Advice for Aspiring Writers! How to Easily Get Started
Want to get started as a writer but don’t know how? Feeling discouraged to start writing? Here are mindset and getting-started tips for aspiring writers.
Imagine a life where you can write stories for a living. The characters that live in your head now dance on the page and, if your characters are anything like mine, stumble through love and loss until they get their HEA (happily ever after). What if I told you that you can live this dream with this simple-to-follow, getting-started advice for aspiring writers? You just have to commit to the damn thing.
But, Sujeiry, it isn’t that easy! I know, fellow writers. Most folks cannot understand the literal time and mental, physical, and emotional energy that it takes to write books. It’s a long and arduous process for even the fastest, most efficient writer. As someone whose words pour out as quickly as I talk (and, like a typical Dominicana, I talk fast) I still feel drained after a long writing session. Even more so as a writer with a full-time job and a 6-year-old to boot. Still, I get on my computer after working 8 hours and tucking my kid into bed. Because storytelling fulfills me like nothing else can.
If this resonates, here is advice for aspiring writers, including some mindset tips and getting-started tricks.
Advice for Aspiring Writers! How to Get Started Easily
Claim you’re a writer. Cause if you believe it, you will be it. If you don’t feel like a writer or that you can succeed as a blogger or author, I recommend creating and reciting a mantra. Use this mantra as your daily affirmation to grow confidently as a writer. Words have that much power. And as a writer, you should know that and believe that! Need a mantra to get you started? Use mine:
I am a rich and successful as fuck author.
Write every day. Or, at least, as often as you can and when you can. Writing every day gets you into the habit of writing. It also cements your identity as a writer. Think about it this way: a doctor can’t claim they're a doctor if they’ve never treated anyone. So, the more you write, the more you will feel like a writer.
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Bonus advice for aspiring writers: you don’t have to write a novel every time you sit down to write. You don’t even have to write on your computer! Find inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Whenever a thought comes to mind, write it down. Watching a reality TV show and having a thoughtful or hilarious response? Share it on Facebook. Reading a blog, like this one, or a book that is inspiring you? Pull up my favorite app, Day One, to jot down your thoughts or write a story about it.
The point is to just keep writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Shit, this newsletter was riddled with typos when I first wrote it, and it might still have grammatical errors. (Sue me, I’m a working single mom!). The point is to write, write, write.
Publish and share your writing. It’s time to share your writing with someone other than your newborn baby or dog. It’s time to put yourself out there. You can start a blog, like I did in 2006 to share my relationship stories ala Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. (I also wrote a book called, Love Trips, thanks to that blog. Order it here.) Launch a newsletter on Substack (yup, right here!) to share your stories with anyone that subscribes (it lands right in their Inbox). Or you can share your writing with your peers in a writing workshop or course. Just don’t keep your writing private.
Engage with other writers, including me! As writers, we are often alone with our words and our characters. It can feel isolating and like we have little to no support. That’s why I joined a Latinx writer's group when I began my writing journey. After graduate school in 2006, I began freelance writing for magazines and craved a community of writers that understood my passion for writing and my career path. Joining that group not only helped me feel less isolated but also opened up my social circle. I was invited to many events for writers, including workshops and open mics, where I was able to learn to be a better writer and share my work.
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And finally, the last piece of advice for aspiring writers: set goals. It’s easy to start a book and not finish it. Or to launch a blog and never post a story. Setting goals as an aspiring writer keeps you on track so you do not abandon writing.
I, for one, used to get distracted by other hobbies and interests. But once I committed to writing romance novels I dedicated myself to my craft.
Your goal doesn’t have to be that lofty. Intend to finish a chapter a month or to write 10 blogs before launching your website. Just give yourself realistic goals and reasonable deadlines. Know that no matter what the outcome, you were diligent and stayed on track. You took the words and characters that live in your mind rent-free and brought them to life on a page. And that, aspiring writers, is the best feeling in the world.