Earlier this year, I decided I wanted to be a freelance writer. But I knew that it wouldn’t be easy. Full disclosure, initially, I was a writer who wrote on occasion. But then I became a writer who didn’t write.
My full-time gig and life got in the way of my creativity. Even though I had started my blog, it became a choir to write. So, I let it go. But I still yearned to create something. And I started a newsletter for my day job. It gave me a taste of what I had been yearning, but it wasn’t enough.
Fast forward to 2020. I found myself trying to process all that was going on in the world. I felt compelled to put my thoughts down on paper. When I penned my first poem about the killing of George Floyd and read it to my aunt, she asked how long I had been working on it. I told her that day. I had to write it. She replied, “That’s what writers do. They write.”
This response resonated with me. Writers write. And I am a writer, so I should be writing. That day, I decided I would be intentional about creating my writing life and vowed to be a writer who writes.
Five Tips to Becoming a Writer Who Writes
- Develop a Writing Habit. To become a better writer, you need to practice your craft. Often! I committed myself to write at least twice a week. This month, I am participating in #bloglikecrazy and posting a blog post every day in November.
- Find the Optimal Time to Write. Think about when you are at your most creative and alert. Because I work full-time, I try to write before I start working. Typically, that’s around 4:30 in the morning for me.
- Write Your Heart Out. Write about things that interest you. Crafting stories you believe in will help to make your writing more authentic. Plus, you could potentially have writing samples that you can share as you begin to pitch publications.
- Find a Home for Your Writing. Of course, your blog or website is a great place to publish your writing. But also look for other avenues. This year I volunteered to be an ambassador for Black Writers Weekend. Not only did I have the opportunity to attend a dope writing conference, but I also published three articles about the event. Also, I am a member of the See Jane Write Collective. It is a writing community for writers and bloggers. The founder of the collective has a partnership with Reckon South and curates content for the publication. I have had articles selected for publication. (Yay. It is nice to get paid for your writing!)
- Submit to Writing Contests and Literary Publications. These can be a great way to fuel your writing habit and potentially get feedback on your work. And if you win or you are published, this is a great way to help establish your credibility.