When was the last time you ended up in despair while scrawling down your thoughts? Maybe, you’re thinking I am not a writer, how I would hunch over the chair like a quirky recluse to write. If you think people sit to write when they can churn out thousand of words in a matter of an hour, you’re wrong.
You have to strew around hundreds of those crumpled sheets of practised work to get published and turn people saying:
“Hey! Did you write that article in NewYorker? I’m your fan, autograph please!”
If you want to become a writer or a kickass writer for that matter, keep writing, and yes, keep reading.
A couple of days ago, I flipped through some of my intentionally-joined facebook groups, and I saw a post by someone who was arranging a seminar on, “How to earn money writing articles?”
I thought, really? Either the attendees will be Shakespear, Homer, Kafka, Hemingway, you name it – who need to monetize their magnum opus. Or there will be dumb brutes who just need quick bucks to let know their friends know how best writers they are.
I appreciate when arrangments are made to spur awareness among the masses. But you should keep in mind the people around you and what you’re trying to deliver. If you want to let people know how to make money writing, rather than how to write first, I would check back my statistics on the crap in the digital writing.
Don’t chase paper notes (including coins – worth spending). If your first day writing task diverts your attention to making six figure income, paid leaves somewhere near Koh Samui ( You know it’s in Thailand), creating the best online company future, rather than concentrating on writing well, I’ll encourage you to retreat to your brick and mortar job (or what you were up to before it).
Don’t write with the intentions to earn money. Write in the first place because you can’t live without it. The Money would come naturally. Write because you feel like it. Because you are a writer – yes, you’re a writer. Start writing today, and I’ll call you one.
You Have to Read A lot and Also Write A Lot
Write! Read! Write! And start over
There is no magic wand to swirl around your skull that will carve you out the next Hemingway, I’m super enthusiastic now to let you know the reality because I want you to become a good writer (If the tone is harsh, can you do anything? Nothing, ok!). There is, however, a way you can be a better writer, and that is to read a lot and write a lot.
Stephen King in his book, On writing, debunked some of the old concepts of writing well. As long as you’re writing – forget if you think you only write the shit – and reading, you’re on the track. A week ago I returned to the dorm after a vigorous football match, drench in the sweet and angry at the opponent who banged my knee. I was hobbling around, when my side roommate stopped me and asked:
“I have heard that you’re a writer, and in fact a great one ( Really, am I?). How to be the one like you, or maybe, better?”
And he asked me to teach him for an hour a day so that he may write well. I appreciate people who dare to dive in the pool of writing. And who are keen to further their writing skills, but an hour a day, or asking when you’re hardly making it to the room for some respite, is bad. If you want to become a writer, I can give you tips. But please, oh please, put that 60 minutes – that you want me to teach you for daily – in reading and writing and sometimes more than that.
There is a question, however. What to write? About the toe Jam? Or the last night spooky dreams that enraged you? Write whatever comes to your mind. How was your week? How that girl in the nook of the street pulsated your almost dying heart? What about her bewitching beauty?” Write about your favorite teacher ( If any, I hope nay!) There is a simple rule. Read. And write about what you have read. But don’t copy.
Not a big deal right, then just write, right?
Write about this girl – make a story out of this picture (Nice smile by the way)
“If you don’t have the time to read, then you don’t have the time (or the tools) to
write.” – Stephen King
How often should one write? Cut back on the time to watch Arrow season’s next episode, spend less time scrolling down the facebook’s newsfeed and commenting on your favorite trolling post. Calculate how much time you can put aside out of that. Fifteen or thirty minutes? Review your schedule, and amend it again and again till you have a couple of hours only for writing. Follow the same fashion and save some time for reading. Read your arse off and write ( Your ….. off – don’t fill the blank).
Read the newspaper daily. Have you an access to one? No? Unfortunately,the online world is full of Holy shit – but you’ll still find things worth reading, anyway. Huffington Post, NewYorker ( That you’ll be writing for in the near future), Washington Post, Lifehack, Dumblittleman, and so many others are at your finger tip. Read them. Make a habit reading at least 4000 words a day. It takes me 7-10 minutes reading these much words. You’ll find it harder to make it to the end line, but it’s gonna be okay! Just keep reading newbie.
Fear is Your Enemy – You Don’t Fear Anything
“To err is human.” You don’t need to fear heaping scorn at by your friend if you wrote worth trashing piece. You have just started writing – your writing needs not to make any sense. Just keep writing ( I hope you won’t opt for writing in the Mongolian language). Want to read my first ever piece of writing? ( It was nearly in Mongolian, I’m afraid you will laugh at me).
It will be the best content one day if you never give up writing. Don’t explain if you have mention things that make sense to you only, it’s your game, not theirs. Set your table in the corner of the room, dip your fresh favorite flower bundle in the embellished vase and set your tools. You have the workplace. When you start working on the writing project, don’t forget to set the timer.
