Some of the common questions that we hear from aspiring writers are – How should I write? When should I write? Where should I write? How do I know if my writing is any good? How do I improve my writing?
Not having found a writing or creative process that works for you can be a major barrier to actually getting started and making some progress on whatever writing project you’re dreaming of tackling.
Whenever someone expresses uncertainty about how to get started with their writing, we’re always reminded of the film Throw Momma From The Train. This is a film from 1987, it stars Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal, and it’s a dark comedy about taking inspiration from Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train.
There’s better movies out there, but there’s a great quote from Billy Crystal’s character – who’s teaching a creative writing class in a community college:
“Remember, a writer writes, always.”
It’s a fairly powerful truism, and it’s a great way to motivate yourself to focus on what you’re trying to do.
If you want to write a book, you have to start writing. If you want to publish a blog post, you have to start writing.
Obviously, what you write may not be that great. You will undoubtedly review it and edit it and improve it. But until you’ve got something down on the page, you don’t have anything to work with.
The mere act of writing will help you to become a better writer. You’ll learn how to express yourself. You’ll learn how to describe things, how to convey emotions. Every time that you write, you’ll be learning about your writing style, you’ll be finding your voice.
If you’re not sure what to write about, set yourself a topic and a deadline. You don’t have to publish everything you write, but a sprinter knows that they’re not going to break the world record unless they’ve done the training. If you’re building up to a marathon, then it’s really helpful to get some experience at running long distances.
If you want to write something. If you want to see your words published, to have people read something that you’ve written. Then, you’d better start writing.
Remember, a writer writes, always.