Navigating the Uncharted Path of the Writing Journey
Writing has always been my passion. The power of words to captivate, inspire, and connect is unparalleled. Honestly, the path to successful writer is difficult and requires dedication, perseverance, a lot of hard work, and a tremendous amount of luck. Though this article focuses on the beginning of the writing journey, I believe it is important to go into this endeavor with a clear mind and practical perspective. My writing partner, Terry Trueman, and I often discuss the effort vs. luck and the barriers to the success he achieved in the traditional publishing world, which I have not. These conversations and our circumstances highlight how important it is for new writers to understand that writing advice is often flowery and positive sounding but holds no guarantee of success. I am not telling you this as a disclaimer but as an honest person who made money writing in every capacity except in the traditional publishing world. With that said, there are basic requirements for becoming a writer you will see online in one form or another and you will need to fulfill them for success with traditional or self-publishing, so as a starting point, this article will guide you as you embark on the write journey to writing success.
The importance of writing every day
One of the most crucial aspects of the write journey is writing every day. Writing is like a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly to grow stronger. By committing to writing every day, even if it's just for a few minutes, you will gradually improve your skills and develop a consistent writing habit.
Overcoming obstacles to writing at home
Writing at home can be a challenge, especially with distractions like household chores, family obligations, and the ever-tempting allure of Netflix. But fear not, there are ways to overcome these obstacles. Set aside a dedicated writing space where you can focus and minimize distractions. Establish a writing routine that works for you, whether it's waking up early or staying up late. Don't forget to communicate your need for uninterrupted writing time to those around you, so they can support your journey.
Finding inspiration for daily writing
Inspiration is the fuel that keeps our writing engines running. But what do you do when inspiration seems to be on vacation? The key is to actively seek it out. Read books, articles, and blogs in your chosen genre but also literary fiction to widen your literary perception. Take walks in nature or explore new places to stimulate your senses. Engage in conversations with interesting people and listen to their stories. And most importantly, never underestimate the power of free writing. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write whatever comes to mind. You'll be surprised at the hidden gems that emerge.
Setting goals for your writing journey
Goals provide direction and purpose on the write journey. Whether it's completing a novel, publishing an article, or simply improving your writing skills, setting specific and achievable goals is essential. Break down big goals into smaller, manageable tasks, and create a timeline to keep yourself accountable. Celebrate milestones along the way to stay motivated. Remember, it's not just about the destination, but the joy of the journey itself.
Writing your life story: Questions to guide you
Writing your life story is a powerful way to explore your experiences, reflect on your journey, and share your wisdom with others. To get started, ask yourself thought-provoking questions such as: What are the defining moments in my life? What lessons have I learned along the way? How have I overcome challenges? What are my dreams and aspirations for the future? Use these questions as a guide to craft a compelling narrative that will resonate with readers.
Becoming a writer: Essay on the journey to success
Becoming a writer is not just about honing your craft; it's also about developing the mindset of a writer. Embrace the challenges, setbacks, and rejections as opportunities for growth. Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow writers who can provide feedback, encouragement, and inspiration. And most importantly, believe in yourself and your ability to make a difference with your words. Success may not come overnight, but with perseverance and a passion for writing, you can make your dreams a reality.
Tips on how to become a better writer
Becoming a better writer is a continuous process of learning and refining your skills. Here are some tips to help you on your journey:
- Read voraciously: Good writers are also avid readers. (I cannot emphasize this enough!) Immerse yourself in a variety of genres and styles to expand your knowledge and understanding of storytelling.
- Write with purpose: Every piece of writing should have a clear purpose or message. Understand what you want to convey to your readers and craft your words accordingly.
- Edit ruthlessly: First drafts are rarely perfect. Embrace the editing process and be willing to cut, rearrange, and polish your work until it shines.
- Seek feedback: Constructive criticism is invaluable in improving your writing. Join writing groups or seek out beta readers who can provide honest feedback and suggestions.
- Never stop learning: Attend workshops, take writing courses, and stay updated on industry trends. The more you learn, the more you can grow as a writer.
Embracing life as a writer: Insights and experiences
Life as a writer is a unique journey filled with ups and downs, triumphs and tribulations. Embrace the challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth. Cherish the moments of inspiration and the joy of seeing your words come to life on the page. And never forget the impact your writing can have on others. Whether it's bringing a smile to someone's face, sparking a thought-provoking conversation, or offering solace in difficult times, your words have the power to make a difference in the world.
