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How to start writing in 2021

4 min read

You woke up on January 1st with a fixed idea. You wanna be a writer. Alright, this happened to me a few years ago and I know a couple of things that can help you with your goal.

But first, know that being a writer is not what you think. You’re not gonna just sit today in front of a typewriter, computer, or paper and write one of the classics of 30 years from now or the next bestseller just because you want it. Well, you might, though. But chances are this is not gonna happen and you have to be aware of that before you start it.

You’ll have to deal with frustrations, limitations, skills, and techniques that you’ll need to develop or acquire, time (a lot of time).

Or you’re just ready and this article is not for you. If you’re not ready, keep reading…

So, with that said, the best advice for starting to write, and I may be contradicting myself now, is: Just start writing. Today. Don’t wait.

But hear me out. After you start it, here are some habits and thoughts to build during the process of becoming the writer you want to be.

write every day

This advice is often misunderstood. I wasn’t an advocate of “write every day” before but now I understand it a little bit more.

Writing every day means to dedicate a little time of your day to writing. But it’s not about writing the same thing over and over, or, in other words, working on the same project every day. Sometimes we need to diversify a little bit. Change the channels of our brain so we can make different connections and avoid feeling stuck or in a rut.

So, write every day and write different stuff every day. Sentences of your novel, verses of a poem, a few lines of your blog post, entries of your journal, etc.

And doing it every day will make you build up some writing muscle and it will make the whole process easier.

Write every day.

read a lot

If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader. That’s obvious and simple but I’ve seen this being ignored.

Reading gives you the tools you need to write your own work, be original, honest, and know where you’re going.

Books teach you about sentence building, language usage, story structure, character arcs, world building, elements of a genre, dialogue writing, good, and bad reading experiences, and the list goes on. They also give you ideas and references. So, books and reading are essential in your writing life.

Read a lot.

think about your reader

If you think of writing as an art, there’s a romantic idea that whatever you write will have an audience and that you don’t have to think about a specific reader. That’s true, it happens sometimes. There’s an audience for everything in this crazy world.

And you might also think that writing with a specific type of reader in mind — a persona — means to be commercial and write with money or selling books in mind too, which is not art for you. You’re wrong.

When we write to publish, we want to be read. We want to elicit emotions, we want to teach something or tell a good story. Knowing what kind of reader you want to reach with your words is essential to decide on what kind of language you’re going to use, the length of your work, the voice, the word choice, timing, and so on.

You have to think of the best reading experience you can provide, even if your work is gonna be available for free.

So, think about your reader.

educate yourself

This one can raise a big discussion. And you never should stop everything you’re doing to get some education and then start writing. Otherwise, you’re gonna take seven years to write your first novel (I’ve got a friend in this situation).

But learning about the craft is important. Read books on writing, read author’s journals, read interviews with famous authors, watch videos, read blogs, sign up for courses and workshops, and read about techniques on every aspect of writing.

I promise you that you won’t become a writing robot with this. Once you dive into this education world, everything is going to mingle in your head, and instead of writing by the book, you’ll just see yourself able to choose a myriad of tools to write better.

just write

Just write and have fun with it.

Now, for the comments…

What kind of writer are you or what kind of writer do you wanna be? Let me know…

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