A couple of years back, when I was a novice in the field of writing. I had written occasionally, but I was not satisfied with my writing. I sent an email to a company which was training new writers to write better and quick. I was chosen for their program based on my previous writings. Stina Froust, one of the trainer’s team, said:
“You can write better only if you will write without fear.”
She felt me a strong, motivated person in this field, And I didn’t fear anything since then.
When you’re ready to write, keep with yourself a timer, and set the time for, say, 15 minutes. Write anything that comes to your mind in those minutes. Write the name of things that you think are blue. No matter if you wrote “my blue nose.” Just jot it down. You can write a story about the capsizing boat on your way back home through the lake. Don’t focus on concluding the story, just keep writing that comes to your mind. Anything like your routine, even a memorable day of your life will work. But as the time is up. Keep out and stop.
Make this your daily habit. And tomorrow you’ll be a better writer than today. Don’t fear to join online writing communities and friend’s circles – you will find fine people who will help you with your writing, show them your piece.
If you will keep circulating your writings around wrong people like an emergency notice to get remarks, those random smudges and dots from them will sadden you internally. Find someone ( Sure, there will be) around you who is better at writing and who can help you with it. If you live somewhere near me I’m ready to help.
Keep the fear at a bay, you won’t be a writer until you call yourself one. “God! I fear no one but you, and those who belittle my writing, I’m not afraid of them.” Now you won’t fear anyone except God ( If you’re not happened to be an atheist).
Always Write With A Door Closed
Now your door is locked, start writing
I have seen lots of people who think writing is a natural process that will find its way no matter if you happened to be sitting in a coffee house, or in a room where little girls clump around in mommy’s high heels. They argue that you can write, if you have the knack for it, everywhere in distraction. They may be right, you can doodle from few lines to thousand of words, but I would not look at it; it won’t be the good as it should be.
If you want to write and can’t help procrastinating your next article, I will encourage you to write with a door closed. Free from any distractions and outside world. Sometimes, your mom may be calling for the lunch but you have to deal with it. Let her know that it would be great if she could put aside the lunch to eat it later. You can make your timing accordingly; don’t sit to write when your peak hours of working outside begin.
“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” – Stephen King
Get your other works done before writing and let others know that now it’s crucial hours – don’t disturb, or I’ll cut your throat (Just kidding).
When you do it with a door closed, all your acme encapsulates around the room. And the moment you sit on a chair and start writing then everything is just between your mind and a paper.
When I started writing, I didn’t know any of these techniques. I would just start writing in a Tv room (would you dare to write there?), or crank out few hundred words typing through my smartphone while waiting for my turn in a Barber Shop (The barber was kinda subject in such articles).
It was not a good idea. While the nuggets used to flow smoothly, I had no power to jot them down perfectly.
Be like this cat, it won’t leave the library even if someone wants it to
If you visit barber shop, oozing through the queues to cash the cheque, or sitting in the hallway for a train, don’t start writing. You can make that time worth lauding by reading. Just read. keep with yourself something to read, or if you own a smartphone, you’re prone to decode your numbed intellect; ebooks, blogs, Journals, online newspaper, articles – all are there at your fingertip. But writing? Do it when you are back to your comfort zone. When there will not be that petulant barber and annoying customers, or Bankers loafing around while ignoring the long queues of poor people ( Rich get things done without standing in queues – like me)
Keep A Paper Pad With You All the Time
You can do better, buy yourself a smaller one
I hope you won’t think of A4 size paper pad. Just a small one – that fits your pocket and that doesn’t let you cringe down due to its heavy weight. Whenever you find something intriguing and charming, like words or sentence or a paragraph, pull out your tools, and copy them down.
Some people can remember things easily most often than others. If you are not one of those God-Gifted, no matter. You need to store things in your secondary memory – on the paper pad that you have in your pocket.
Did you read something this about Mr Palmer, “It’s the swing, the swagger we’ll always remember, a humble confidence that inspired us to overcome our own imperfection.” Write it down, the word “swagger” may be of interest. Don’t be a muggle, learn it (Please, oh please, learn it yourself). Plan to write at least 10 new words a day, or a paragraph that is completely new to you. At the end of the week, you will have 70 new words in your writing arsenal. And when the month ends, you will surpass your so called erudite university professor.
Are you sure you want to become a writer? Warning ! There could be sleepless nights that you have to go through. Because sometimes you will need to read a lot the whole day, or struggling with the story for hours that will hardly leave you slumbered at night. But that is not a big issue. As long as you’re determined to the cause and the next episode of your favorite season is somewhat less prioritised, you’ll be the best writer.
What are you waiting for? Go on to encroach upon the vast territory of writing. And let me know how you’re doing.