When I started as a writer in my early 20s, I foolishly believed that to become successful I had to produce a masterpiece. Instant fame would come as soon as I wrote that masterpiece.
I was idealistic and romantic like many young writers. And though I managed to get paid for the odd freelance article, I accomplished little actual writing during those formative years.
If I could turn back time…
Since then, I have had a lot of time to reflect on what I would do differently.
What information from my experience can I share with new writers who want to dive into the world of writing?
For one, I would avoid the reckless pursuit of the “perfect article” and not be so dependent on the approval of outsiders.
Stop chasing the perfect article
When I was younger, I wanted to write the perfect article that would set me apart from the pack.
But the truth is the perfect article doesn’t exist. It’s an abstraction. Worse, constantly aiming for perfection meant I was perpetually stuck in editing mode, which stifled my creativity.
If you’re a new writer, strive to produce good articles and remove the shackles of perfection! Understand that you will, from time to time, produce duds.
Waiting for a publisher’s approval
In those early years, I felt dependent on the yay/ nay of publishers and editors. As a freelance journalist, I felt that my work needed to appear in a publication to be worth anything. If an editor didn’t like my pitch, I would abandon the article.
But you don’t need a publisher’s approval to write an article. Knowing what I do now, I would dedicate more time to writing for the sake of writing. That means more time writing diaries, more note taking and more blogging.
Just think of all the writers and artists who initially found success through social media and blogging. They create for the love of it, regardless of what others have to say.
My message to the aspiring writer
If you want to become a successful writer you need to write, right. Building a writing career can be a grind – a beautiful, amazing grind of a journey!
Self-publish. Blog. Market yourself on social media. Don’t be dependent on publishers!
Recognize that you will only improve your writing skills through repetition and continued refinement.
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