We’re are two weeks into the new year. And if you’re like me, you’re dreaming of all the writing you’ll get done in the new year. I’m armed with a plan to achieve my writing goals, so help me God!
For some of you, you’re just starting out on your writing journey, and are unsure on how exactly to make sense of your writing passion, so that you can start earning a living with your writing. I’ve taken a moment to reflect on things I wish I knew as I was starting out my writing career. I hope these observations will help you fast track your own writing journey in the year 2021!
- No one owes you anything: Just because you’re talented doesn’t mean everyone should stop their lives and pay attention to you. There are so many talented people out here. Understanding that there are so many more talented writers out here will humble you to work harder at your craft, have the right attitude towards others, support other writers and people in your industry and in turn, it will get you the necessary support you need to move your career to the next level. Before asking others for favours, find out what you can do for them first. Build and grow relationships, which in turn will grow your career.
- No one is to blame for your failing writing career: It’s easier to blame other things, like our life circumstances, our parents’ inabilities, our spouses, our bills, the government, the education system for pulling us down and making it harder for us to achieve our writing dreams. If you take a long hard look in the mirror you will find it’s on you. Success is 80% attitude, what’s your attitude towards your writing? What sacrifices have you made to make sure you propel your writing career? No one will sacrifice for your career better than you, so give yourself the best, to get ahead in your writing career.
- Perfectionism will cripple you: Don’t fixate on one project and spend a whole year on it. You need to have a body of work, even if no one is producing it. Work on a project, finish it, move to the next. Repeat. That’s the formula to get you a great body of work.
- Everyone is doing it Afraid: Scared of failing? Scared of being laughed at? Or being criticized? Well, everyone who is putting their work out here is also scared, but the difference is, they don’t let their fear stop them, they simply do it afraid. So give your writing a chance by doing it afraid and putting your work out here. Join the rest of us doing it afraid.
- Writing is a marathon not a sprint: You can’t learn everything at once, there’s no pill that you can take to turn yourself into a great writer overnight, it takes constant flexing of the writing muscle, constant putting your work out there and getting negative and positive responses, constant reading and analyzing of work by others and your own, constant researching, constant curiosity and of course your life experiences will help out with your Point of View in story, so live life and enjoy the process, you’re here for the long haul. What looks like overnight success out here is years and years of hard work by the ‘overnight’ success writer.
- Run your own race: Don’t get distracted by other people’s successes and failures, follow what you’re truly passionate about. Don’t spend precious time trying to follow every trend, it’s like chasing the wind. Ask yourself ‘What is it that truly touches you as a writer? What themes pull you in? Work on that.
- Always balance between paid work and passion projects: This rat race is never ending, bills are going nowhere, deadlines for work will always be there (most times) So always make sure you’re making time for your passion projects because time will not wait for you. If you don’t work on your passion projects, then you’ll end up disillusioned years to come. Your passion projects are crucial to your writing soul, don’t ignore that fact.
- Being ahead of times and trends is not a bad thing: There are things I put off pursuing because no one could see my vision, and because they didn’t, I doubted myself and didn’t pursue those things. Go for your crazy dreams and goals. You’re better off attempting and failing than living with the ‘What if’ regret.
- Never stop learning: As a writer you have to continually learn, there’s no shortcut, you can’t operate from a place of ignorance. You could write from your gut feeling, which most of us have done, but once you learn about how story works then it opens up a world of possibilities. Take every opportunity you can to grow yourself as a writer, your efforts will be rewarded and your art and craft will thank you. And if you need help with your writing, grab a copy of my book on writing, ‘Get writing, A beginner’s guide from Idea to First Draft’, or you can grab a companion workbook on the same to hold your hand as you figure out your story.
Get the e-book through the link below from amazon at $ 3.99 and consider leaving me a review!
Or for a hard copy in Nairobi at Kshs 650 for the guide, or Ksh850 for the workbook. Place Your Order by Text/whatsapp only 0707651546
Till Number 5005203
Happy Creating in 2021!!