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Any writer gets to a point where they suddenly stop and ask themselves – is this really for me? Was I meant to do this, or am I chasing a pipe dream?
Without a doubt, writing is something that not everyone can do. People have ideas, they have concepts that they want to put into words – but not everyone can find the right ways to put those sentences together.
And so, the most common question often asked enters the picture – are writers born or made?
Honestly, I believe that although there are some people who are born with higher literary acumen compared to others, it is always about what you do with your talent that makes all the difference. Some people may have a way with words, but if they do not hone the skill, they will get rustier through time.
On the flipside, there are those who are not as great with words at the start, but strive for excellence and do everything possible to have access to every tool that will make them get better at the art. These people sometimes end up becoming even better than the people who have always had a gift with words.
So you see, it’s not really about whether you were born to write or not. It’s all about your passion and commitment, your willingness to do everything possible to reach your writing goals.
Things Writers (Whether Budding or Experienced) Should Remember
Are you intent on getting your writing career rolling? Then stop asking yourself whether you were born to do it or not and go ahead and jump right into it. Here are a few tips that could help you out, whether you’re just a budding writer or have already had experience in the field.
The process may not be linear all the time.
Just because you have 14 chapters in the novel you’re writing does not mean that you have to start from the first chapter and work your way up to the last. You might wake up one morning having an excellent idea for the climax of the story. Regardless if you’ve written about the events leading to it, you can go ahead and write what’s in your head while it’s still there.
It’s okay to have more than one project.
Some people think that focusing on one project at a time will help them improve their craft. What they don’t realize is that they would need something to jump to the moment they feel stumped in the middle of whatever they’re writing at the moment. It would be great if you had a project or two that you’re working on at the same time as your main task, so that anytime you feel like you’re facing a blank wall on that specific topic, you can go ahead and jump into something else without having to stop writing.
You can edit your own work, too.
Although having someone else to edit your work is a must, you must also understand that you have to learn how to edit your own work as well. Someone else will be able to see things that your eyes do not see. However, learning how to do this yourself will also help you improve your own craft. You will notice mistakes that you made but didn’t see when you were still writing the content, and you would most probably consciously avoid making the same errors the next time you write.
Social media is not always helpful.
Yes, social media is a great way to promote your work and to connect with potential clients. Any other online activity can also be considered important, like emails. However, social media and other similar platforms can also one of the biggest distractions you may have, especially when you’re in the middle of a project. You may think that you’re just taking a quick break to check emails or see if there are important messages on your Facebook profile, but this quick break can turn into hours wasted not writing.
Inspiration comes in many different forms.
Although it’s normal for writers to turn to the work of their favorite writers when they’re trying to find inspiration, remember that inspiration can also come in different forms. Aside from books, poems, and other published work, you can also use music, paintings, or nature as inspiration. Try sitting on a park bench and just observing everybody as they pass. Every single element around you can inspire you, you just have to find the right spark.
You may have heard these five things before, but these are things that could help you get your writing in order.
From the Mouths of Experts
In any field, people we consider as experts or influencers will always have knowledge to impart, especially for those who are just starting out. The same thing can be said about the literary field.
Writers whose work have been read all over the world may be making it big today, but it wasn’t always like that. They started out at the bottom just like you. This is why if there’s anyone who can give you all the writing advice that you need, it would be other writers who have been there and done that. And if there’s anything that could give you the inspiration you need, it would be their very own words about how writing should be.
Here are 20 of the most powerful quotes about writing, coming from some of the biggest writers in history.
- You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it. – Neil Gaiman
- If you want to be a writer, you must do two things about all others:read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. – Stephen King
- Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. – Anne Lamott
- Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, “Listen to me”. – Jhumpa Lahiri
- Don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work – Pearl S. Buck
- Write your first draft with your heart. Rewrite with your head. – Mike Rich
- The objective of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story…to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all. – Stephen King
- Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. – Barbara Kingsolver
- I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen–whether I’m working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book–it’s usually because I’m trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place. – Jeffery Deaver
- The secret of it all is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood of the moment–to put things down without deliberation–without worrying about their style–without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote–wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught. – Walt Whitman
- You fail only if you stop writing. – Ray Bradbury
- People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it. — R.L. Stine
- When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. — George Orwell
- Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. … I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them. — Gore Vidal
- Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try. — Jim Tully
- Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper. — Ray Bradbury
- It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. — Ernest Hemingway
- Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk—away from any open flames—to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty. — George Singleton
- The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes. — Andre Gide
- If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. — Elmore Leonard
Put these words to heart and make them resonate within your writer’s soul. You may not know it yet, but these words could very well be the triggers you have been looking for to jumpstart a successful writing career.