I wish I could tell you there was some magical roux for you to be a successful writer. I wish I could tell you that it would all be easy, uniform, accessible and fool proof. But with most things on the creative spectrum, your toolkits are formed by trial and error. They become the tools you need become such because you discover you need them. However, there are a few things which are fool proof to get your toolkit started.
- Confidence. This is a the only tool which you will have to replenish often. Having this sense of self, the knowledge this is what you want to do, is the fuel most important. It cannot be emphasized how necessary this is. Confidence leads to discipline. Discipline is the muscle needed to continue in this career. If you cannot believe you can put pen to paper, or words on a screen–there is nothing else which I can tell you to stir that gift. If you believe you can, you will.
- Writing tools. Here is where it gets interesting. There are certain projects I use pen and paper for, and there are some I only can type out. Get familiar with the tools you like, the pace you like, and how you create. Do you think better when you write it down first and then transcribe? Is better to free write and build from there? What is it that you like to do? The beauty of writing is you get to make up your own rules. You determine what works best and when it works best.
- Access to a dictionary or thesaurus and new surroundings. Your vocabulary is your arsenal. Learn new words. Learn new ways to say things. Invest in a good dictionary or dictionary app. Most dictionary app’s have the option to learn a new word a day. Tune your ears to pick up accents or dialects. Learn how to watch the world around you. As a writer, your leak and drink words. Feel free to gorge.
- Make time to write. This may be the most difficult to do in the face of competing responsibilities. That being said, you must make the decision to orchestrate time for writing. Whether you have a dedicated day to pour out your thoughts, or just time enough to freewrite a topic or title, make time–make time. But trust me, it will be worth it.
The pathway to writing isn’t the smoothest, but it is a path you create. Be bold. Be willing. And most of all, go write!
Jennifer P. Harris
Editor/Founder-Shekinah Glory Writing Services