1. If You Are a Writer Decide That for Yourself

Have you ever heard the lyrics from the song Home on the Range:

seldom is heard a discouraging word.

 

Here is a heads up: you will hear discouraging words. Often.

Turn every discouragement into encouragement, use them as fuel. When someone questions your writing, you as a writer, your style, take it as a pat on the back to keep going keep writing.

These critics with their cement block sentences trying to build a wall between you and what you love to do are just part of the process for all of us.

They are not not gatekeepers, they are distractions, and we have the ability to turn them into fuel for finishing our work.

If it helps you can take the time to write about them as a writing exercise, but don't allow them to take your energy or your time from your work.

2. Find Your Style

For some people writing everyday is their thing, I've talked with other writers who use one month or a block of three months out of the year to let it all pour out.

Part of being a writer is figuring out what works best for you and your art. I've found reading other writers books on their writing process has helped me find what works best for me.

This is my list of favorite books on writing:

Steven Pressfield: The War of Art 

Steven King: On Writing 

Julia Cameron: Finding Water and The Artist Way

Anne Lammott: Bird by Bird

3. Here Is the Secret to Writing

In high school I took a course called Screenwriters Boot Camp. On all their materials was printed: The Secret To Writing is Writing.

Singers sing, fighters fight, haters hate, bakers bake, painters paint, and if we are a writers we must write.

4. Writing Is a Lonely Gig

Plenty of people want to be writers in their mind, but once they realize how much alone time, relentless repetitions of rewrites, and rejection is involved they quit.

Writing is a lonely gig, but we are not alone. Here is part of a note I sent to a young writer today:

I wanted to encourage the use of your gift, this world needs your voice and your words. When you sit down to hammer away at your art know you are not alone. When you are writing there is an entire community of us hammering out words together and wishing the best for you, your work, and your journey.


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