Deciding to Start

Deciding to Start

What’s the difference between a writer and someone who wants to be a writer? A finished piece. That is it. You don’t need to be published, or have an agent. You just need to have a finished piece. Maybe it’s a poem, or a book, or a short story, or an article. It doesn’t matter. It just needs to be done.

The first step toward having that finished piece is deciding to start.

Decide to make the time

One of the most amazing days of my life was when I realized I was the only person responsible for my time. Yes, I work, but I can chose to find a job that doesn’t take as much time. If you’re over eighteen, you are in total control of your time, too.

Don’t say you’ll start later when you’ve got more time. I have two kids, work a day job, do freelance writing on the side, run this blog, enter at least ten writing contests a year, sell hand made crafts at fairs, and I’ve written two books. By the end of this November, it will be three. Do not tell me you can’t make the time, you chose not to, because other things are more important.

That’s fine. Some things will always be more important than writing. My kids, for instance, take precedent. Keeping the bills paid has to be a priority right now, until my writing starts doing that. (Right now it’s buying some groceries, so that’s a start.) But I will guarantee that there are things in your life that you could streamline and find yourself some time every day to write. There are enough sites and articles dedicated to finding time to write that I don’t need to rehash that here. None of them are going to help you get one page of writing in until you decide that you’re ready to take that time.

Decide to make it a priority

My writing is a priority, and I treat it as such. So when I invest money in a better computer, or take a few days off work to finish a rough draft, or drag my notebook everywhere my family understands that this is a priority for me. I love this, because it gives me the freedom to do silly things like stop in the middle of the grocery store to write down a piece of dialog I just heard.

Deciding that you are a writer

This is something I touched on in my very first post, I am a Writer. This goes to the very core of the definition. If you are a writer, you write. That’s all, but it’s not all. If you’re a writer, you’re learning about people and things all the time, because you never know what you can use in your story. My husband recently decided to take the kids on a tour of coal mines in our area. This wasn’t hard, we live in western PA. I took along my notebook, and got some great ideas for mining that I’m using in my fantasy series.

Use this! Use the fact that you’re a writer to ask questions, and listen to other people’s conversations, and learn about anything you can. Trust me, when people hear you say, “I’m a writer,” they take things differently. When you decide that you are a writer, not a waitress, or a mechanic, or a customer service person, you see the world differently. You can’t help it.

All you’ve got to do is decide to start. Grab a notebook, and start writing. It doesn’t matter what, just start. Today, right now, before you get another day older. Decide to start.

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