On Writing

Before you put pen to paper…

 

So you want to be a published author?

If you’re like a great many people, this longing likely stirs up a sense of trepidation.

Maybe you see yourself as having tons of disadvantages that make it seem a far-fetched idea that your name would grace the cover of a book that actually sells.

Perhaps you’re quite young and you’re afraid people will think you too inexperienced to have anything worthwhile to say. Perhaps you’re in your later years and you’re wondering whether your concepts would resonate with readers of this era.

Maybe you didn’t finish your schooling, or was told by early educators that you wouldn’t amount to much. Or maybe you’ve always been an avid reader, but, because the demands of life herded you into a non-literary career, you’ve never had the time or mental space to put pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard.

Whatever has kept you from writing that great tome so far, you can be sure that there will be lots of people who will tell you it’s all a pipe-dream.

Don’t let anyone laugh at your dream or talk you out of it.

It’s your right to write!

Claim it!

Revel in it!

Young or old, degree-holder or not, millionaire or pauper, we are all unique. Each one of us  is here for a reason. Each one of us has some experience in life that is of value and from which someone or many people can benefit. By writing, either fiction or non-fiction, we can share with the world that gift that springs from our unique life experience.

Putting the naysayers on mute is the first step to realizing your dream of becoming a published author.

And that includes not only the people who stand before in flesh and blood, but also the voice that you may hear in your head.

Sure, you know the one…it sounds like you, but it’s not in tune with what’s going on in your heart.

You want to write, but that voice says no one will care to read even the first page of your book. It says you’re not Mr X or Ms Y who have four or five titles on the bestseller lists. It tells you don’t even know how to start, or it may remind you that you’ve took a stab at writing several times before but have never finished a project.

Chase that voice away whenever it tries to enter your head.

Replace it with a new mantra: “It’s my right to write!”

Here’s a secret that every writer, every artist, every songwriter or singer, every creative person, or anybody for that matter who is called upon to perform in any sphere knows: talent is not the deciding factor in your success – your mindset is.

Every area of human endeavor is littered with highly talented folk who do not shine – and less talented individuals who win wide acclaim. When you see that happening, it’s often because there’s a great difference between what ones at the top of their game are telling themselves and the self-talk that the under-performers are listening to.

If you figure you’ll never be a writer, then you’ll never be one, no matter how much your heart aches to see your name on the spine of a book on the shelves of your local bookstore.

But if you believe you are a writer, if you claim your right to write, and if you assure yourself that somebody or many people not only will want but also will need your work, here’s what, you will write, and you will be compelled to write and write more, continually improving your skills so that the work you put out will find its readers.

So, remember to check who and what you’re listening to as you embark on your adventure as a writer. Seek the company of those who understand and can support your dream. And ensure that the most important voice – the one within – is your biggest cheerleader.