The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. It is not enough to say I do to writing, you have to put in the work that comes in after saying ‘I do’
To become good at something, you have to work hard and smart at it, keeping in mind that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I see a lot of writers who never get far in their careers because they simply never invest in themselves. They will never buy a book on writing, a course on writing, or watch a lecture on the craft of writing.
They will always find an excuse on why it can’t be done, why they don’t have the money, time and resources and yet the very writer will find time and resources for other things like a weekend of binge watching their favourite shows, will get money for new shoes and so forth but it’s such a struggle to invest in the craft.
The question is how badly do you want to succeed as a writer? If you want it badly enough then you will find a way to make it happen.
I share below some ways you can investing in yourself to become a better writer and storyteller.
- Follow the right people and organizations on social media: If you call yourself a writer and you’re not following writers who work in genres you’d want to work in, then something’s totally off. I see writers following the actors and forgetting to follow the writers of the shows and films, who might give them the inspiration needed to move them from aspiring writers to working writers. One of the ways to get to know more about the industry and craft of writing is to follow those you want to emulate. They don’t have to be a direct mentor, but by following them you will get some useful insights into how to go navigate the world of writing and your career.
- Apply for Free courses/Webinars: I just completed a 12-week intense course on story development by Realness in partnership with Netflix. I already knew a lot on writing when I applied for the course, but I always stay hungry and eager to learn more, you can never learn enough. It was a great investment of my time and energy and I’ve come out on the other side a better writer and story developer. Look out for such opportunities, put your best foot forward in your application and go for it. If you want to get updated on such opportunities for writers, join my email list where I send out a weekly newsletter with inspiration and information, head over to my website www.damarisirunguo.com and give out your email address at the bottom of the page.
- Pay for Courses on Writing: If you don’t have the muscle to compete for the few opportunities available and have some cash you can spare, then pay for some writing courses and fast track your writing career. Writing is a serious profession and can easily become your major stream of income, that will only happen if you invest in yourself and keep growing as a creative. Everyone invests in their passions one way or the other, prioritize your passion and it will reward you in the future.
- Make time to listen to podcasts/Youtube videos: If you’re low on cash and high on motivation, then get your hands on useful podcasts and youtube videos that will help shape not just your craft of writing but your mindset as well. Sometimes all we need is the right mindset to help us move in the right direction in our lives. So find those free resources and devour them. You can check out some of my youtube videos on my youtube channel Damaris Irungu O. Remember to subscribe and encourage me to put more content there.
- Read and Analyze scripts: You can find free scripts on some of your favourite shows and films online. Head over to www.simplyscripts.com for the free scripts resource. See how the descriptions are written. Do they evoke any feelings in you as you read the descriptions, see how the dialogue rolls off the pages. Study them and grow as a writer.
- Get writing: The only way to get good at writing is to consistently flex that muscle. You all know how it works, when you’ve worked out for some time, then you stop and get back to it, it feels like you’re a beginner at doing squats. The same applies to writing, you can’t write once a year or once a month and expect to build that muscle, it has to be an almost every day activity. So no excuses. Get on with it.
- Buy books on writing: I cannot emphasize on the importance of buying books on the craft of writing. Books on writing have changed and shaped my writing. I learn so much from different books on writing and it’s helped fast track my career as a writer, and enabled me stay on top of my game. Do you want to improve on your writing? Then grab a copy of my book ‘Get Writing, A beginner’s guide from Idea To First Draft’ Available on amazon. And hard copies available in Kenya by order by sending a whatsapp text to 0707651546
Hope these tips have helped jumpstart your move to becoming the best version of a writer that you can be.
You can find more of such articles on my website www.damarisirunguo.com
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