Things I wish I knew a long time ago
I have always loved writing, and I’ve always harbored hope that I could be a professional writer someday. But it always seemed like a far-off pipe dream.
This summer, I had the time, energy, and tools to actually give it a try. And you know what? It’s been pretty freakin’ awesome.
Here are five things I wish I had known well before now because I probably could have done things a long time ago.
You can succeed without any formal training as a writer
I don’t have any post-secondary education in writing. And yet, in the two and half months since I started putting a significant effort into writing, with the goal of becoming a full-time freelance writer, I have done remarkably well. I make a decent amount of money on Medium, and I just landed my first client!
Cut yourself some slack
There are some days when writing is a chore. I’m currently trying to navigate out of the labyrinth of depression, so I definitely have days where writing just isn’t going to happen. But I plan for these days and make sure I’m a little ahead in the game, so I don’t fall behind.
But even if you’re not ahead, and even if you’re already behind, who cares? You come first. You can’t produce your best if you’re not feeling it.
Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere
I write a lot of different things. Sometimes, I write fiction, horror fiction, personal essays, and anything else I feel like. I use my environment to help me come up with ideas when the inspiration well runs dry or nothing on my ‘ideas list’ catches my attention.
If you check out my work on Medium, you can see quite a few examples of how I overcome a lack of inspiration. But if you’re writing for a specific project, you probably can’t just look around you and decide you’re going to write about cats. You have a specific topic with a specific goal.
In this case, use your resources. Are there experts in your field that you find inspiring? Take ten minutes and read or watch something by them. Look at other sites with a similar topic. Then shake it off.
I believe in you.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
I wouldn’t have gotten this far this quickly without the support and feedback from the writing community. If you haven’t posted on Medium before, take a breath and just do it. The community is amazingly supportive. Tweet your heart out on Twitter. Share your work on LinkedIn. Submit your story to that contest.
I know how intimidating it feels at first. But imagine the worst thing that could happen if you do the thing. I will tell you, that the worst thing 99% of the time won’t happen. Why? Because the writing community, at least in my experience, is supportive of new writers. So take that huge step and add your important words to the world.
Support other writers
One of the biggest things that I can tell you is to join communities and participate. Tell other people the kinds of things you would want to hear. Be kind. If there is something you don’t agree with, disagree respectfully. Nobody wants a Facebook comments section fight over their Medium article. Find your people. I promise they’re out there.
And that’s it! Welcome, new writer! I hope that you find some of this helpful in your adventure into writing. Even if writing is just a hobby, these tips can make writing a lot easier and more enjoyable.
What other tips would you give new writers?
Check out my Medium Stories!