You’ve got something in your soul that’s longing to get out. You’ve gone through an experience that changed how you perceive the world and you need to tell the story so that someone can realize they are not alone, avoid the hard lessons you learned, or be inspired.
You want to write.
My dear aspiring writer, here’s a manifesto that will help you step into this undertaking with grace and fire in your belly to sustain you along the way.
You can also download this manifesto in PDF here: The Aspiring Writer’s Manifesto for Rocking the World
I Shall Guard My Thoughts
What’s the first thing you think when you begin writing? Maybe it’s something like this:
- I don’t know what to write.
- I can’t write as well as so-in-so.
- I’ll never finish this.
- I’ll finish this…but it will suck.
Guess what? That’s the twit. It’s your own self-defeating thoughts that you automatically think when you’re worried about writing. There is no way you will ever write what needs needs to be written if you listen to the twit. What you think determines how well you write—whether it’s a novel, a memoir, or even an email. Change your thoughts and you change your writing for the better. Instead of thinking, I don’t know what to write, try this: I’m going to write down my ideas for this [book, memoir, poem, whatever] and go from there. Put that twit in the corner by flipping those negative thoughts around and you’ll be able to write well, with less stress.
I Shall Keep It Simple
Something bizarre happens when you sit down to write. You think you have to write in a way that’s different from how you normally communicate. I have no idea why you do this but don’t worry you’re not alone. I used to do it too. When you’re having a hard time writing, just say what you want write out loud. I wouldn’t recommend doing this is you’re working in a Starbucks or somewhere with people. They might think you’re hearing voices and answering them. But if you’re alone, say it then write it down. Use simple words and language. Stay away from multi-syllabic words, extra words, jargon, or stuff you wouldn’t say in a conversation with a real person.
I Shall Be Brave
Humans crave connection. Good writing does that on an intimate level. You must be brave, dear writer. That means pouring your most vulnerable self onto the page. This will be uncomfortable and you’ll be afraid of what people will think when they read it. Most people will be in awe. They will admire you for being so brave. Some people will hate you. They’ll condemn you or send you hate email. But do you really care? They aren’t the ones you are writing for, are they? Be aware of the haters but don’t let them stop you because they will win and you will lose.
I Shall Practice Extreme Self Care
You can’t write if you have a migraine, toddlers vying for your attention, or a To Do List a mile long. Health is your super power. It sounds corny but you need to eat well, exercise, and get plenty of rest. That doesn’t mean give up your coffee! As if! But if you are dealing with serious health issues, you won’t be able to pour your soul out and you have to do that to write well. The same is true if you have children who need your attention or a bunch of responsibilities. No, I’m not suggesting that you send your children off to boarding school or stop paying your bills. Once you make health a priority, you need to take care of the bills then schedule time to write where you won’t be distracted. Taking fifteen minutes is better than taking no time at all. There’s a quote I love, “The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you did not write.”
I Shall Surround Myself with Supportive People
One of the best things I’ve ever done is engage with a community of writers who share the same view about writing: help others and you help yourself. Long gone are the days when writers would sit isolated in a dark room surrounded by wadded up pieces of paper. Okay, if you are old school you probably still have wadded up pieces of paper lying around but you have also access to the world now. You can easily become part of an online community. Here are some you may want to check out:
WritingForward - For Creative writers.
NaNoWriMo – For Novel writing.
She Writes – For Women writers.
Copyblogger – For creating compelling content.
Writer’s Corner – For writer’s of multiple genres.
To be an aspiring writer is to be determined, hopeful, and full of potential. Turn that wonderful energy into something that is real and tangible by following this manifesto or creating your own. Whatever you do, dear writer, go forth and write what’s in your heart.
And be prepared to rock the world.