Instead, I stuffed my drafts in a drawer. The more time you spend writing, reading, and learning to be a better writer, the better things will go for you. Our job as writers is to make more sense of the world, to paraphrase Anne Lamott and E. White and a million other writers. So make each sentence and every word in that sentence earn its keep: Is this sentence indulgent? Or does it help the reader? Does it explain, elucidate, or elevate the truth? A writer is someone who writes, and the only path to improving your craft and finding both satisfaction and success in your writing is to keep doing it.
With them, you will write with greater ease, break through blocks more easily, and have the stamina to write consistently and from your heart. You need to stop trying to publish your terrible manuscript and spend time learning the craft. Take advice. Be teachable. But then you tried, and you discovered you CAN learn.
If you get out and starting practicing now , then your path will be that much smoother. Start by joining the writers groups and getting to know others in the community. I would tell my younger self to listen to the wise elders who told me that I could make a career in the writing world. I recently launched a book coaching company, and we inspire writers to believe they can actually do it, and help them take the steps toward making their dreams a reality. These are seeds being sown into your soul. Soak up everything. All great storytelling begins in childhood. For, if one cannot tell what passed for good in the past, one cannot tell what passes for good now.
Fulfilling the calling is about reaching readers with an excellent story that entertains, inspires, and encourages.
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Writing is about putting reader needs first, which means constantly educating myself in the craft, social media, and the publishing industry. You have to stop writing sometimes to have a life that will fuel your writing. Other avocations can scratch a different creative itch and fuel your writing as well. Fast writing might be sloppy writing, but it ends with a result that can be cleaned up and rewritten as many times as necessary.
Go at your own pace, but go! Anyone can string words together, but imbuing those words with the power to touch a heart and change a life — that takes work, talent, and skill. And perseverance. Most of all, perseverance. Yes, writing is a solitary act, performed in isolation. The grouchiest curmudgeons make the best editors; praise feels good, but only criticism helps me improve. Instead, explore the questions that rise within your soul that will lead you to a more meaningful writing path, one of integrity and passion for the truth that is uniquely yours as a child of God.
When you sit down to write, assume you know nothing.
Become curious. Your mission is not to tell readers who they are and what they should believe; your mission is to ask the important questions and give readers the opportunity to explore those for themselves. In the creative process, the heart of the storyteller takes priority over everything else including formulas, word count, social media, and productivity. Allow God to awaken your own hearts before you ask your art to stir the hearts of others. That will infuse your stories with an eternal spark that transcends you and transforms others.
Blog , share on YouTube, participate in social media, or even have an email newsletter list. Start building your tribe years before writing the first book proposal. Your unique story will draw your tribe to you.
The Writing Cooperative
The more your readers feel they are part of your story the more likely they are to share with others. The journey to becoming a writer can be daunting. Step out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself. New challenges will grow you as a author and take you farther than you imagined possible. Saying Yes might be the first step in mastering a difficult area of the craft, expanding your writing options, meeting other authors who will be integral to your growth, becoming an international speaker, or selling way more books than you ever thought possible.
Instead, consider what it might offer.
Do you have what it takes to become a published author?
Will it teach you a worthwhile skill, give you a chance to try something new, or require you to do something that makes you nervous? If so, it might be a good idea after all. Numerous books tell how to plot and structure a story ; however, these can end up derailing the story. Fear will always drive you back to an outline. Part of the artistic process is learning to channel that fear into creativity and not confine yourself because of it. Rather than aiming at recognition, they chase understanding.
They lean into the struggle, learn to marvel at the untangling of complexities and the transcendence of unforgettable stories. Writing holds the power to transform you and the way you see the world in a way few other human experiences can. This is the real reward, the one that lasts long after the lights go out. They simply will not sustain you the way discipline will.
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No young writer should be spoken to with the least amount of stern admonition, but rather with enormous encouragement and support. Write daily. But not just for productivity. Rather, publish regularly — fine-tuning what you want to say to the world and how to say it. Therefore, write. In journals. In letters. On the grocery list taped to your refrigerator. But the gist of it is this: The poor work for their money, but the rich make their money work for them.
For the first time, I began to see that wealth is not an accident, but an action. Yes, I expect you to tweet that! I worked hard on that line!
Know thyself… by writing your first novel
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad this week. The Total Money Makeover helped me to look at my personal finances with more seriousness and gave me a passion to pay off debt, live more frugally, and save more money. I was in control of my spending.
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My spending was not in control of me. As an entrepreneur, some months are financially better than others. Whereas Rich Dad, Poor Dad taught me that wealth was mine for the taking, The 4-Hour Workweek taught me that life was mine for the taking. Part productivity handbook, part inspirational and part lesson in entrepreneurship, The 4-Hour Workweek refuses to be classified as anything but what it truly is: life-changing.
I think critics of The 4-Hour Workweek tend to focus too much on the specifics of the book. However, there are ways you can improve your business and life through efficiency and optimization.
For example, I hate talking on the phone with tenants, so after reading The 4-Hour Workweek , I hired someone part time to answer phones for me and show vacant units.