Why Writers don’t Change their Habits
Starting out with a new venture is hard to do. Those first few days, or months, of reorganizing your thoughts and feelings to fit into the demands of a new writing project, can create stress that is tough to deal with.
Writing is about ideas, ideas that develop, they change and need constant tweaking.
People fail when they feel that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, and then they go back to “Point 0".
It can be a feeling that everything is too much, or simply a powerful emotion that tells you that you are in the wrong place, doing the wrong stuff — its designed to make you quit as soon as possible and get you back to what you know.
The only way that failure can happen is when you listen to fear and its twisted logic of wisdom.
If its raining stress bombs, then running for cover makes sense. Fear will show you the way to the next shelter.
These feelings crop up with every new start in writing.
The learning curve in everything We Do
Beginnings are hard. The need for patience and time to develop it into something understandable, something that makes sense, takes time.
A new venture into the world of writing should lead us out of the unnecessary hardships that low paying, crap jobs, and too many hours working for an unfriendly person can cause.
Today, more than ever, writing offers freelance business possibilities that just weren’t available several years ago.
When we begin, we are wet behind the ears, newbies without a clue. This is fine, and how it simply is.
It’s normal to dream about wonderful stories and articles that people will love, that will, maybe, even go viral across the internet.
If you are a writer, and have been at it for some time, take a look at your first efforts. Back then, when you wrote it, you may have thought that it was great.
Today, it may appear embarrassing, or you see that it has potential but was never up to scratch. Nevertheless, you now know that it was just the starting point in a long learning curve.
How You Begin
If you have some knowledge of your new venture, how to work at it, what tools are necessary to make headway towards a first small success, then you’re doing better than many others who start clueless.
We have to accept that we have a learning curve to go through. Even if you believe that you know something about your activity, like writing, or setting up a business, writing a blog from scratch, you need to approach it with an attitude of “much to learn” if success is the goal.
Carrying out daily tasks that quickly become easy is not a sign that you are nearly there, able to do everything. To create a successful business as a writer means a life of learning and being open to new ideas all of the time — that means adopting a mindset that becomes the basic tool of your business as a writer.
Many people want to be a writer.
Society likes to bandy stereo types around, and we all learn at an early age that to be a banker, a writer, a soldier, requires certain personality traits.
A banker must be a cold , calculating character who can make laser sharp decisions. A soldier must be able to take orders and act without asking questions, a writer sits on their backside all day dreaming up stuff to write down.
All of these ideas are rubbish. It’s those who don’t do it who create these wild-assed stereo types about other people’s jobs and lives.
So long as you constantly look outwards and listen to society’s ideas about how to do something, you will be working with fear and stress. And that will lead to failure.
Bankers are people too, bank policy is something else.
A soldier needs to be a fast decision maker, fearless, have ability to adapt and learn, and to be able to do all this while taking a ride through hell.
Other people don’t know your personal abilities and skills which will make the difference when you do it.
Watching and listening to other writers who are successful is helpful — but don’t forget, they did it their way.
When you are sitting and writing, that’s when you are seizing the moment, taking the opportunity to make things better.
That’s when you are doing it your way, others are not present and your mind is laser focused.
Other writers and bloggers can show you what they’ve done. They can tell how their working methods helped them to understand how to move forwards to their ultimate goals.
They can’t, in a thousand years, tell you what you must do to get an edge on yourself, to get the best from yourself. Only you can do that.
As a writer, you can be everybody’s stereo type and sit around dreaming, thinking, coming up with ideas that never go anywhere.
Do this, and be like the Duke of York’s soldiers who marched up and down the hill all day for no reason — they looked just like soldiers, but fought no battles.
To sit and write, to be intelligent about setting up a blog that will be a business that makes money, is the first step in finding your own style.
To know why you write will tell you how you should write. You will begin to see that your way of telling a story is different, and only you know the way forwards.
It’s a scary path to follow when you are serious about it, but it’s definitely thrilling and strength giving.
There is only one way out.
The pressures of financial support, and paying the daily bills will always be upon us. So when we set out on our hero journey to accomplish what most people don’t achieve, then we must take that into account.
We have to work at the day job so long as we must. But never give up on the activities which will finally free us of the mundane world that we want to escape.
I’ve been writing for years. I have always done my best to write each day, and that’s how it became a habit — I feel extremely uncomfortable if a day passes and I haven’t written anything.
I was working from 6 am till 9 pm at one point, teaching, and on the road. I’d come home, sit down and begin to write. Then I’d eat something and go to bed. I didn’t stop, I just kept believing that even tired writing is doing something good.
