1. Only write if you truly love it
Although this may seem obvious, many people dream of having their name on books even though they hate writing. This includes avid readers who are so moved by published stories, they want to create some of their own.
Oftentimes, if they sit down to write something, they quickly realize it’s not easy to do. For those storytellers out there who don’t like writing, there are other avenues to explore, such as acting or music. Why force yourself to do something you hate?
2. Don’t wait for inspiration
As Stephen King said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
This advice certainly paid off for King, who has written over 65 books and more than 200 short stories! Our friend Peter Kreeft, author of over 60 books, writes whenever he finds the time, even if it’s just a few minutes.
You won’t get anywhere by waiting for the “right moment” to start writing. Just sit down and push the words out. It won’t always be pleasant, but it’s the only way to get a piece of writing done.
That being said, it helps to create a comfortable, attractive writing environment with good lighting. Make it someplace quiet and, by all means, invest in a comfortable chair. Your body will thank you!
3. Be humble enough to revise and rewrite
One problem many novice writers have is trying to create a perfect first draft. Instead of getting all the words on the page first, they spend forever trying to make the first paragraph a literary masterpiece. Not surprisingly, this wears them out and discourages them from writing further.
Don’t fret too much over your first draft. Get your main ideas down and go back and revise. Then revise some more. Finally, revise again.
If these three tips haven’t fazed you, start practicing them now. If you keep it up, you’ll become more proficient and make your dream of writing a reality.