Monday, May 11, 2020

"I Want To Be A Writer, But..."

Look over the title of this post and think of three ways to finish the sentence. I am sure everyone who wants to be a writer can provide five or ten reasons. Even people who have started their journey and who are developing their process can still throw in a few reasons. Being a writer is not easy, and within this is a lot of room for self-doubt, hesitancy, and plenty of excuses to stop trying to be a writer. However, I can also show that none of them are true.

Mary Kubica, author and
time-management guru
Full disclosure: When I first ventured into writing, I had a lot of self-doubt. My motivation was unquestionable, as I mentioned in my first post, "Starting Off As A Writer," but my doubts were legion. My three ways to finish that sentence at the time would've been "... I didn't have the skills," "...there wasn't enough time," and "...I'm probably not as good as real writers." These were all perfect answers for the time. Funny story: I proved them all wrong.

First and foremost, let me say this as a constant reminder to everyone who wants to be a writer: Once you start writing, you're a writer. When you dedicate yourself to telling stories with the written word and communicating things to the world, you're a writer. The qualifications are not too high - you need to start writing, and keep on writing. Not too tough. Now, does this make you the awesome, world-changing writer you wish to be? Nope, but it's a start. It's the journey of a thousand miles starting with the first step, and most of the steps involve just writing.

To be honest, most doubts we have come from the simple fact that we look at simple truths and think they will never change. When I started writing, the facts on the ground were that I did not have the best writing skills for creative narratives, my job occupied most of my time, and I was not as good as most writers. My doubts were validated in that very moment. However, I made the conscious decision that those were not permanent situations, and that my world could change if I so chose. I could work on my skills. I could read more and see just how those real writers made their magic. I could go to workshops and ask questions, and if I was so dedicated, I could make time. And if you think you just can't make time, let me tell you about Mary Kubica.

Mary Kubica is a local author who does a lot of speaking about how she first pursued her goal of writing a novel. If you think you are short of spare time, she started writing when she had just become a new mother. (Note: Babies require a lot of time and attention.) However, she had a story in mind that she wanted to write. She decided to write it, and worked out a plan. The baby woke up around 5:30 every morning, so she would wake up at 5:00 and start typing until her little one woke up. Little half-hour bursts of activity created her first novel, "The Good Girl," which got published, got rave reviews, led to a few publishing contracts, five more books, and eventually a Netflix deal. One-half-hour at a time led to all that. Even a new mother had the time once she decided to become a writer.

Simply put, there are only two reasons you can't be a writer - you can't read or you never learned to write - and the fact that you are reading this post voids those excuses. Any other reason is merely a doubt that can be dispelled by the simple task of writing. So start writing, and whenever you think something might get in your way... keep on writing.

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