After several years of hard work teaching, small pockets of time to write, and 150,000 words of a novel, I was able to change my work schedule.
I can write a few hours a day now, everyday. Life changed.
Just sit down and write.
Many writers like to make up rituals before actually writing. They believe it helps, when in fact it hinders them.
Sitting down and drinking a wine seems to be a cool way to loosen the thoughts and start thinking about the story.
Going out for a walk to think deeply about a story line, seems like a way to get to grips with things — before sitting down to write.
Anything that is not sitting in the chair and actually pushing keys, writing words, formulating ideas, is not writing.
And not only because the thoughts are not being recorded, but because the thought processes when walking and drinking are not writing thoughts.
I think most people who complain that they have writer’s block, think this when they can’t get their story to move forwards while relaxing with a bottle of Rioja.
Or their Sunday walks don’t seem to help with character developments, they walk and their minds become a blocked mass of distractions.
These people don’t have writer’s block, they are simply not doing the work at the keyboard.
Barking dogs, screaming children in the park, and traffic sounds in the air, having to dodge e-bikes whizzing along the sidewalk doesn’t help the mind focus.
Sitting down in the chair and writing is what writing is all about. The thought process is different to a Sunday walk mindset.
Red wine leads to music, and music leads to nostalgia, memories of good times — it leads to everything but a pressing thought about a character’s actions or a story’s progress.
It’s when you sit down and write that you become a writer.
Having Patience is the Virtue of every Writer
Life changes, especially the stuff that we don’t control. Working for others is in the employer’s hands, we just do the tasks that are set for us.
One day that will change, that’s when being an adaptable person comes in handy.
Working on your writing with patience is essential to your success.
When we begin something new, we tend to throw all our energy into it. This leads to a feeling of wanting results immediately.
Everything about writing a story, an article, a book, demands patience.
If you’ve been working hard, and in spite of everything, you stole minutes each day to write focused ideas that connect with each other, then that time taken will pay off.
It will pay off when suddenly life demands that you adapt and go with the changes. You may find that you have more time for your writing each day.
It’s an empowering feeling to know that you have been writing, and that you will continue to write — regardless of obstacles.
Even the smallest moments of writing done with patience and focus will turn out to be a strong part of your learning curve. A part of the pay-off.
Your learning curve is directly related to yourself — not measured by others
Intelligence is a weird thing. Why? well, it’s often misunderstood by so called intelligent people.
Many people who are intelligent will never get beyond dreaming about creating something better in their lives.
Their intelligence is based on an idea that comes from schooling, high school, college, whatever — those are the places that teach us to knuckle-down and listen, obey, and do what we’re told.
The framework used at school is general information about the world.
Geography, history, and mathematics for the academically minded, art, language and drama for the creative people. Sport for everyone who can get out bed in the morning.
None of the above teaches us to go to work and be creative and constructive, or to make sense of how to make money, build a business of some kind.
Yet, we are constantly told about this opportunity that is out there, and that we should use our brains to capitalize on it.
We are never taught about the power of a creative life.
Grammar and reading abilities learned at school are not the basis for freelance writing or fiction writers.
The ability to develop ideas by stepping out into the unknown and writing what we think is a good story, writing it how our heart tells us to do it — and then really doing that, that is intelligence.
I always think that real intelligence is nothing more than having the ability to make sense of the environment that you find yourself in.
Then, doing something smart with it.
Make your choices; Determination, Persistence and Endurance.
These are the tools of a writer.
Just choosing one of them as your main tool, will take you far.
Your first efforts are about finding your weaknesses, your faults, and your inabilities. Knowing what these are will show you the environment of your mind.
It will help you determine what you need to do to improve.
If you write stories, find out how to structure a story — short or long, then work on it all of the time. Find out what’s in there, take a step deeper into the idea of writing to find out.
If you discover that your stories are crap — welcome to the club. Nobody writes good stuff off the bat.
Writers take absolute shite, and then they search for an inkling of goodness that sparkles in the pile.
Take that, feel good about it, and work it up into a great idea.
Finding your rhythm and your strengths will open up the first paths to successful work and accomplishments as a writer.
Practice and you get better. Sit down and write, don’t come up with smart-ass ways to get your mind focused. Just sit down to write, just do it, it’s in the actual physical act of writing that it happens.
There are no natural writers. We learn it through hard work at the keyboard. And that’s where success is found.
I hope that this helps you to focus and develop your mindset on writing.