Are you afraid to fail? Writers fail all of the time. Are you willing to take the risk of failing to get to where you want to go with your writing? It is best to step slowly and softly through your early attempts and keep a low profile because I guarantee you will make mistakes. Keep writing. I have made many mistakes while emerging as a writer and many of my mistakes were self-sabotaging. I managed to recover and also recovered nicely from Zombie writing trances, frozen brain attacks, faux Hemingway syndrome, midnight moonlit 90th revision stints and other writing challenges.
Do you need paper to write? One of the best things about writing is that it is portable and you do not even need a computer. I know quite a few writers who prefer to write their first drafts in longhand. I jot down short notes and serendipitous ideas in longhand and use my computer for longer writing stints.There are lots of little tips and tricks to resolve just about any problem. If brilliant ideas rain down upon you while you are singing in the shower, you might want to check out waterproof notepads. They are cool and you will not have to worry about guarding your handwritten notes from coffee spills and other occupational hazards. If noise is distracting you, download a white noise MP3 to drown it out.
You might not need paper at all during the early incubation period in which ideas brew slowly in your mind. At times, the simplest and most unexpected thing or event stirs your imagination. “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral,” mused the French writer and poet, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
I have had several ideas given to me on a silver platter simply by walking around and processing fairly mundane daily events and sightings in my life. When I wrote “A Dream Gone Wrong” I was reading a lot of Poe and Emily Dickinson while working on my tax returns. After weeks of simmering in my mind, words and images became so strong and powerful that I felt compelled to sit down and write. It took about fifteen minutes to get it all down on paper. “A Dream Gone Wrong” was born and soon published.
Struggling writers can probably relate to these two verses in my poem “A Dream Gone Wrong:”
She filled out code 711510
on IRS tax form 1040 C
that read: “If line three records a profit
the IRS agrees
that your dream has come true
with taxes due by April 15th
when the tiny baby buds on trees
are just about ready to bloom.
If line three equals zero
Emily, dear friend
you are declared a fraud
according to your records,
it’s time to suspect that your dream
has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Do you equate money with writing success? I love to see writers and artists do well financially but there is danger in measuring success with money. For a large part of my writing journey, I had been basically broke on purpose because finding the time to write was more important to me than financial success. Time was my most precious possession because it takes time to develop as a writer. How much time are you willing to devote to your writing? How much money does your writing have to generate before you feel successful? Do you appreciate the time that you have or are you wasting it instead of using it to write? Are you caught up in the consumer culture? If you are spending your time buying things that you want instead of paying attention to what you need to do in terms of writing success you are not going to make much progress.
Freelance writer Rachelle Nones sprinkles magical fairy dust on words for maximum impact. Her interests include songwriting, photography, baking tasty muffins, and rambling around green open fields, mountains, urban landscapes and quirky vintage shops. This post comes from her e-booklet, Wrestling a Tornado: Overcoming Writing Challenges. You’ll find it on Amazon, here if you’re in the UK and here if you’re in the US.