I am a writer. Are you?
I am learning to sit down at my desk and commit words to the page rather than talk about them or jot the notes down. Are you?
I am learning to plan for my own success. Are you?
But seriously, these are three of things that I have desperately needed to do in order to take that next step forward with my writing.
#1. Declaring that I am a writer.
This is not as easy as it sounds. I first heard it in a workshop when the facilitator handed us a blank sheet of paper and asked us to write the words “I am a writer.” on the page. No questions. Just write.
Thinking that we were going to be taking notes or writing about why I thought I could declare myself a writer, I wrote those words neatly on the first line of the paper, as did most of the people in the workshop.
Lori, the facilitator, then told us we didn’t believe in ourselves enough, didn’t believe in our writing enough.
As a writer, you must be as bold about writing and a carpenter is about building houses. If you ask that carpenter what he/she does for a living, he tells you with pride that he builds houses.
Why is it that most writers are not as bold or proud about writing as that carpenter is about building houses?
It’s time to declare your job/career/ability as a writer. It’s time to write because you are passionate about it. It’s time to write because something inside you calls you to write, just like the postcard under the glass on my desktop says to me every day.
#2. Time at task
For the past two years as I have adapted to full time writing and retired from classroom teaching, I have had great difficulty with this. No more. At the beginning of July, I vowed to myself that I would get into my writing studio every day and write for at least 10 minutes. Ten minutes has grown to 30 and even 60.
Sometimes I am typing, but sometimes it is old school pen to paper.
If you declare yourself as a writer, now is the time to start doing something about it. In other words, SIT DOWN AND COMMIT WORDS TO THE PAGE.
#3. At the Tennessee Writers Workshop put on my Writer’s Digest, one of the presenters impressed upon me the necessity of planning. Not the planning of my next novel or story, but planning where I see my career going and what I am going to do to push that forward. He talked about the difference between the idea of finishing the novel I’m working on and the idea of “I want to publish “X number of novels” in the next five years (or at least write them).
It’s not enough to sit down and write each and every day. As a writer, you are your own CEO.
We were asked to envision where we saw ourselves in the next year – five years – and ten years.
It’s not enough to have yourself seated and writing each day. You need to develop a plan and the path to achieve that plan. It’s that plan that I am working on developing right now.