Thursday, January 14, 2016

Do you see yourself as any one of the following: the ‘want to’ writer, the ‘ready to go’ writer or the ‘quietly impassioned’ writer? A lot of writers have been each of these at different times in their writing life. These three writer profiles will give you an idea of whether or not you see yourself as a writer.

Remember, even the best writers were once a ‘want to’ writer. We all have to start our writing journey somewhere and it’s always with a feeling of wanting to write and to share something through our words. In my case, it was a feeling of wanting to document and share my spiritual experiences. If you’ve ever had that feeling, then a writer lives within you!

The ‘want to’ writer

You want to write but haven’t written anything yet. There’s always been a pretty good reason for the delay, like work, or kids, or you’re too tired at night, or your weekends are busy, or you just need to get yourself into a right kind of headspace for writing.

Writing is tangible – it makes what you’re thinking and feeling kind of real – perhaps too real. And well, to be honest, you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to put that part of yourself out there, yet. You just want to be taken seriously when you do write something for people to read.

You feel a bit overwhelmed by it. Where do you start with writing? Should you hand write your ideas into a notebook or get a laptop? Should you take a writer’s course? Who will read your writing, or should it just be for yourself – like a journal? If someone does read your writing, one day, what will they think of it?

You may not have a strong grasp of the language. You may now wish you’d paid more attention to grammar at school. But still, you would like to give writing a try, because it feels like you have an unsung melody waiting inside of you. You can hear it, and you’d really like to let it out someday soon.

The ‘ready to go’ writer

One of the New Year resolutions you made was to get writing asap – and to stop just thinking about it! You’ve even written this on a sticky note and stuck it up on the toilet wall at home, for everyone who goes there to see – including you.

It was last year’s resolution too, but this year you’re ready to go. You’ve made space in your life for writing. You’re serious about it, no more excuses! You’ve got something to say, and you’re just figuring out how best to say it – a poem, a post, or even a book. Yes, a book!

You feel that if you were to write a book, like a memoir, or an instruction book, or a fiction, you could help others with it. Your words will put some light into the world that needs it.

You want to reach out to as many people as you can with your experiences, ideas, knowledge, storytelling … and to make a difference in the lives of your family, friends, clients, community, or the whole wide world!

The ‘quietly impassioned’ writer

You’ve been writing for a while, and it’s quietly taken over your life, only it doesn’t pay. Starting was the easy part. The creativity just poured out of you, and you marvelled at the wisdom arising from your inner-world. If only someone would pay you a dollar for it.

Unfortunately, you have found that living costs money, favours or both. You can’t munch on words – you’ve tried. Sometimes you think you should be more sensible and do something dull and grown-up, like get a full-time job – but writing is your passion!

Occasionally you’ll pause and look up from your words, as spectacular as they are, and notice that your peers have left town, forever. On one of your trips to the local shops, for more teabags and milk, you glance at the pages of the daily newspaper and see them reappear there in print. Not for their criminality but because they’ve succeeded in your society. Holy cow. How the years have gone by.

You rush home to brew another cup of tea, whilst lamenting your youth, and those missed opportunities. New words begin to swarm in your mind and before you have time to sip, you race off to find any scrap piece of paper and a pen (those ever elusive pens!), lest you forget the perfect sentence that has suddenly formed like smoke rings before your eyes.

Having rescued those jewel-encrusted sentences from oblivion, you sit back satisfied by your mastery, even if it’s only you who knows it. Sitting quietly in your seat, you sip your wonderful tea. You pray that you’ll never spill it into your keyboard, and you thank God … you’re a writer. 

A few tips for the aspiring writer

  • Regardless of your circumstances, it’s your birthright to be able to express yourself freely, and writing is a fabulous way to do this!
  • You don’t need the talent to write – really – just perseverance. You need to write one word after another. It’s like walking. Take one step, then another. You may fall. Try walking again. Before you know it, you’ve walked the length of a street. Or you’ve written a paragraph, then a page, a chapter, a book.
  • If you can’t write for some reason, then you can dictate your story or knowledge to someone you trust, who can write it on your behalf.
  • Some people are talented writers, but we can all learn to do something better if we start and then keep at it. We improve the more effort we put in.
  • You may like to write a poem, letter, article, post, booklet or book. In all instances, what makes for good writing is authenticity. Tell it as it is, from your unique perspective.
  • Give yourself ample days, weeks, months and years to write and re-write – don’t be in a hurry! Your writing will develop its natural rhythm if you let go and trust in the process.
  • Always write for yourself firstly – then for others – then there will always be someone who will love to read your words.
  • Let your writing grow as you do. You don’t need to have it all worked out from the beginning though having some kind of plan about how you would like to structure the writing will benefit you. But don’t get stuck in the planning. Rather it can develop as you go.
  • Enjoy writing. Enjoy words. As you write, you’ll feel your own melody reflected in your sentences. It’s beautiful!
  • Enjoy learning about words – through your own experiences with writing over time.
  • Write regularly. Find time during the day or week that suits you to write, and stick to it. It’ll become a habit.
  • Just get started!

Have you been thinking about writing lately – maybe your memoir – or a how to – or a fiction? Has anything been holding you back from getting started? If you’re writing regularly, please share with us here at Spirit my way how you got into the groove of it.

Linda Cull is the author of the book Where The Light Lives, visionary artist, and founder of Wilara Press®. Her blog Spirit my way® covers spirituality, inspired creativity and transformative experiences at Learn more here