I consider myself an intermediate writer. (note: post is from 2013; six years later, I now consider myself a professional writer. Yay progress!) I’ve been writing seriously for fifteen years and am just now moving into the publishing game. Where ever you are in your writing journey, you probably want to move up to the next rung on the ladder. Here are ten ideas to get there –
1. Write More
That’s really the key to anything – do it more. Everything will improve as you practice and the quality of your writing will springboard you to the next level.
2. Experience More
Whether it’s reading, watching great shows, seeing concerts, and having adventures – all of these will impact your imagination and writing quality. Try to step outside of your favorite genres, entertainment types etc. and let Grand Theft Auto 5 influence your romance novel and Jane Eyre inspire your electronica. You never know.
3. Seek Help
Find a mentor, read a new book, and just keep looking for others who are where you want to be.
4. Start Acting Like You’re Already There
Your mind is your most powerful tool. If you believe you are talented, dedicated, and able – you will be. So start seeing yourself as the success you want to be. This both shows others and yourself that you are serious and going places. Dress like you would when you’ve ‘made it’. Treat people with the generosity of someone who’s been blessed with success. Never bad-talk yourself. You are a star.
5. Make a Plan
I have a one year plan, broken down into 52 weeks. If you’re serious about getting better — write down goals and make step-by-step processes to complete them.
Yes, yes, and yes. For a long time I thought I could ‘go it alone’ but now I believe my success is tied to everyone I interact with. Scary, no? So join associations, critique groups, online pages and anywhere else that will help you meet others. They’ll help you more than you could imagine.
7. Dream Big
When you’re making those plans, make them giant. Push yourself. If you dream of writing the next great HBO series – do it! “Your playing small does not serve the world.” – Marianne Williamson
8. Play to Your Strengths
I suggest you read the book ‘Now Discover Your Strengths’ by Buckingham and Clifton. It changed my life. We spend more time fixing our weaknesses than embracing our strengths. You can always pair with someone who’s good at what you’re unsure about (whether you do a skill trade or pay them money). What you want is to spend most of your time doing the thing no one but you can do.
9. Clear Out the Junk
If you want to be an amazing writer who’s living the life of their dreams, you need to get rid of everything you can that takes time and energy away from your happiness. Give away items, get fit and healthy, let go of people and situations that drag you down. If you’re serious about wanting to move to the next level, be ready to leave a lot of this level behind you.
10. Know You Can Do It
Absolutely, positively. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, know that some of your heroes started with less and overcame more on their way to greatness. You are special, talented, and have gifts no one else has. And if you are willing to work hard, you will be unstoppable.