How to be a successful writer in two steps. Or one.


Here it goes:

  1. Write. Just write. Computer, longhand, with a stick in the sand. Dealer’s choice.

2. On some public forum, like medium, hit the publish button.

Step 2 is optional.

This is along the same lines of how to get a bikini body.

1. Put a bikini on your body.

I have recently subscribed to the school of not giving a flying f@ck… don’t get me wrong, I care deeply about a lot of things. The world hurts my heart. I would lay down my life for my family. I over think almost everything. I scrutinize,analyze,obsess. The one thing I currently can’t care about, is if my writing will embarrass me or if I will fail.

You see, if I wanted perfection or every comma in the right place I probably wouldn’t write. A friend and I are trying to push each other towards creative goals. She recently told me she was working on a story, creating an arc and plot. Well hell, I have certainly heard those words before but not once, let me repeat NOT once, did those thoughts ever enter my mind. My thought process is usually put fingers on keyboard and see what happens. If I am entertaining myself and if it is turning into a readable essay, I keep going. I may revise a bit. I then take a deep breath and hit publish.

That said, if I went back and read some of the things I wrote, I would probably cringe. So I don’t go back and read old stuff. My plan is not to beat myself over bad grammar or wild, meandering trains of thought. My goal is to keep writing. Keep developing, keep working.

And along the way I found out a few things:

  • I have a voice
  • My voice is getting stronger over time
  • Writing is therapeutic for me
  • And, low and behold, some people even seem to enjoy hearing what I have to say

In case it helps you… here my past 2 years of how I got to this point.

1. I made a conscious effort to start a blog. I used WordPress.

This put me into the mindset that I wanted to have a finished essay that I could publish as often as possible — every other week, once a month, somewhat regularly. Putting a little money behind it psychologically helped push me. I think my subscription is $100 a year. I am sure you can get one for less. I am a huge fan of journaling and I have been doing it since I was a kid,but there is a different thought process when you know you are going to send it out to the world. Many blog posts have come from journal entries. They just get cleaned up a little more.

2. I started out blogging about things I observed and enjoyed: a flower shop, a bakery, etc.

Actually, my real goal had been to provide a forum for my photography with an a essay to accompany. Along the way the photography became an accessory to the writing.

3 . After a few months of the travel tips type blogging, I felt like doing something different and I wrote a blog about my feelings on a certain topic. I just wanted to do it. It was a bit scary laying myself out online for others to read real feeling. I am certain I would not have gotten to that point unless I had already been writing and publishing for several months.

4. Feedback is helpful,but don’t worry about it. I love getting positive reactions,but I like to think I would write no matter what. Sure I would love more readers, a book deal (do they even exist?), someone to pay me for putting my thoughts out there. In the meantime,I am going to just keep writing and hitting publish. Voila! I’m a writer. And…drum-roll…you can be too!

5. And by the way — I just decided i want to be a painter. So, in the spirit of my own advice, I am going to do just that. Watch out world.


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