The road to hell is paved with adverbs. -- Stephen King, On Writing
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Embrace These Three Truths to Become the Writer You Are Meant to Be

If you want to become the writer you are meant to be, then you must embrace these three truths.

  1. You must make writing a lifestyle
  2. You must learn your craft
  3. You must move forward one piece at a time

Each of these truths is like one leg of a three legged stool. Without one you'll fall over. You need all three.

These truths are not rules. They aren't things that you can just check off as you move from one to the next. They are precepts which must become a part of you, your life and your writing.

They are the foundational pieces upon which you will build your writing future.

Make Writing a Lifestyle

Let's look at the first truth, making writing a lifestyle. What does this mean?

Put simply, it means that you have to decide that writing is a job and you have to treat it like a job.

Most of us, including myself, have spent our lives writing when we felt like it. We write because we enjoy it, because it's an outlet. We fear that if we have to write that it will become drudgery or work and the creative spark will go out.

This is the subject of Steven Pressfield's book, Turning Pro. You can spend your life dabbling at something or you can make your dreams come true.

The secret to Turning Pro has nothing to do with money, nothing to do with a title or publishing a book or the respect of others.

It's when you decide to finally take yourself seriously.

When you change your daily habits is when you finally turn pro, and your habits follow your attitude. In order to turn pro, you must become dissatisfied with the way things are now. Otherwise, you'll just keep putting off your dreams, wishing, hoping and never changing anything.

I know what I'm talking about, I have my own struggles with procrastination.

When I look around my house there's always something in need of repair--the bushes are overgrown, the lawn needs mowing, the door needs painting.

If you're lucky you have a great handyman who you call up the second you see the problems and they're fixed in a day.

But if you're like me, then you let the problems languish for a while.

Over the span of a couple of years, my back door became harder and harder to open thanks to wood rot. Eventually the door wouldn't open at all.

I continued to ignore it, but it was a constant source of annoyance.

Eventually, one day, my attention shifted. I looked at the door and said to myself, "I'm tired of having this broken door." I went to the store and ordered a new one. I had finally turned the corner by deciding to fix the things around me that I didn't like.

It's the same with making writing a lifestyle. As long as writing is not a routine part of your life, you will always be annoyed and always wishing for something different, something more.

The first step is to make writing a routine part of your life.