Basics of Becoming a Writer – Part One
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two elements that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
― S. King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
You have started your business and have the all-too-real awareness that you are now required to write. At a minimum, you probably need to write your business bio. If you are creating a website, you will have a lot more to write, or you will have to hire someone to do it for you. But, before you do that, consider these basics of becoming a writer.
All of us have the ability to write. My first piece of advice is to stop freaking out about writing. If you can talk – you can write. At first, it may need some editing, but if you can string your ideas together and tell someone about yourself or your business, you can write. Here are practical approaches to getting started, composing and improving your writing.
Many professional writers will tell you the hardest part is getting started. For some it is the blank page, for others, it is the act of putting yourself in front of the screen and actually typing. Procrastination is one of the most common reasons for not finishing your writing. So to get started follow these tips.
Brainstorm to get going.
I love to brainstorm everything. I will do it from everything from business strategy to meal planning. Brainstorming is way to get all the ideas out of your head and on a piece of paper of on the screen. Don’t hold back when you brainstorm. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. It doesn’t matter if it sounds like the worst idea on the planet it gets spit out of your head and onto the page. Don’t judge anything while you are brainstorm. This is counterproductive and will freeze you up.
You can set a timer for a set period while you have a personal brainstorm session. You can also work with another person or a group of people. No matter who you work with, same rules apply. Everything gets written down, nothing gets judged as useless, stupid or off topic.
Once time is up, then review your ideas. Determine which ones you will keep, which ones are irrelevant and which ones should be revisited later. This is also a great way to always have ideas so if writer’s block sneaks up on you there is fodder for content.
Look for inspiration.
This can be tricky. All of us have done it. We think I will just go on Facebook or Pinterest for a second. I just need to clear my head or get a little inspiration. Then we get sucked in and three hours later nothing is done. We are frustrated and we still haven’t started our writing. (I have definitely been there — it is my go-to procrastination technique. Shhh- don’t tell.)
There is something to be said for seeking inspiration when you are getting started. Setting limits to seeking inspiration is a great way to make sure you stay on track and get started. Get out your handy dandy timer and put a limit on your search. When I go looking to be inspired, I have some go to sites. I love looking up quotes and scripture.
Another way I get inspired is to get away from the gadgets. Go outside. Take a walk. Stare at the trees. Take off your shoes and walk in the grass. Observe the nature around you. Mediate on the wonder and miracles of God in your surroundings.
Start with pen and paper.
As old fashion as it sounds there is something that happens in your brain when you put pencil to paper. There are times when I want to use the computer to write. I use the computer when I know exactly what I want to write and it’s all mapped out in my head. I also use the computer when I am writing for business.
However, my prayer journal is all pen and paper. Things I write for myself are often on pen and paper. Some of my best writing starts out in my journal or as a personal struggle I am working through. This is a way to slow down, connect with your ideas and your words. It is also a great way to connect with God and the Holy Spirit. It gives you the opportunity to listen as your write.
Start simple with your writing.
Don’t go for perfection. Don’t go for a pulitzer prize winning piece of literature. Just start simple. Start with short simple sentences. They will create short simple paragraphs. Simple is the best way to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper.
When you are getting started with writing you want to aim for finished. Unedited-error ridden-spelling goofs-punctuation omissions-forgotten caps rough draft. A rough draft is a finished draft. You can’t get close to finishing until you get a rough draft.