Resources for daily writing practice
To embark on the write journey, you need the right tools and resources to support your daily writing practice. Here are some recommendations:
- Writing apps: Scrivener, Evernote, or Google Docs are great for organizing your ideas and keeping your writing accessible across devices. Note: While the mentioned tools work well, I recommend learning to use Word for creating manuscripts because it has better formatting capabilities and is widely used for other writing projects like blogs for your writer website.
- Writing prompts: Websites like "The Write Practice" or "Reedsy" offer daily writing prompts to kickstart your creativity.
- Writing courses: Online platforms like Udemy or Coursera offer a wide range of writing courses taught by industry professionals.
- Writing communities: Join online writing communities such as "NaNoWriMo" or "Wattpad" to connect with fellow writers, share your work, and receive feedback.
Embrace the write journey to writing success
Embarking on the write journey may seem daunting at first, but with dedication, perseverance, and a love for words, you can achieve writing success. Remember, it's not just about the destination; it's about the joy of the journey. So pick up your pen, open your laptop, and let your words take flight. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories, and never stop writing. Your story is waiting to be told.
Making It As a Writer
As mentioned above in this article, Vincent and I spend a fair amount of time discussing, sometimes debating, more often largely agreeing as to what goes into “making it” as a writer.
What Vincent didn’t share is his raging, legit, puzzlement as to how someone as technically inadequate as I am could have ever made it. I am disdainful of the rules, written and unwritten, that apply to submission of manuscripts. I am terrible at achieving even elementary school levels of proper grammar. I ignore all dimensions of minimum standards for having one’s work avoid immediate dismissal into the circular file right next to any professional editor’s desk. So how did I do it? Why has my career, at times enormously and still at least a little bit, been so BIG?
I’ve had a lot of time to consider this. My first big novel was Stuck in Neutral and it still today, coming up on 24 years since its first publication, pays me a bit of royalties. It’s good and I’m glad I wrote it. Just yesterday I had a Doctor’s appt with an orthopedic hand specialist who, when he asked me what my best-known novel is, immediately recognized the title, Stuck in Neutral, and told me that his daughters had read it in school.
So, for going on two and a half decades I’ve been telling other writers that the three ingredients to making it are talent (which you never really know how much you have), perseverance (just sticking with it) and finally luck.
I asked AI to tell me what it thought of the role of luck in this equation, and it offered this:
The role of luck in becoming a successful writer is a topic of debate. According to an article on The Writing Cooperative, the writing game is a game of chance. The stories you write are like steel balls that you launch out into the world, and how they bounce around in the pachinko machine of the internet is out of your control. If you’re lucky, your story will end up in the winning pocket and go viral. More likely than not, it will just be swallowed by the machine.
In recent years, several studies have suggested that luck and opportunity may play a far greater role than we ever realized in various fields, including literature. In an article on The Atlantic, the author argues that chance plays a far larger role in life outcomes than most people realize.
Therefore, while hard work and persistence are important factors in becoming a successful writer, luck can also play a significant role. It’s important to keep writing and putting your work out there, but it’s also important to remember that success is not entirely within your control. ~Bing Chat 2023
Not bad, AI, not bad at all. I especially like the use of steel balls landing in the right pocket, which demands, more than any other factor, good fuckin’ luck! It doesn’t hurt to have brass balls too, but that’s an idea for a different story.
So, these days I’d adjust my three magic ingredients formula a little: I’d say that the elements are still, talent (and your development of it), perseverance (same as before), and, luck, luck, luck luck, LUCK LUCK LUCK and then more LUCK LUCK LUCK.
If you think about it, your IQ, your disposition, your parents and genes, your DNA, you're not having been run over by a bus sometime in your first 75 years of life—all of these are as much if not more so, LUCK than anything else.
You ever notice how often people use the word “luck” when really they are describing the outcome of good luck, which is actually “good fortune.” You’ve had “good luck” and you’ve been “very fortunate” are almost identical and interchangeable in usage. But “you’ve accumulated a great fortune,” has no equivalent in the world of luck. No one would ever say “you’ve accumulated a great luck.” What the fuck are you talking about?
So, yeah, you wanna make it as a writer? Good luck.
And I mean this in more ways than you can possibly imagine until you’ve been spit out into the world AFTER making it and you look back at the entirety of your life and your writing, and at AI’s view of you, and then you might, maybe, understand.Copyright Vincent Triola & Terry Trueman