How to be a writer

April 25, 2009 § 2 Comments

Lately, choosing a career path has turned into a full time job.  I spend hours a day revising my resume, setting up informational interviews, and researching career fields and organizations.  Frankly it’s a nightmare.

Last night, after much unsoliticited advice from the guests at my dad’s surprise birthday party, and some talk with my parents and my aunt, my head went down on the table in frustration.  My aunt responded, “Why don’t you just write since that is all you want to do!”

But I don’t know how to be a writer!

“JUST WRITE!”

Easier said than done.

All of the “adults” in my life seem to think that my (only?) talent is writing.  Whenever we discuss my future plans, they automatically assume it will involve writing.

And the truth its, I do want to be a writer.  I always have.  And I do plan to publish a book or two before my time is through, but I have no idea how to “be a writer” right now.

I feel like I don’t have enough experience to actually know how to sit down and write a book.   Or even shorter pieces.

There is the very real fact that I am afraid of failing.  If you live your whole life hearing that writing is your greatest talent, and you try, and fail… what does that say about you?

Also, writing takes a serious commitment, and lately I don’t commit to anything.  I tend to abandon projects halfway.  Most of the pieces I’ve written are only half finished.  Even my blog is half-assed.

So, like I said, I don’t know how to be a writer.

It’s also tricky because I don’t write fiction.  Or, at least, I have never done it successfully.  And the only thing I have ever written to completion are op-ed pieces for my college newspapers.  And lately, I’m not sure I have anything important enough to say in an op-ed.

I have an idea for a book, but I am way too scared to undertake it.  It would challenge me to face a lot of fears, and it would cost a lot of money and time.  (It would involve travel.)

Maybe I should join a writing workshop.

But still.

I’m scared to actually try.

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§ 2 Responses to How to be a writer

  • Aviv says:

    Start out with something you care about, like sex education or public health. Tell us about a problem in society or in some fictional character’s life.

  • Mishi says:

    Hey – I know the feeling. I’ve been playing around with the idea of how to get started myself. It’s kind of funny how sometimes you can want to do something really badly, but you talk yourself out of it before you even get started.

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