3 things I’ve done to become a writer

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I love my typewriter. It’s just so me.

I love reading other blogs. It’s just one of those things I like to do in my down time simply because learning what other people do gives me ideas for what to do with mine.

One of my favorites to read is Laura Simms, who is a life coach and loves helping people live their best life. She is super awesome and approachable and, frankly, her blog is stunning and inspiring. One of her recent blog posts about being an entrepreneur got me thinking — what have I done to become a writer, more specifically a writer who is and thinks like an entrepreneur?

That thought also got me thinking: am I an entrepreneur? Sure I am! All writers are. They have to be. They will eventually become sales people once their pieces are done.

So, what have I done to become a writer? Lots but here are three that have helped me the most.

I’ve admitted to it and understood what writing really is about.

Admitting and believing you’re a writer is part of the battle. I remember the first time someone introduced me as such, I thought I was going to lose my mind I was so happy.

But it took a while for me to really understand and to accept that I was, indeed, a writer. The reason was probably because of that romantic image everyone has about writers and writing. Some how, we’re supposed to be writing in an amazing apartment or house, living off of our advances, and going to book signings every weekend.  Maybe that version of the writer existed at one point, however, that’s not the reality.

I wanted to be a writer long before I knew what it was. So, I had to find out what that meant in the modern era. When I finally found out what being a writer looked like, I realized that I was already living it and racing toward the next level of my dream — writing and publishing something my 13 year-old self wanted to do. 

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Editing video…it’s its own special thing.

I’ve learned and tried things not directly related to writing

Let’s talk about all the things writers need to know and learn to do for themselves. In addition to learning their craft, they need to learn how to:

  • Market themselves
  • Blog
  • Create and layout websites
  • Photography for blog posts
  • Social media

Those are just the basics. Now, if you’re really into the DIY, add creating and editing videos, creating your own book cover (make sure you do this well), and even self publishing.

When I first started, I didn’t want anything to do with most of the items on this list. I just wanted to write. Here’s the thing though, if you write it, it doesn’t mean they will come to read it.

Yes, writers need to create a platform and I find that empowering! I consider it an investment into my career and really, why would I want someone to do this for me.

So, I’ve had to learn all kinds of skills to add to my writer’s toolbox — at times begrudgingly.  Definitely one of the best things I’ve done for my writing.

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With the poetess, Kate Bickham

I’ve networked with others because it’s fun.

Repeat after me: writers can not work in a vacuum all the time. Trust me. I’ve tried it. Not a good look.

Eventually, we’re going to have to speak with people. Who else should you talk to but with other writers who know exactly what you’re going through.

I’ve had some great conversations with not only local writers (like the poet Kate Bickham) but also international writers like Joanna Penn. I love talking to them not only about craft but also about the writing business — publishing, literary journals to submit to, contests, etc.

In these conversations, I’ve learned so much about writing and have networked with others who can help me get to my goals. I also have helped other writers with their platform. Don’t underestimate this part of your writing life. By far, this has been the most fruitful for me as a writer.

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