25 Things About Becoming A (Happy) Writer

Becoming a writer is actually easy (see #1 below). But being a happy, content, creatively satisfied writer — that’s a whole other issue.

Part of it has to do with motivation, and what you’re really want (to write, or to “have written” — there’s a big difference, I think. See #15). Part of it also has to do with what you’ve been led and allowed yourself to believe about writing.

Here are 25 things about becoming a (happy) writer that I wish I’d learned years earlier than I did.

  1. Just write.
  2. Write for an audience of one — yourself.
  3. Ignore trends.
  4. Take feedback, good and bad, in stride.
  5. You’re allowed to suck.
  6. You’re allowed to really, really suck.
  7. A good editor is a gift from the gods.
  8. Your friends are not your editors.
  9. A writer without an editor is a ship without a sail.
  10. You can do way better than tired cliches (see #9).
  11. Stop worrying about what family and friends will think.
  12. Share what you’ve written.
  13. Don’t read reviews.
  14. Fame is fleeting, but your words can endure.
  15. Understand the difference between “writing” and “having written” — which do you really want?
  16. Know that real writing is a lot of rewriting.
  17. Your voice will find you.
  18. Get out of your chair and see the world.
  19. A healthy body leads to a sharp mind.
  20. Don’t compare yourself to other writers.
  21. Set a goal, and write it down.
  22. Writing is both art and craft. Craft you can learn, and then the art will come.
  23. Pain and conflict are foundational, embrace them.
  24. But always have fun.
  25. And always finish.

Looking for more writing advice? This 25 Things About Creating Characters list is one of my favorites.