About writing, Part I.

1. You gotta’ really wanna’. Or, it’s better just to forget about it. Quit suffering. Enjoy reading other writers.

2. No one cares whether you write, except you. Period. To stay with it, you have to be passionate – about the writing itself or the project you’re working on.

3. Writing is basically a solitary endeavor. Ultimately, you have to sit down and do it, alone. But, having a group of dedicated writers to meet with or a writing partner can make all the difference in sticking with it. And it probably will keep you sane and sober too, unlike all those famous writers who did themselves in.

4. The biggest problems you’ll confront as a writer are your own self-doubts, resistance, and internal criticism. Far bigger than writing itself.

5. A few great writers are born. Most are developed, through hours and hours of hard work. You need to put in your 10,000 hours as Malcolm Boyd describes in his book Outliars.

6. Thinking, musing, and talking about your writing are important parts of the writing process. Still, when it gets down to it, you have to write.

7. It’s extremely helpful to read about writing. Authors are usually generous in sharing insights and suggestions. Here are my favorites: On Writing by Steven King, Bird by Bird by Annie LaMott, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. You can improve your writing by attending classes, conferences, and workshops led by writing teachers, but if you don’t feel safe, get out of there, fast.

There’s more.

Part II next time.

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