Writing isn’t a walk in the park
When you start writing a book, you quickly realize that writing is only a tip of the iceberg. Writing a book means you are not only a creative writer, but you’re also a business entrepreneur, a PR, a Salesperson, and even a Publisher in some instances.
As if writing, itself, wasn’t hard enough, there are a few things to know when you start writing a book. For starter, you must learn all the intricacies of the industry. And, even if you’re ready to take on that challenge, you’ll have to keep pushing yourself to go above and beyond. In this situation, it is beneficial to rely on a strong support system, but unfortunately, not everyone will have this shoulder to lean on. This profession can get lonely at times.
Have you ever heard someone tell you that writing was a waste of time, that it won’t pay the bills? Did anyone ever say you were foolish and that your writing isn’t good enough, and that no one will ever be interested?
Sounds familiar? You’re not alone.
At the end of the day, people won’t always be supportive. Criticism is easy, especially for individuals who don’t get it.
I mean, how do you explain that you need to write like you need to drink water? How do you make them see that this is important to you? Really, how can you make people see that?
As far as I’m concerned, the answer is “You don’t.”
And, this is the hard part. Convincing them that you need to write is going to take time and energy. Don’t ruin your efforts and energy; use that time wisely.
One day, it’ll pay off. Keep doing what you do with passion and stick to it. There are many proponents to writing on a daily basis, and I’m one of them, even if in reality I can’t seem to apply this principle. Ultimately, you need to prepare yourself. Jeff Goins said in a training video that to succeed, we need to be in the right mindset. I had never thought of this before, but he is right.
So what does it take to be a writer? What are the attributes needed?
I thought about it and wondered what being a writer teaches you and requires.
To be a writer is to look at fear in the eyes and say I’ll do it. There are so many mental barriers to break. Fear of failing, not being good enough, being criticized, or not being heard. The list is long. I’m not even scratching the surface.
Money is also an issue. How will you pay the bills if it doesn’t work? Many stick with their job and progress is so slow that the motivation fades. Some may quit before time and realize that they were not prepared. The modern world seems to be in a hurry, and you need to keep the pace. So, being a writer is to be comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone.
Writers aren’t known for being outgoing individuals. I’m no exception. Of course, there are always a few exceptions. I’ve heard amazing speeches from a few authors at writing conferences, and I command them. I don’t enjoy public speaking or even the simple act of asking for anything. It isn’t in my DNA, but I’m working on it.
With that said, this community is full of awesome writers, authors, and bloggers. It’s worth the efforts. You make friends, learn faster, and get a fantastic support.
Learn to accept critiques (good or bad), be open to the possibility you’re doing something wrong, or there is simply a different way of doing it that may be better. Critiques aren’t fun, but it’s a necessary evil to progress.
Also, never be afraid to kill your darlings! The story is what matters. Let it be what it should, and don’t keep anything you like that is a disservice to the story.
Writing is a long-term commitment. You need to feel strongly about what you write, or there is no chance you’ll get to the end. It takes months, even years, to write a book.
Imagine if J.K. Rowling did not like Harry Potter, she would be seriously screwed to have to hear all about it 10 years later… That’s just an example, but no matter if you’re selling your book successfully or not, it will take time to write it.
Some stories feel more real than if it had happened in real life, and that’s because of the writers’ ability to create that moment. Depending on what you write, reading specific materials or interviewing people are essential to be true to your story. All the research is solely conducted to bring truths in your writing.
I talked about how important reading was to become a good writer. Reading is a wonderful way to learn how to write, get ideas, and find out more about your theme.
A writer is always seeking that idea that will make the story even better.
Hard work and Discipline
Both goes without saying. Write every day! Write even when you don’t feel like it, and this is hard. I’m not afraid of challenges, and I love writing, but, with a family and a full-time job, I’m always exhausted. Finding motivation, when your body and brain beg for a nap, is rough.
With that said, discipline and hard work go together. There is no shortcut.
You have to have some of it, but beware of too much as well. Good work will need countless revision, but you need to recognize that your book is ready for publishing. Do not rush and do not procrastinate. There is a delicate balance to reach that practice and reading will provide over time.
Writing a book is an incredible feeling. Read and write a lot. When you’re passionate about it, the thrill is addictive. Of course, there will be ups and downs, but your ability to overcome the struggle by displaying these attributes will make the experience worth every sweat.