You Are a Writer or a Dreamer
You commit to the craft, or you are a dreamer chasing the illusion of writing
Dreamers talk about writing.
Dreamers buy a box of expensive journals, the must have pen, create the perfect writing space and endlessly read about how to master the craft, but they write nothing of value because writing is always secondary when you are in the dreamer stage.
Writers write every day and commit to the grind.
Writing at your desk early in the morning, dressed in your favorite writing baggy sweats, holding a cup of coffee with both hands, and staring at your keyboard waiting for a spontaneous combustion of brilliance, is not the sexy fantasy many people have about being a writer.
You are a writer, or a dreamer, but you can’t be both
You commit to the craft, or you are a dreamer chasing the illusion of writing. You were born to write, and if you believe that, there is no backup plan, no other options for you in life and no Plan B.
There is writing every day and maybe a “real” job now to pay for your writing life, but you live to write and there is no other option in your soul how you will live.
Hemingway would drink until dawn, stagger to his desk, and write five pages before going to bed; occasionally with his wife, maybe a friend of his wife, or someone random was in the bar that night listening to his endless stories of traveling the world as a writer.
He would then get up at noon, fish, drink and begin the party yet one more day, but he still wrote those five pages every single day resulting in many books and an endless stream of correspondence as a journalist.
Henry Miller left the U.S. just to write. He would explore Paris until the sun came up, or until he ran out of money and his friends stopped buying him free drinks, partylike the Bohemian he was born to be, but still get to his desk and write five pages a day.
The legend is that he would often type with a naked woman in his lap, and he still got five pages in a day. When he ran out of money, he wrote pornography for a $1 per page, but at least he wrote.
Wannabe writers talk about writing, read endlessly about getting started as a writer, make lists, get journals going, read posts about the excuses writers make not to write, and do everything, every day, but write those five pages.
Did you write your five pages today?
If yes, you are a writer. If not, you are not yet a writer.
Writers write, or they don’t, but if you don’t write are you really a writer?
Writers read what they strive to be
If you want to be a nonfiction writer, you read and collect the best of the class you wish to emulate. Writers can never write if they first don’t read the best of who they want to be. If you don’t read daily, with intensity, and absorb the best that is already out there, you will never unleash your potential as a serious writer yourself.
If you are a future novelist, then who inspires you?
Who are your top five writers in the genre you wish to join? Have you collected their books? Have you written them? Have you studied their earlier work that may not have been a success? Success leaves clues, a path to follow, and a role model of what it takes to be successful
The answers to your writing career are in other’s works that have gone before you, but becoming the best you can be in your own work starts with reading the best of those you are following.
Writers who become serious writers read daily as part of their education and training to master the craft. The reading isn’t about what they wrote, but how did they do it, how do they think, and how did the author turn an idea into a book you are now holding in your hands?
Writers have to know the “why” in life
Any good conversation in a bar turns into scribbled dialogue on your phone in the restroom if you are a writer.
Any unanswered question in a business meeting turns into a possibility of becoming the person who has the answers and has written about the subject.
Good writers can never sleep until they understand why.
“Sorry, there doesn’t seem to be anyone writing about that marketing problem.”
“Why did that person quit a good job and move to another state? There has to be a good story there somewhere?”
“Why has no one written about that idea before?”
The “why’ is what a writer lives for in life.
Find the “why” and you have found a new post, article or book. Writers ask why, how, and what, to the point their friends want to slap them, and at that point you have finally become the pain in the ass it takes to be a good writer.
Writers who write and survive as professionals find their own voice
You read and study others when you begin, but eventually you find your own voice, your own style and your own outlook on life. We will read you to hear what you have to say, not to have you speak copying someone else’s style. New writers imitate, writers of substance describe the world in their own style.
You are unique and your writing has to reflect what makes you different in the world.
The big aha moment is when you realize you don’t want to be the next (insert any writer here), you want to create your own path using your own voice, a voice that shows us a new direction, a new way of thinking about an old idea, or a voice that inspires us and takes us on journeys only you can create.
Writers write five pages a day.
Writers read those who have mastered the space you want to own.
Writers can never rest without knowing why.
Writers find a voice unique to themselves that inspires us all.