Do you have dreams of someday being a writer? There have been many times that I've heard others tell me that they wish they could write like me, or that they don't have time to write, they don't know where to begin, etc.. When I got divorced and moved away, I knew that I wanted to live the life of a writer, so I immersed myself into the life of one! I attend local writer's groups, meetings, workshops and I joined a weekly critique group. I'm up most mornings between 3-5 a.m. and I really focus on my craft. It takes lots of discipline and a love of writing in order to succeed.
Writing has always been in my blood -- from that first creative writing class that I took in the 6th grade until now... I live and breathe it. I taught Pre-K for twenty years and still managed to write my first book and do freelance work for teacher's and children's magazines at the same time. I think the biggest complaint I hear is, "I don't have time to write." My answer to that is, "If you REALLY want to write, you will MAKE the time to do it."
So, here's some tips from me to you:
- Start out small. Set aside a 15 minute time slot each day. Maybe it's before the husband and kids get up in the morning, or at night when the kids go to bed...just do it! Set a timer if you have to at first just to force yourself into it. There may be days when you are first starting out where you may sit and stare at the pen and paper or your keyboard, but I promise you that you will soon exceed that 15 minute limit and continue on.
- Start little "Me Time" rituals to coincide with your writing time. I make myself a big mug of tea, light some candles and nag champa incense and, when the weather is cold, I swaddle myself in a comfy chenille throw while I write.
- Get into the habit of carrying a notebook with you (or several - I have one in my car, one in my purse and one in my nightstand!) That's because as you get those creative juices flowing, you'll discover that ideas, dialogue, settings, character names will come to you more freely...this way you will always have something handy to document things. The notebook that I carry in my purse is more detailed. I have it sectioned off with tabs that are labeled DIALOGUE, CHARACTERS, and SETTINGS. This way, if I am out at a diner one morning having breakfast and happen to hear some rich dialogue coming from a little Southern spitfire of a waitress, I can write it down for possible future use in a book. Or, if you notice someone who you think you may want to use as a future character, start jotting down a description of what he or she looks like, their mannerisms, their personality...ya never know what will come of your careful notes someday!
So, in closing, no more excuses! If you have a story to tell, then go ahead and make things happen! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!