Kim B. Clark, a University president, taught a principle for learning that applies perfectly for writing as well. He says, “In every major there is a Know-Do-Become pattern that applies to that field. Deep learning of this kind only comes with diligence on the part of the learner.” * He teaches, to reach the next level of learning you must conquer the one before it first.
Before you can become a writer you have to know you want to become a writer. Simple? For some. But there are some people who teeter on the edge saying they’d like to write a book one day or “wouldn’t it be fun to be a writer” but haven’t made up their minds whether it’s for them or not yet.
“Do you like writing enough to write almost every day?”
If you haven’t decided yet, here are three things you need to ask yourself:
- Am I willing to read… a lot?
- Do I like writing enough to do it almost every day?
- Do I want to be a writer bad enough that I’m willing to make myself write, even when I’m not in the mood?
If you didn’t answer yes to all three of those questions, you need to rethink becoming a writer. The reading and writing can’t be escaped, and what’s the fun doing it if you don’t want it…bad.
Goals are achieved in the doing. If we only spend time thinking about being a writer, or wishing we were a writer, it’s never going to happen. We have to actually do what it takes to be a writer. So what does it take?
What it takes to become a writer is simple, but not easy. Let me explain. Toby Macquire sat on Oprah Winfrey’s couch for an interview. She asked what his weight loss secret was when becoming Spiderman. He leaned forward, crooking his finger ’til she leaned in too, then whispered, “I exercised and ate right.” She sat back and laughed. He assured her that really was all he did. Writing is no different. All you have to do is read a lot and write a lot. That’s it! But like weight loss, sticking with the routine, until you get the results you want, is the hardest part.
“What it takes to become a writer is simple, but not easy.”
For me, having a community of other writers keeps me doing my writing. What motivates you to keep writing? Maybe it’s watching videos on writing or reading blogs and articles online, like this one? What about reading books that inspire you? Whatever it is, find what works for you and keep doing your writing and submitting your writing until you become a published writer.
Every writer’s goal is to one day become a published writer. But you can’t become a published writer writer until you first know you want to be a writer and then do the work that gets you there.
Stephen King put it simply:
“If you want to be a writer you have to do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
Like any farmer will tell you, you can’t reap the harvest unless you know what you’re planting, and then do the work to help your crop grow. If you want to become a writer and harvest the fruits of your labors, you have to work.
On the bright side, when you know you want to be a writer, you’ll also want to do the “doing” part. There’s a reason we want to be writers, writing is magical. Sure, there’ll be days you don’t want to. If you can push through the days you’re not in the mood and do it anyway you’ll reach the next level of becoming a published writer eventually. And is there really any better job in the whole wide world? I don’t think so.