This year I’m blogging my book De-Stress Your Writing Life. You can read it for free on Creativity’s Workshop every Friday.
You Don’t Have to be an Expert in Anything
You might be thinking, but I don’t have special knowledge about anything. Why would anyone want to read what I write?
Let me lay out some interesting thoughts for you:
- The act of writing is often more about the emotion behind the facts than the facts themselves. Sure, facts are important, but there are always books, websites and people you can consult to learn more about a subject. You don’t need a fancy degree or special training to feel emotions. If you’re human, you’ve got all you need.
- In reality, very few people (if any) have learned everything there is to know about a subject. An expert is simply someone who knows more about the subject than those around them. Everyone has something they could call themselves an expert in – whether it be horse training, flower arranging or lancing boils. Sometimes the smallest of experiences can technically make you an ‘expert.’
- Someone with specialized knowledge in one field often has very little knowledge in other areas. A writer, on the other hand, tries to know a little bit about everything. When it comes to information, it’s far better to know a little piece of everything than to know everything about just a little piece.
- Fresh eyes on a subject can lead to better writing in the long run. An expert can miss the obvious when explaining things to the uninitiated. Someone who has had to learn the ropes from a clean slate often understands how best to explain the subject to those who follow.
- Good writers are always learning. There is a wealth of information out there at our fingertips. If you need to find out specific facts, there are always avenues you can pursue. So start writing your passion and then research as needed.
What about becoming an expert in writing itself? While there are many qualifications you can get for writing, most writers learn simply by practicing the act of writing. There are plenty of books and blogs on the subject which can provide you further information, and many writers offer coaching or editing services for a fee.
But when it comes right down to it, each manuscript you work through will provide you with more experience, leading you to become an expert in the more important aspect of all – your writing and creative process.
You don’t need qualifications or special knowledge to start stringing words together. Just do it and see what happens.
You Don’t Have to be a Recluse
You do not have to wall yourself off from society or deliberately strand yourself in the middle of the Pacific to get in touch with your inner muse.
While it is true that the writing life can be solitary at times as one beavers away at the latest work in progress, contact with the world at large is encouraged – for your mental health if nothing else.
Many writers work their magic on the page during lunch breaks, kiddies football matches and in those wee hours between dawn and breakfast. They still interact with their family, some hold down day jobs and the majority are addicted to social networks.
It is possible to continue a ‘normal’ life while feeding your love of writing.
You Don’t Have to be a Coffee Addict
Contrary to popular opinion (and classic writing cartoon strips), caffeine addiction is not a writing requirement. I myself am completely uncaffeinated and have been for years.
While I would be the first one to up and move my writing to a café for an afternoon (decaf latté please), these kind of beverages do not a writer make.
Grammar and spelling on the other hand…
Not All Writers are Weird
You do not need some strange personal fashion, hidden family skeleton or verbal tick to be a writer. Yes, writers can be quirky individuals, who stand out from a crowd and attract attention like vegemite attracts fruit flies, but most writers don’t look anything out of the ordinary. Chances are you walked past several on your way to work, sat next on one on the bus and lunched with at least one during your recent family get together.
There isn’t some special dress code or mandatory eccentricity rating you need to pass before being allowed to call yourself a writer. You can stay just the way you are.
So, are you convinced that the ranks of the literary are not that heavily policed? If you want to write, and you write regularly, then you are a writer!
The next question is: What is involved in being a writer?
What’s holding you back from calling yourself a writer? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Like most writers, I have to be frugal with my funds. So if you’ve enjoyed today’s post and would like to read more, I’d be grateful if you could leave a little in the kitty to help keep things afloat. Everyone who donates will receive a free electronic copy of the book once it has reached completion. Thanks for dropping by.