You Want to be a Writer? Then Write.

I’ve always thought I wanted to be a writer. It sounds like an interesting job. I used to love English classes at school, and I think I’d be quite good at it. However, work’s busy at the moment; I’ve got a few social events coming up; it’s not the right time; but I’ll definitely make time for it next year….

Someday, I’ll learn to write properly.
Someday, I’ll start a regular writing practice.
Someday, I’m going to write that book.
Someday, someday, someday…

…until eventually life gets in the way, and the dream fades. Sound familiar? Replace writing with whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do.

You Can Already Do It

Anyone who can write words in the structure of a sentence, is already a writer. Anyone who can pretend to be someone else for a brief moment, is already an actor. Anyone who can put paint on a canvas is already a painter.

Admittedly, yes they may be a poor painter, an awful actor, or a woeful writer.

It’s not that you can’t already do these things to some extent. It’s that you’re not good at them (yet). And the only way you can get better at something is if you practice it again, and again, and again. Until one day, you reach where you want to be.

There are no shortcuts; if you want to do something, you have to actually go and do it. No more planning. No more researching. No more thinking about it. You have to take action, no matter how small the step or how bad your work is.

Every habit and faculty is formed or strengthened by the corresponding act – walking makes you walk better, running makes you run better. If you want to be literate, read. If you want to be a painter, paint.


Be Who You Want To Be

If you want to be a writer, then you must do what a writer does: write and publish. If you don’t write then how can you ever expect to become a writer?

If you want to be an actor, then you must do what an actor does: act and perform. If you don’t do these things on a regular basis, how will you ever expect to get better or get noticed?

If you want to be an entrepreneur, then you must do what entrepreneurs do: start and run a business. Don’t wait 10 years for the perfect idea to appear. Start with something small; it doesn’t have to be the next Apple; it could be as simple as selling home-made cookies to family and friends.

By doing this you’ll start to understand what it takes to start and run a business, be an actor or write a book. Ultimately, you’re never going to become good at the thing you want to be good at unless you actually do it.

We often feel that we have to wait until the time is right. Until I’ve got to the top of the corporate ladder at a big company, then I’m qualified to start a business. I need to get a First-Class honours English degree, then I’m qualified to start writing. Yes, these things may help you get better, but why wait when you can start now?!

It’s An Active Process

The key word here is become. Because, it’s an active process; a journey. You become a good actor, writer, entrepreneur, by doing the work that they do. You have to get into the habit of doing the thing you want to become good at.

So, if you want to be a writer, then write! It doesn’t matter if you are bad at it right now. By being a writer instead of just thinking about it, you’ll eventually get there. You’ve just got to get started on the path.

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