10 Lessons For Aspiring Writers
Writing Is Tough!
I remember publishing my first Medium article about 40 lessons I learned on my 30th birthday. It was a surreal feeling! Never in my dreams that I will be writing and publishing an article. It was fun and fulfilling and at the same time, not easy, especially if you use to hate writing essays in school. Since I don’t consider myself a natural writer, I have to come up with a plan.
Like most aspiring writers, I self-studied. I watched Youtube videos. Read best-selling books about writing. And experimented on different methods, hoping my writing skills will improve. Some tips work for me, some don’t. Or maybe I don’t understand what they say. Whatever the case, I keep on striving.
As of this date, I’ve written and published 100+ articles in my Medium account. Yes, proud and loud! And now, I’ve decided to share the lessons I’ve experienced as an aspiring writer. Let’s start with your capability to write.
Yes, You Can Write
Believe it or not, you can write if you choose to. You gain it through practice.
Think of writing like building your muscles. The more you lift, the more you get stronger. Same with writing. The more you practice writing, the more you get better.
Start practicing today if you haven’t started. If you are already practicing, keep going.
It is okay not to be the best. But you should choose to be better.
Write every day no matter how many words you can make. Whatever topic pops out your mind.
Soon enough, you will see progress.
I am no natural writer. But I am doing well compared to the millions of people who choose not to practice writing (pun intended).
Forget About Being An Expert
The truth is I am very far from being one. I am just sharing what I’ve learned based on my experience.
Instead, position yourself as a trusted advisor.
A person who helps other people solve their problems. A person they can rely on.
Now that you know that you can write, get better, and can help as a trusted advisor, it’s time to start writing. But hold your excitement, if there is one lesson I learned the hard way, it is that “writing is not the first step.”
Think Before The Ink
Nothing is more frustrating than staring at the blank screen, watching the cursor blinks, and waiting for inspiration to bursts! Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you. People call it writer’s block. And it can hit anyone, even professionals. So how can you overcome writer’s block?
Do your research. Write an outline. Plan your writing.
What you think is lack of inspiration, is lack of preparation.
Have A Goal In Mind
Before you start writing on your article, blog or book, ask yourself,
Who are your target readers?
What topic will you write?
What problems am I trying to solve?
Answering these questions will help you in your writing process. It will give you directions.
But what if you don’t know what you want?
Then decide what it is not about.
Who are NOT my target readers?
What topic I will NOT cover?
What problems I am NOT trying to solve?
Often, getting clear first on what you do NOT want will help you gain clarity on what you want.
Forget About Structure (In the pre-writing)
Write as you talk.
Imagine you are talking to someone. Imagine you are writing to someone. Who will benefit from your writing? It will do the heavy lifting for you.
You have a unique way of saying things. It’s a lot easier than forcing yourself to sound like Shakespeare.
Turn On Your Recorder
If you are tired of typing or handwriting your draft, why not try recording yourself? The authors are doing this. Podcasters share the transcribed version of their interviews.
You have a phone, right? Turn on the recorder. Say anything that you want. Pretend that you are recording for your future podcasts. Afterward, listen to it and transcribed it. Or hire someone to do it for you.
With a few edits and formatting, now you have a written and audio content. Talking about hitting two birds with one stone!
Write Crappy Articles
You can always go back and edit. You can revise as much as you want. It is your work. Remember, nobody can see it except you.
If you’re waiting for perfection to arrive, then you are waiting for nothing.
Go ahead, write it down! Who cares?
Celebrate Your Small Wins
Be proud of your achievements. What wrong with that? Not to brag about it. But to be amazed at your progress, no matter how small it was.
Celebrating your small wins is a confidence booster. You need it if you plan to stay longer in the game.
Don’t wait for the finished line. You don’t know when will it come. Enjoy the process. It is seconds away!
Now It’s Up To You
At the end of the day, writing is a process, not a mere product. The more you write, the more you get better. For an aspiring writer, consider quantity over quality at this phase of the writing journey. Learn while you write. Write while you learn. Practice makes progress. And I know you can!