Stop lurking and start writing!
I was an early and voracious reader. Writing a story myself didn’t occur to me until a few years later. I can still remember the feeling of getting lost in the story as I wrote it. Feeling triumphant as I carried my first long story, three whole handwritten pages, in my eight year old fist to show my mom. I don’t remember the plot of the story, but I remember the pride which swelled in my chest and a sense of accomplishment. I wanted to be a writer. I knew it down to my sneakers.
Don’t be like me.
You’re a reader or you wouldn’t have followed me this far. Are you a writer too? Aspiring and hopeful? Lurking around Medium and other places on the web reading articles on writing. Do these five things…Don’t do these seven things. Daydreaming about what you’ll do when you write. Yup. That was me too.
Don’t be like me. I stopped writing to get lost in the story.
I wrote what I had to for school, and I did it well. There was pride in a well received book report. But reporting is not the same as creating and neither was the sense of accomplishment. Later, I served a congregation as a pastor. Preaching and teaching require writing. A lot of it! Good writing, creative writing, persuasive writing. I loved it! Still do.
Bringing to life people who do not exist, building those lives in a world imagined, it’s different. Writing articles to encourage, inspire, and inform, it’s different. Writing because I wanted to, not because I had to, it’s different. Writing with the expectation of not seeing a thin dime for my efforts, it’s different. I didn’t know how much I missed it, until I started doing it again, way too many years later.
Of those secrets hiding, filed away in the depths of your heart, in the far recesses of your mind, is the desire to write one of them? It doesn’t matter what you want to write, poetry, articles, memoir, or fiction. Pull that box, the one you’ve packed all those aspirations and doubts into, blow the dust off it, and open it.
Don’t be like me.
Don’t daydream, DO!
Don’t convince yourself it’s a waste of time. Don’t let anyone else even try to.
Don’t be afraid what people will think about what you write. Your writing is yours. It’s part of your unique journey exploring yourself and this amazing world we’ve been given.
Don’t write with money as your sole focus. Yes, you have to pay the bills, but you can write to share, to teach, to love, to inform, as well as to get paid. The difference shows.
Don’t wait for the right time. There is no right time, there is only now, this moment. We have no guarantee of tomorrow. Someone needs what you have to share right now.
Don’t wait. Write.