Three Ways to Make Writing Your Work

November 26, 2010
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At Be the Writer You Dream of Being, we look at the writer both inside and out.   Being practical people, we want to share these three ways to make writing your work: Mindset, Money and Experience.

1) Mindset: It’s who I am not what I do.

This is about changing your mindset and your verbal responses from  “I work in sales; as a waitress; office manager; sausage factory operator; or teacher and oh by the way I write as well,” to proudly exclaiming “I am a writer.”

Of course the next questions might put you off and sound something like

  • Do you earn enough money at it?
  • What do you write?
  • Would I have heard of you?
  • Yes, but what else do you do?

Anticipate these and come up with good-feeling answers in response.  Brainstorm a few ideas. Think of it as writing practice!

We know to stamp ‘writer’ on your metaphorical forehead can take guts, especially when just starting out, but the passion and commitment that you feel inside needs to be reflected in your conversation with the world. Feeling proud of your decision to stick with your art form trains your subconscious and will enhance your writing confidence.

Let’s make one thing very clear; this isn’t about what other people think of you.  It’s not about proclaiming that you are a ‘writer’ and doing a rather large bow with a purple feathered hat, but actually about what you think of yourself and what you want to tell the world.

We can help with practical tips on irritating questions, but this belief has to come from you. Do you have trouble saying ‘I’m a writer’?   If you do struggle with this, write down why and try to understand this limiting view you hold about yourself. Once you understand it, you can change it!  We have some nifty techniques to help you do that, which we’ll be offering here in weeks to come.

2) Money: We all need it.

You can be proud and practical at the same time.  We all need money to live. But how much do you need? What are you prepared to give up to ensure that writing becomes your real work?

Work bottom up

Work out your outgoings and the absolute final amount of money that you need each month to live on. If you currently earn more than this, can you work smarter or longer hours on one day so that you can build writing time into other parts of your week?

Ask Yourself

Do you need to host another dinner party? Do you need to go out and spend £50 on a new coat when that cost could be offset against your writing time? Are you scared of giving this ‘stuff’ up? Why?

Time is Money

Where can you take time for writing that is usually given up to other things. Television is a big one.  Imagine how many novels would get written by those who have always dreamed of writing a novel if everyone gave up watching television for a few months?   What is writing success worth to you?    Is it worth giving up something else?  Is it worth getting up an hour earlier each day, or going to bed an hour later?  Make time for writing every day.  Habit is a huge part of writing success.

3) Experience = Opportunities + Fun + Money

Is it time to look at building up your writing C.V. differently?

Opportunities

Real writers have real readers and the words don’t have to be on paper. The written word exists on stone, parchment, microfilm, blogs, websites, ebooks, holograms, and who knows what next. The on-line writing jobs created for the internet have opened up many more opportunities for aspiring writers.

Fun & £££

With all these opportunities, you can hunt down the jobs which you would enjoy. If your passion is organic gardening, find a website/magazine and pitch an idea.  You might not get paid in the beginning, but you will build up your portfolio. It’s a big wide web out there, go searching for what you want to write about or start your own blog. If money is really the driving factor for you, then join a freelancing network, read up on copywriting jobs, set up your own website and learn about marketing for the web.

Experience

It is a pipe-dream to think you will simply write a best seller, first time, and receive a six figure advance, without a great deal of practice and no other writing experience.  (Or indeed self-promotion/making a name for yourself, but we’ll come to that another time).  Nothing’s impossible, of course.  But to give yourself the best chance of writing a book that will get published, you need to write a lot. Writing experience (in any capacity) will not only boost your chances with an agent but also will help you write on demand and write well.  It almost doesn’t matter what kind of writing; write articles, write a blog, tweet if you like.  But get into the habit of writing, get as much writing practice as you can, get writing to feel as normal as thinking, and you’re increasing your chances of success every day.

So are you ready to put on the literary roller-skates and have WRITER in the occupation box on a birth, marriage or death certificate? These three approaches can help you skate off into the literary distance, but it will take some self-discipline as well.  We have some tips on that coming up.  In the meantime, take note about how you feel regarding saying ‘I’m a writer’ or changing your financial plans. Yes, it can be scary (all change generally is), but if you are serious about Making Writing Your Work, then some of the energy techniques which we teach can make it a bit easier.  Stay tuned!

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