Writers! Its New Year’s Day, 2021. The calendar page has turned and hopes are high for a positive and prosperous year. If in 2020, you’ve been having questions or doubts about your writing, you’ll need to make an adjustment to your Twisted Writer Brain.
I’ve been doing My Twisted Writer Brain blog now for almost two years and I love it. It’s my place to teach, share, rant, explain, and discuss all things writing. One thing I desperately try to do is to set goals and stay positive.
Now believe me, this doesn’t mean I don’t experience the ups and downs involved in life. I’m just like you, but I loathe negativity as it doesn’t move anything forward. It’s heavy and sticky and always seeking company. I chose to stay away from it in my life and work.
In my world, My Twisted Writer Brain can, and will, spin out of control at any point of the day or night.
It’ll notice a person walking down the street for example, and begin to assign attributes and personality to that stranger. I’ll wonder where they’re going, where they’ve been, why are they walking so fast? Did they kill someone? or perhaps someone is trying to kill them!
If I find My Twisted Writer Brain going down a back alley all by itself to bemoan the day or feel sorry for itself then I know a kick in the ass is required.
Now believe me, I’m not perfect and I will whine and moan about the world or my life at times but I desperately try not to dwell there because it’s dark and ugly. Those things belong on the page not as a heavy leaden sheathe to hold me down.
In this last year, I’ve seen too many people in that dark place.
Here’s the thing–and prepare yourself because it’s a big “thing”—a real truth—If you want to be a writer then you must write.
When it comes specifically to being a writer (or a wannabe), social media is full of the negative rhetoric and it drives me crazy.
Can’t I just call myself a writer and whine about how hard it is?
I’m a writer but I know no one will ever read my stuff, so why bother?
and then of course there’s…
I’m a writer but I don’t know where to start or what to write. What should I write?
Does any of this sound familiar?
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with waiting, learning, observing… Seriously. I assure you, doubt is normal. Some are paralyzed at the thought of putting something on the page though…I really do get that.
Don’t beat yourself up. Look at what professional writer Jennifer Manuel said about Imposter Syndrome.
The timing may not be right for you at this point and trying to force the issue can be more painful than trying to shave your legs with a well-worn butterknife.
So, what do you do if you’re one of the aspiring writers who can’t find their traction?
Well, first thing is to have a wee chat with yourself and ask the hard questions.
Are you really a writer? Do you want it as a full-time, money-making profession? Why do you want to be a writer? Is your life in chaos and take you away from what you want to do? Maybe you’re currently meant to blog instead of complete an entire novel? Perhaps the timing is off? Do you want to journal or note take until the time is right? Who knows? Only you can answer those questions.
But what if you’re one of those people who thinks they have to write because someone told you how talented they are and you shouldn’t waste your gift? Ugh. Nothing like a little pressure thrown your way.
Ask yourself–is this your passion? Are the expectations too high? Are you willing to do the work? Put in the time? Own the down side of the industry along with the accolades?
It’s one thing to write as a hobby but another to take it on as a profession. Perhaps you’re happier dabbling in short stories or poetry but are being pushed by admirers to go to the next step. Remember, the choice is yours.
Many ask, how do you start?
To me it seems like an obvious thing…. sit your butt down, put some words on a page and don’t stop. There you go–you’re writing. But I know for some there’s a lot more behind the question.
If you’re unsure of where, or how, to start a novel or project from scratch and want some direction, check this out. It’s a good place to start.
Many years ago, my eldest sister (she’s 14 years older, taught me to read, and then introduced me to creative writing), said to me….“Faye, why are you taking another writing course. There comes a time when a writer simply needs to write….” You can read more of my story here.
She was so right. Though I never stopped learning, I started to write and never stopped.
You really have to know what you’re in for though…
Writing is hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. You need to put in the hours of writing, editing, marketing, and promotion and you have to have a thick skin. There are a few tricks you must master: Never compare yourself to other writers, keep going no matter what, and life experience can add depth to your work.
You’ll write wonderful stuff that people will hate and you’ll write crap that someone thinks is the best thing since autocorrect. Either way, the audience, the rejection, the learning curve are all steep and not always a lot of fun.
We have a New Year and its time to embrace the truth. You are a writer. You are a REAL writer and you will grow as time moves on. We all have doubts and questions but it comes down to choice…
What do you want to do? Do you want to write? Then get going and don’t let anything stop you.
Don’t allow the murkiness of negativity pull you down to the depths of inactivity and nonproductively.
Be aware and alert.
Let that beautiful Twisted Writer Brain of yours loose to imagine and create–it’s amazing what’ll come back. If you’re going to whine….have a rant then put it away and get on with writing.
Step up. Accept your seat at the writer’s table. Get writing. No excuses. No nonsense.
It’s about taking back the control….
Do you want to step back and journal until the time is right? Then get a notebook and get started. You’ll be amazed at how effective journalling can be to learn more about yourself, your writing style, and buried memories.
Do you want to learn more? Take a course. There’s some really good stuff out there and can make a world of difference in understanding not only the process of writing but also the need to be aware of rookie mistakes.
If your Twisted Writer Brain is holding you back and telling you that “I can’t…” “I don’t want to…” or “what’s the use…” then get in there and clean house.
Kick out the negative and concentrate on getting the job done.
Always Believe in You.