To the aspiring writer.

Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash cropped

What if you’re not an aspiring writer anymore?

What if you’re actually a writer?

Perhaps it’s time for you to take a bigger risk.

If you’ve studied and practiced and honed your craft for many years, another writing class might not be what you need anymore.

When you’re already a good writer, signing up for more writing classes can be an easy out.

As long as you’re still a “writing student,” you don’t have to commit to finishing your novel or submitting your stories.

As long as you’re still an “aspiring” writer, you don’t have to take the risk of using your skills to write something worth sharing.

Be honest with yourself. What does your writing need from you now? What is your next step?

Possible next steps that require courage:

  • Submit your work to a magazine, contest, or journal.

  • Join a serious group of writers who meet regularly and write on deadline.

  • Finish your novel.

  • Hire an editor to read your draft, and do the work of revision.

  • Send your manuscript to an agent.

  • Make more time for your writing.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list — it’s just a start.

What is one brave thing that you can do in your writing right now, other than taking a writing class?

Tell me. Leave a comment below.

xo,


Photo credit (top): Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash


The mental and emotional athleticism of writing a novel.
Two Hungry Goats

18 comments

Shelagh O'Neill

My writing needs to be able to trust me. To show up when I say I will, without judgment and to unconditionally surrender to the page.
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I have always loved reading and felt writing was my dream but a dream I never pursued. I simply keep a journal and that inspires me but I have only imagined and dreamed of being a writer. I have submitted my writing twice to a website and it was published. It was the best feeling in the world.
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Marrah McIntyre

I attended a writers conference two weeks ago where I learned my novel (WIP) is not very marketable. My main character "has no agency." So said an agent who also told me she had never read Alice Munro. I think my audience might be other women like myself -- aging baby boomers. So rather than fret about how unmarketable my work is and how I have not yet branded myself I have decided to carry on and write for myself. I have 30,000 words written so far and I want to send it off to be read anonymously by two readers -- just to see what they think. I also think I may chunk up the whole piece (100,000 words?) into three novellas: the first set in the 1950s, the second in the 1960s and '70s and lastly, as death approaches, in the late '80s in La Jolla, CA.
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Carolyn McBride

I need to: - write more than 1000 words a day to get the first draft of the manuscript done before Christmas (right now I fluctuate between none for days and 1200) - start fleshing out the outline of book #2 when the words won't come for book #1 in the series If I knew the publishing house would take it, I'm sure I'd find much more ambition to work harder on it.
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Nina Chordas

I signed up for a Family History Writing class that is more a forum for writers than a "how-to." Having a live audience has enabled me to finally find the "voice" I'd been searching for in order to tell a complex and vibrant family story. That said, my next challenge is to make writing a habit not dependent on prepping something to read to an audience. Though I write fairly consistently, I haven't succeeded (yet) in making it a daily practice. That's what I'm working on.
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Purabi Das

I write poetry whenever I am overhelmed with feelings that somehow refuse to get out of my mind. Poetry has helped me write better prose. I want to read a couple of my poems and post them on my blog...but haven't done so, yet. Not sure what's holding me back but if I get up courage to do what I really want to then that'll be the bravest thing for me.
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This really hit home. I co-lead a writing group of primarily beginners. Wrong place for me at this time. I thought it was to coax me to write regular. I have to realize that I am the only one that that make that happen. It’s good thinking and acting I am doing.
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Sarah Selecky

Nice, Nina! The forum is a great place to make your writing a habit. When the class is finished, you'll have a great foundation.
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Sarah Selecky

Isn't that the truth, Shelagh. When I keep my promises to my writing -- in other words, when I do what I say I'm going to do -- it always responds in kind.
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Sarah Selecky

Thank you, Janine! I love this so much. Keep writing! Keep submitting! xo S
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Sarah Selecky

Judith, you're so awesome. I absolutely love your practical, no-nonsense discipline, and the do-able way you have listed your next steps here. You've got this. This inspired me.
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Sarah Selecky

Yes! So you have something you can check off your list, and feel "done" when you show up. Sit there for 10 minutes is my personal favourite. Usually, after 10 minutes, I stay for at least 30 or 40 anyway.
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Sarah Selecky

Purabi: do it.
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I've always dreamt of writing, I love to read and learn but of recent times it's just not there...life has taken me away from my love. I always loved poetry but not the untraditional one, not the rhythm lines...the emotional type...where you'd get in your feeling from a page type.... But I love the free creative writing you did , I love how you did the forums the way you asked us to scribble and not erasing...very very brilliant, euphoric even! I'm happy to have experienced that... Be great....one good day so would I and all of you guys....
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Jule Gabrielli

Prioritize my writing by a) making more time for it and b) writing early in the day. It's a simple formula that works. I've also been enjoying unplugging on runs and walks - always get the best ideas and answers then.
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I have written and published a book called "Letters in the Lunchbag". These were a compendium of notes I had written for my wife and added to her lunch bag each day. However, now I am contemplating on writing some of my observations of life and am meaning to do it in a story. I have never written fiction, so I am a little unsure about how to approach this. Should I be taking a course in fiction writting?
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Something else...not sure how to formulate this. In re: make more time for writing, I need to come up with some "entry" practices or "minimum efforts" - a list of possibles, such as write 3 sentences, sit there ten minutes, or answer 3 questions on a character sheet...sometimes for use to get me started when I'm having trouble getting myself to sit down, for other times to say, okay, it was a busy day with other obligations, but I did X with writing.
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Judith Sears

I just submitted work to a contest - actually felt a bit premature, so I'll take this post as a vote for going ahead! Next, in no exact order: - make more time for writing - look up places to send two stories - move two more stories to the next level and hope to have them in shape to send out by Q1 or Q2 2020 - review my various ideas, partial starts, etc., for pieces that are ready to take center stage in development
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