7 Things You Don't Need to Become A Writer
There are some qualifications every writer needs. Like, the ability to actually write for instance. Notice, I didn’t say write well, I just the ability to write. You can’t say you want to become a writer, but your thoughts always stay in your head.
Writers, write. And really, you could stop reading this blog post right now having gotten the root answer to all your questions. Want to become a writer? Well, write on!
But, something tells me you have those pesky thoughts inside of you that are gnawing at all your preconceived notions of writing. You believe there are some things you must have to become a writer. I have a strong idea I know what they are and we’re going to kick those thoughts to curb!
Let’s get myth busting shall we?
1. Formal Education
Let me be the first to tell you, you do NOT need formal education to become a writer. I did not go to college to become a writer. Friend, I didn’t even take a course, in person workshop or online, to become a writer. Having someone tell or teach you what to do will not make you a writer.
You deciding you’re going to put pen to paper everyday and create a story through the written word, that is what makes you a writer.
Never feel like you need to be a certain level of booksmart to become a writer. All you need is your smarts, your heart, your pen and your paper.
2. A Writing Coach or Mentor
Aha! Can we talk about this? Because we really need to. I notice nowadays, every writer is a writing coach. A writing mentor. Someone who knows just a little more than you and they’re out there to help you become either something, or better at something.
Let’s get something clear, you do not need a coach of any kind to become a writer. Nill. None. Nada. Nyet. Nein!
Before someone tells you to become a writer, you must first tell yourself. It is an innate desire that comes from within and consumes you. You become propelled to share the story that is burning inside. Want to become a writer? Don’t wait for someone else to tell you, tell yourself.
3. Ability to Write Well
Guess what? If you thought you needed to be an exceptional writer to become one, my I’ve got news for you.
Anyone who tells you that you need to write well to be a writer is downright lying to you.
Your skills will develop in time. And, ohey, that’s why we have editors! What you can’t pretty up yourself or say correctly, they will help you do so.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with this belief that you have to be a good writer, or write well, to actually become a writer. Your pen and what flows out of it dictates if you will become a writer or not.
No writer I know was perfect before becoming one. Oh wait, no writer I know is perfect even AS a writer. We are all constantly growing. Constantly learning. Constantly becoming. You don’t need to be a master storyteller to become a writer. You don’t need to be able to execute the most eloquent novel or novella to become a writer.
There’s no such thing as perfection in writing.
You may hear “that book was totally perfect”, but the reviewer doesn’t mean the writing. They mean the concept. All writing needs work. All writers need work. It is not for you to become perfect before starting.
It is for you to start, and then you can begin to perfect. Don’t let perfection keep you from starting. You don’t need to have it all together, you just need to start.
5. A Complete Understanding of the Craft
Go ahead and SHOUT! Yes that’s right.
You do NOT have to know everything! You don’t even need to completely know what you’re doing. You just need to get going.
Once you do, you’ll start learning, developing, and crafting your skills.
This means, prose? The craft of storytelling? Writing jargon? Plotting? All the good stuff you need for writing a bang out book does NOT have to be front-of-your-mind knowledge.
If you don’t even know a lick, but you know you have a story inside of you and you’re ready to get cranking at least putting it out there on paper, please feel free to do so! Besides, how fun would it be to write if you already knew everything. We all need some mystery, some newness. Learning along the way so you can look back and see just how much and how far you’ve grown is a necessary part of the process.
6. An Ideal Schedule
EL OH EL.
If you’re one of those people who want start writing until you’ve got that perfect writing schedule you’ve always desired so you can finally write that book and do all the things… sorry to burst your bubble friend, but it’s never going to happen!
When it comes to writing, you don’t get time. You have to MAKE time.
Many writers became the writers they are by jotting random thoughts on the backs of napkins. Jotting down a scene while commuting. Sacrificing an hour of sleep late at night to get the words out. Skipping out on events so they can sneak away and write.
Because NONE of us get the privilege of an ideal schedule when we’re starting out.
It just doesn’t happen that way. Want to become a writer? Get going. Time can’t be your excuse. You want time? Make time.
7. Permission or Approval
You will NEVER EVER need permission or your loved ones approval to become a writer. I’ll let you know right now, becoming a writer is hard. Know why? Because it’s one of the loneliest journeys one can take. Writing is solitary. There isn’t a party going on when you’re writing, but there is a lot of soul sharing.
The only permission you need, is your own. The only approval you need is your own!
Give yourself permission to be vulnerable. Give yourself permission to write the thing and be proud of it. Give yourself permission to bring what you see in your mind to life.
A book takes a long time to write. Friend, an article takes a long time to write! You know what that means? People get impatient. This also means, people’s (loved ones, hello) support start to wane. They get tired of you saying, “I’m still writing.” Your process to produce art begins to take too long therefore confidence in your abilities fail. This is when you’ll have to know for yourself, you in fact are becoming a writer and regardless of who is behind you, you will keep going.
Let's talk about it, eh?
You don’t need ANY of the above to become a writer. With a relentless drive, passion, a pen and some paper, you can sit, put down the words of your soul, and begin charting out your own path to becoming a writer. Remember, it’s not rocket science, it’s just writing.