If you’re reading this, you want to know how to become a writer. You want to be paid for your writing. You want your office to be whichever library, coffee shop, or couch-cushion-in-your-pajamas you choose.
That’s the writer’s dream (or at least my dream).
There is one piece of advice that you must know. I am convinced this is the most important thing you need to know if you’re going to make it as a writer.
The Secret: You Have To Be The Best
There are thousands—hundreds of thousands—of people who want to be writers. Of course there are, right? The life of a writer sounds like a romantic dream. (We know it’s not, at least not all the time.)
After the last year of trying to make it as a writer, seriously pursuing a platform, writing a book, and gaining experience, I’ve discovered that the secret to becoming a writer is that you need to be the best.
With so many other people competing for readers, you need to be the best if you want to become a writer.
What does it mean to be the best? Here are three ways:
1. Becoming a Writer Means Working the Hardest
You might be a better writer than me. You might even be more disciplined. I’m positive you are probably better at grammar than me.
But being the best writer is not about knowing all the grammar and having the best prose. It is about hard work and never giving up.
Being the best means working the hardest.
Long nights, early mornings, and everything in between.
As an amateur in this writing world, realize that you need to get all the experience you can. That means taking risks on projects and learning as you go.
A publisher isn’t going to take a risk on a beginner, with little to no experience when there are experienced writers who want the same job.
Gain experience, even if that means working for free. In reality the experience you gain is worth more than anything you would be paid.
2.Becoming a Writer Means Making the Best Friends
Friends are important. I can’t imagine where I would be without the community of writers I spent the last eight months with. There are days you want someone to sit next to at Starbucks while you both stare blankly and angrily at your computer with.
Being the best means making friends.
You need other writers who know the pain of writing to share the agony.
Making friends is vital to becoming a professional writer because the more friends you make, the more support you have.
3. Becoming a Writer Means Being the Most Committed
Being the best means being constantly committed to writing.
I’m a writer. I’m also a baker. I work a full-time job. I volunteer. I also try to have a social life. I’ve found that in all of these activities, and at all times, I am above all, a writer. I see the world through the eyes of a writer, and so do you. You think of how you could describe the sunset, or the parallel you make while eating ice cream to world change.
You must be constantly committed, because you are made to write. In the midst of baking, hiking, and conversations with friends, there too you must be committed to writing. Carry a notebook of ideas, or use your smartphone, and write.
You are a writer whether you have a computer, the beach, or piles of work from your “real job” in front of you.
Imagine the Competition
I want you to close your eyes and imagine all of the other people who want your spot.
Imagine everyone you know that wants to be a writer. There are thousands of book proposals and manuscripts being sent to publishers.
Now ask yourself this question: What makes you any different from the next writer, the next stack of papers?
Is it the experience you have working with other popular writers? Is it the platform you’ve built? Is it the friend of yours who knows the publisher?
This is the secret to making it. You have to be the best. What are you going to do to step up your game today? Let us know in the comments section.