Guide You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

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I have been a writer ever since I learned how to write in the first grade. In fact, I became an editor because I deeply identify and empathize with writers and the writing life and want to support both. These past ten months have been the long, arduous reconnection with this vital part of who I am that got buried beneath parenting and the practicalities and demands of life. When I was a child, there were two things I knew I was destined for: motherhood and writing. But I am making headway. I have new babies to birth and nurture: those on the page.

And what better way to start than to write a post about writing to you, my beloved fellow writers?

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

My story is not unique. Life tends to upend and sidetrack us all. You, too, are a writer. Email Not published. I've never written that way. It could be because I'm also an editor by trade, and that rewriting process takes place in my head before I ever put fingers to keys. Which is also why my level of productivity is so low. I'm curious and baffled. As of late I've started to think of myself as working two full-time jobs. One of them, of course, is writing. I may not flaunt it to friends and family, but that's how I've set my mind. When it does get overwhelming, I remind myself that I'm doing something I actually really love, and that's worth a lot of sacrifice.

All the points you listed are superb and absolute musts for professional writers.

You are what you say you are. If you say you're an amateur, that's who you are. If you want to be a professional, then you need to start claiming you are a professional and strive for your best.

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Great post and perfect timing. I used to be a full-time reporter so this should be easy for me, but now that I'm a teacher and only a part-time writer I struggle with this. I have a long list of goals but most of them haven't been met because I need to work on setting deadlines for myself. Thanks again for this post. You're absolutely right that remaining focused and disciplined isn't as easy as it sounds and it doesn't sound particularly easy, IMO, either. We all relapse from time to time even I have to occasionally remind myself to get my head in the right place again , but it's a battle worth fighting and the results are worth the struggle.

Thanks for stopping by, Dan! I can't speak for everyone nor would I ever try to , but while many writers I know including myself see the first draft as a kind of discovery for the author to later be molded into a coherent story for the reader, I know a couple writers who are more editorial-based who take longer to write their first drafts, but have to do less editing then, later on.

The process is different from everyone and there's no right or wrong way to go about it. What works for you works for you. I love those last couple sentences there, Margaret, and I absolutely agree with you.

You are a (Tribe) Writer: So Start Acting Like One

You are what you believe you are and as long as you're doing something that you really love, the rest of the struggle becomes worth it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You're very welcome, Javacia! I'm glad this post served as a helpful reminder and reinforced what you've already read. I wish you the best of luck with your writing!

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This is a good post. I totally agree. I think the problem in my situation at least is that I think I'd be prepared to write on a schedule but I still haven't come up with a story idea that I think I would be passionate enough to want to write about all the way through. I do have a few story ideas but they all need something to make them better so I'm constantly brainstorming for other ideas or solutions to fix my current few projects.

So that is my struggle. And then there's the issue of outlining everything once I do have a good idea. See, I happen to write fantasy which is as it seems, a very competitive genre. There are a lot of unsuccessful fantasy series that don't have that cutting edge difference which I think is crucial. If you just write the usual stereotypical fantasy novel it won't be successful. Anyway, once again a great post!

Keep em up!

Thank you, Steven! It can be difficult to settle on a story idea I certainly understand where you're coming from. Have you started writing any of your ideas? I love these kind of posts of yours, because they make me feel guilty. After reading them I try to improve my 'professional' attitude, but it's keeping up the good work that makes it a hard job.

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) - Gretchen Louise

I think you're probably right that keeping it up is the hardest part. We all have our off days and areas that need more attention and improvement. Nobody's perfect and thankfully, no one expects us to be.


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Writers: Start Acting Like Professionals. Photo credit: Johan Larsson on Flickr I am an unpublished writer, and I'm sure many of you reading this are also unpublished writers. But what exactly do I mean by acting like a professional writer? Well, let's take a look at some things most or at least many professional writers do:.