snoopy typingThere are people who are writers and there are people who hate writing – that’s pretty much how the population is divided. But as it turns out, there’s an entire new set of variables that have been hiding beneath the surface: people who want to be writers, but never seem to get started. The more people I meet, the more often I talk about writing, the more I hear about folks who have this great book idea. Or that they have a relative or an old neighbor whose story they want to tell. Whether or not the ideas are worth writing about isn’t for me to judge (I will be asked if an idea is “good” or “worth pursuing.”) Instead, it’s about the want to write, but never quite moving forward.

What are you should-be writers waiting for?

Get Rid of Your Doubts

Are you worried that your book or essay won’t be very “good”? Who cares. Even the most famous of writers have penned some doozies. The only way to get better – or to get start – is to actually begin writing down your ideas and putting them into action. Sit down, type up some pages, and see what happens. You might decide you really don’t like writing at all. But the only way to find out, or to improve, is to get started and make yourself into one who writes.

Meet With Others Who Write

Writing groups, workshops, classes, etc. – anything you can find that can help you write, you should consider signing up. These types of classes are full of others who are in your exact boat, which means you can lean on one another for support and constructive criticism … in that order. It’s also a good reminder that you aren’t the only one muddling your way through the process.

Stop Looking Up to Others (Kind Of)

There’s nothing wrong with having inspiration, or admiration for what others have done. But you shouldn’t consider them experts, either. Writing is objective; everyone has different ideas and different approaches. I am constantly humbled by the amount I don’t know, and strive to use that as motivation.

Stop Procrastinating

There’s no rule that says you have to write every day, but you do have to write eventually. Devote as little as 15 minutes at a time – so long as you’re working toward your cause, you’re on the right path. On the other hand, if you have to force yourself that much to sit down and write, you might ask if it should continue to be a hobby worth pursuing.

Try and Try Again

Keep writing, and keep writing some more. The more often you do something, the better you can become. Soon you’ll be typing faster, words will flow easier, and you’ll improve your own thoughts as you go.

Never be afraid to produce “bad” writing, so long as you’re putting words together, it’s progress in the right direction.