There are so many people who dream of becoming writers. Yet there aren’t as many who actually dare to try.
And this isn’t surprising because writers’ work is associated with so many challenges and difficulties. There are plenty of people who start writing even as a hobby and yet still quit doing so after a couple of months, complaining that this is too hard for them.
Sure, writer’s block is hard and the whole writing process can be painful sometimes – but only because you don’t know how to overcome these challenges yet. Some writers learn to do so from their own experience, but you don’t need to do so. Here are five tips that can help you make your writing process less complex and terrifying, find joy in it, and become a great writer eventually.
1. Don’t simply read everything – analyze it.
One of the most common advice beginner writers get is to read a lot, for example, books for writers. This advice is really important: by doing so, you’ll be able to learn from the best. However, don’t settle for reading only – instead, try to understand why do others write like they write.
Why does it matter? Because when you’re paying attention not only to the plot, characters, and overall logic of the text but also to writer’s style, the way the dialogs are built, and so on, you are able to learn much quicker.
2. Create a writing habit.
Consistency is one of the most important skills for a writer. Consistency makes the whole writing process easier and often quicker, but what’s even more important is that it changes the attitude towards writing. If you write only when an inspiration strikes, it’s not often convenient: for example, you might not have enough time to write. And it might take years for you to finish a small novel under these circumstances.
A writing habit changes that. It makes writing easier: sure, you struggle a lot at first, but it starts coming more naturally as time passes. Moreover, the more you practice, the better you write.
There are so many ways to write daily: you can try freewriting, join a challenge like NaNoWriMo, schedule an hour for writing each morning or evening, or simply promise yourself to not go to bed until you write 100 words. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it helps you spend at least a bit of your daily time on writing.
3. Make a writing ritual.
While a habit makes your writing more consistent, a ritual makes it more pleasant. Not all writers have their own rituals – not all of them actually need to have one. However, if you struggle with your writing, creating a certain pleasant routine can definitely help you make the whole process less complicated.
Create a writing playlist. Make a space when you’re going to write daily. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee before you start writing. Buy a special pen (in case you prefer handwriting) or go to a certain café if you prefer writing on a laptop and watching the world around you. All these things and details might seem insignificant but they can actually help you shift into the right mood as long as you use them often.
4. Prepare to edit and rewrite.
Some writers (especially beginner ones) think that text should be perfect from the start. That’s why they write slowly, choose the words very carefully, polishing the text during the writing process, and even writing thesis statement definition.
However, coming up with a finished text is much more important than coming up with a polished one. As disappointing as it might seem, there aren’t many texts who are good right from the first draft. Most of the texts require a lot of thorough editing and rewriting. Sometimes the final draft is actually very different from the first one.
That’s why it’s so important to finish the text first and edit in when it’s done. This way you’ll be able to see the whole picture more clearly. Moreover, it can be good not to overthink each sentence in the process and simply let the words flow. Chances are that you’ll be able to write something amazing this way.
5. Build a healthy attitude.
One of the biggest challenges of writing is to actually learn to enjoy it. This comes naturally for some people and is painfully hard for others.
It’s important to treat yourself and your writing right. It’s okay to question your writing, your characters’ motivation, your plot-twists, etc. It’s not okay to let your inner doubts and criticism affect your writing and your attitude towards the process. It’s not okay to let the fear of being criticized stop you from publishing your texts even after they are finished or let the first rejection stop you from pursuing your dreams.
If you are worried about flaws and don’t trust yourself with it, ask your friends to voice their opinion. Also, ask them to be kind if this really bothers you. Remember that what people think about your writing is not what they think about you as a person. Keep in mind that rejections and critics don’t mean that your text is bad – they only mean that some specific people didn’t like it.
And most of all, don’t be your worst critic. Writing is a creative process, it’s a process of expressing yourself, sharing some of your ideas and experience with the world. It can be painful – but it’s up to you to make it pleasant and exciting. So give your writing a chance.