Four Ways To Fail as a Writer (And One Way to Succeed)
This is where I admit I am a fool and I tell you that I wrote my story at midnight the night before my column on The Write Practice was due.
I have been sitting at my desk for the past thirteen days trying to write something to help you with your writing.
I took time away from my desk to sleep, eat, go to the store to buy socks and underwear, clean seven litter boxes and feed four cats and two dogs. My husband fed the children.
If you want to set up your writing for failure, I know how.
Four Ways To Fail as a Writer
1. Buy books about writing and never read them. The purchase of the books will help you feel like you did something towards your goal of being a writer.
2. When you sit down at your computer leave all of your social media tabs open. When you start writing your first sentence, and you can’t decide if you should write in the first person or the third person, jump over to Facebook or twitter and check out what your friends are doing. You will feel productive but you won’t have written anything.
3. Write your story the night before it is due. Don’t give yourself enough time to edit your story. If your story is not well received you can blame it on your lack of time to prepare. If you took several weeks to write and edit a story and it still wasn’t well received, you might feel like you are a bad writer. It is better to fail and blame it on your lack of preparation than to fail when you have worked hard on a story.
4. And the most effective way to set up your writing for failure is to not write. All the words in your head, the characters waiting to be created, the lessons to be shared, the battles won, all will be lost if you don’t write.
And may I please share the best way to win at writing? When winning means getting words down on a page, and not a trophy?
One Way To Succeed at Writing
1. To succeed at writing you have to write.
I know I could have written more than one way to succeed at writing. All I had to do was write the opposite of the four ways to set your writing up for failure: Read books on writing, close your social media tabs when you write, write your stories weeks before they are due, and write.
But out of all of the four ways to succeed at writing, only the last reason really matters.
Becoming Writer Develops a Writing Community
Becoming Writer is a great way to get better at writing.
Becoming Writer is a premium writing community created by The Write Practice. You have to write one, weekly writing piece. It can be anything from a short story to a blog post to a poem to the chapter in a book. You have a deadline. Share your writing, and read what others have written. You will develop as a writer and an editor.
Joe Bunting, the creator of Becoming Writer said, “This community will become what the Inklings were for J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, what the expats in Paris were for Hemingway, what the Bloomsbury group was for Woolf.”
Becoming Writer is currently closed to new members, but you can sign up for the waiting list here.
What other ways can you set up your writing for failure? And what do you think is the most important way to succeed at writing? Let us know in the comments section.
Practice writing for fifteen minutes about when you didn’t wash clothes for two weeks because you were sitting at your desk avoiding writing by reading Facebook and twitter. No wait. That was my story. Let me try again.
Practice writing on your work in progress; a short story, a blog post, a poem or a chapter in a book. Please share what you have written in the comments and leave feedback on someone else’s writing.
All my best,
p.s. I will start writing my next article today, but first I have to do my laundry.
About Pamela Hodges
Pamela Hodges is a writer and an artist who lives in Pennsylvania with one husband, two children, three cats, two dogs, and seven litter boxes. If you would like to read more of Pamela's writing, check out her blog, where she writes about art, creativity, and reflections on life with cat barf. She would love to meet you at ipaintiwrite.com.