How true this is for writers. Or wanna-be writers. Or best selling authors. We choose to become a writer. It doesn't happen over night because we have to work on our craft. We write, delete, rewrite, repeat.
The first choice a writer must make is to think of herself as just that: A WRITER. If you can't tell yourself that you are a writer, you aren't one. You're a pretender. Sure, you've always wanted to write a book. We hear that all the time. Add, "I have the greatest story. I want you to tell it." It's your story. Tell it.
Once we've decided we are A WRITER, we have to begin. It's as simple and as complicated as putting your butt in the chair and your paws on the keyboard. If you are A WRITER, you must carve time out of your busy life to write. It can be as little as a page or two a day, or twenty minutes, or whatever small increment of measurement that works for you. Start small. Build on yesterday's story with today's. At the end of the year, you'll have a draft of a complete story, be it novel, memoir, whatever.
You must decide what is important. If it's writing, that butt in the chair is the most important thing you do. Do it every day. Forget how well you are writing. Just write, darn it.
What? You haven't cleaned the kitchen? The bathroom floor needs to be mopped? You have to reread Moby Dick before lunch? None of this is important if you are a writer. It really isn't. Stop but firsting. No, you don't have to clean the kitchen right now. It can wait until after you write your pages. Your bathroom floor can wait until you take a break, unless the toilet is overflowing or someone barfed on the rug.
Do you feel the power of saying you're A WRITER? You don't? Why not? Oh, you equate being A WRITER with being a published writer. I get it. You see the end of the road before you take the first step. As Anne Frank said, you make the first choice. That's to write. The second choice makes us. We may never be published, but that doesn't mean we can't accomplish something with our words. Write for yourself. Write for your family.
My advice: make writing your priority with your butt in the chair. No excuses. You can do it. BTW, I hated Moby Dick. I'd never give up a minute of writing time to reread it.
Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max, Unintended Consequences, and Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, which is now available for pre-launch e-book orders at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.