I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shared with people that I’m an author/editor and they’ve responded with, “Oh! I’ve always wanted to write a book!” or “I’ve been thinking about writing a book!” or “I started to write a book a few years ago but never finished it…” As they enthusiastically launch into how they were writing a memoir, I simply present a polite smile and nod. Not because I’m uninterested or am a mean-spirited person, mind you. But because such responses are nearly constant. It’s become a running joke between myself and my husband.
The best advice I can impart wannabe writers is this: develop self-discipline. Sit down and write. Force yourself to write. Every day. Set a schedule, make it a part of your routine, and do it. Don’t make excuses. Self-discipline separates writers from wannabe authors.
It was American Robert Greene who said, “Mastery is not a function of genius or talent; it is a function of time and intense focus applied to a particular field or knowledge.” Just like anything else in life, if you want to be good at something, you must practice it. Even if you’ve had a stressful day or are exhausted, if it is your desire to be an accomplished author, open that MS Word document and write!
Even when I’m exhausted from a day’s activities, I open my work in progress. My mind might be unable to produce content at that moment, but I can most definitely reread what I’ve written, edit, and place myself in that creative mindset. Don’t talk yourself out of it!
I also recommend that you read, read, read! How can you write if you do not like to read? How can you connect with readers if you don’t continuously explore how others do it? Expose yourself to a variety of genres and take note of how authors convey information. If you passionately read YA fiction, delve into a memoir. If you usually select mystery-thrillers, pick up a steamy romance novel or a historical fiction book. The more you expose yourself to the incredibly vast world of writing, the deeper your well of experience and comprehension grows.
It's just that simple—and difficult.
Owner/Editor of Emerging Ink Solutions, avid YA/NA author, adamant supporter of the Oxford Comma, anime and music enthusiast.