This year I’m blogging my book De-Stress Your Writing Life. You can read it for free on Creativity’s Workshop every Friday.
So now our understanding of what is involved in being a writer and how that role affects your life is growing. We are starting to see the writing life as a journey – an adventure full of enjoyment and discovery.
A writer is an explorer – both of the world around them and of their own inner workings. A key part of being this adventurous explorer is an independent mindset.
When using the term ‘independent,’ I’m not talking about writers who self-publish (sometimes known as indie writers/publishers) – I’m talking about writers in general.
By using the term ‘independent,’ I am describing a writer who takes her writing life into her own hands – a self-reliant and perhaps relatively self-sufficient person who is able to make consistent progress towards her goals. A true explorer.
Successful writers are self-motivated – they set goals and work towards them until they reach the finish. How do they create that mindset? Let’s look a little deeper.
Finding the Right Fit for You
First, here’s an important truth: Being a writer will mean different things to different people.
- Some people will feel that the writing life involves large word counts and many published works.
- Others will feel that their writing life involves carefully crafting each project they work on, no matter how long each takes.
Living life as a writer starts with you understanding what kind of a writer you are.
Each writer is unique – that includes you. While there will be times when you’ll want to pick up tips and tricks from your favourite writers, the most important writer to understand and imitate is you.
As you read through these chapters, there will be points that resonate with you – that jump out and say, “This is just what you need!” – and there will be others that might not sit quite right with you.
Approach each point as a suggestion, one you can experiment with and incorporate into your habits if you wish. But in the process, be aware of the impact each little change has on you.
Notice the following and ask yourself these questions:
- Habits – Does this piece of advice help me write regularly? Does it encourage me to move forward on my projects?
- Mindset – Does this change make me feel positive, or is it bringing up worries and stresses that are having a negative effect on me?
- Output – Am I writing more because of this change? Is my work improving? Or am I sacrificing my voice in an attempt to measure up to someone else’s ideals?
Being a writer means first understanding yourself.
While there is plenty of good advice in writing blogs and writing books, your writing gut is also capable of giving advice. Just because a particularly prolific author writes his best work at 7am, or a well-known creative writer outlines her entire novel before she starts drafting, does not mean the same will hold true for you.
An independent writer understands how her writing process works, and is able to maintain the habits and rhythms that bring about that process.
She keeps track of the writing advice that improves her writing process, and disregards suggestions that don’t work for her.
If something goes wrong with her writing process, the independent writer is able to deconstruct her writing life to pinpoint the problem and change whatever needs to be altering in order to restore writing equilibrium.
This takes confidence, self-belief and attention, but it is an essential element of being an independent writer.
Add your comment below. What writing advice works for you? What writing advice doesn’t work for you?
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.