This is not a trick question.
I know a lot of people -- and I imagine you do too -- who want to be a professional writer more than anything else but never seem to actually write much. Worse, many of these same people claim to be writers, but don't really do much writing.
Why is that?
Well, certainly fear is a driver. The fear of not being good enough. The fear of putting in hours on a novel only to have no sales. The fear of being judged, ridiculed, or worse, ignored.
We look for guarantees. "Follow this process, and you will succeed." Now, there's something to be said about learning how to structure a good story, and reading how-to books and watching YouTube videos on writing can't hurt, but the truth is there are no guarantees. And fear in the form of the Lizard Brain strikes again.
Above all else, a writer must write. Do, then be. Write to become a writer. Teach to become a teacher. Not the other way around. It is in the act of doing, honouring the creative process, that moves us from wishing to becoming.
The key, therefore, is to drop all notions that you can control the outcome. Your first novel might be (objectively) really bad for a lot of reasons. Mine certainly was. But I couldn't become better at writing without going through that first step. Do, then be.
If what's stopping you from writing is a fear of what the outcome will be (sales, getting picked, validation) then you cannot ever be fully present in the act of writing. So write often, write a lot, write crap, write a journal, write a blog, write a letter to a friend. Practice writing over and over, not because you hope you'll create a best-seller, but because you become more than what you think you are by simply going through the process. Focus on that.
Hi, I'm David. I write science fiction from a Christian worldview that promotes hope. Want to know the darker details? Click here.
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