Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when inspiration struck him to which he replied, " I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes ee morning at ni o'clock sharp." Now that's a writer; that's a pro. He does not let the daily justifications and rationalizations that plague so many to stop him from doing what he must, sit down and get in touch with his Muse to bring forth creative arts to the rest of us. He says that he that the mere act of sitting down and starting to work sets in motion a mysterious but uncountable sequence of events that would produce inspiration. It's like throwing a snow ball down a snowy mountain; it picks up traction and gets bigger as it keeps going down.
The trick is to treat your writing like a job or a business. We all work, most of us not because we want to, because we have to. We work and get a paycheck for it so in a sense we already are at like professionals at something. We just need to take those principles which we are already doing in our every day work life and apply them to our artistic aspirations.
Without further ado, here are the 10 tips on how to write like a pro.Credit: Morguefile
1.) Show up every day
When you have a job, you show up every day. You might not do it because you want to, but you show up because you have to. You show up so that you do not get fired and continue to get your paycheck.
2.) Show up no matter what
Come hell or water, in sickness and in health, you drag yourself to work. You might only do it to receive a paycheck or to not let your co-workers down. But you do it. Tired or not, you show up. Whether you want to or not
3.) Stay on the job
You aid the customers, create the work orders, pick up the phones when they ring and anything else the job requires. You might be day dreaming for most of the day, but you do not go home till you finish your shift.
4.) Commit to long-term goals
You might go through five different jobs by the age of 40 but you will continue, unless you strike gold and win the lottery, until you retire. Be it in another job, company or country, you are in it for the long haul.
5.) High stakes. Honest and real
If you do not work, you do not get paid. It's that simple. That is the number one reason most people wake up every morning to a tough day at work. It's about survival. You need to work on your writing as if your financial well-being depended on it. Not for aspirations of a life on the beach sipping cocktails. We are usually more motivated to avoid the stick as opposed to get a reward. Robert Herjavec, cast of the acclaimed Shark Tank TV show, has said that he never had planned to be a business man. He was forced to when he got fired and had to pay the bills. It was about survival for him.
6.) Accept compensation for your work
You work to pay the bills, you might have a passion for what you do, but ultimately, you do it to get pay. Whether you are following your passion or not, you should get paid for your time. Time is everyone's most important asset so let others compensate you for it.
7.) Do not over-identify with the job
You might stay late, work on weekends, and eve take pride in the work you have done but you recognize you are not your job description. Amateurs over-identify with their avocations and artistic inspirations, you do not. He is a playwriter, a painter, a musician or actor. Resistance, procrastination, justifications and rationalizations love this. They know that the amateur will never write her symphony, her screenplay, because she is overly invested on its success or failure. She takes it so seriously that the fear paralyzes her. Professionals have to develop a way to stop themselves from freezing in action. You have to understand that too much love can be a bad thing. Too much love can make you choke. Learning to detach yourself from your work would allow you to not only get strong criticism, but look for it. Not from our friends and family but from the world.
8.) Master the techniques of the job
When you go get a job we learn everything there is to learn related to your job. From start to finish, you learn how to do your duties so that you do not get fired and you keep at it as to not get replaced. You must learn everything there is to learn about your aspirations even more than you do with your jobs. Remember, we are never done learning and we never will. Following your Muse will be a continuous learning experience till the day you lay in peace.
9.) Have a sense of humor
I suspect most of us have a sense of humor about our jobs. Having a sense of humor about your creative endeavors will not only bring you happiness but will keep you from developing health related issues from stressing on the mundane. It will also allows you to ignore any smart remarks by those that are too afraid to follow their dreams and take comfort in the safety of their job. Laugh with them. Having a good life is the best revenge you could get on them.
10.) Receive praise and blame in the real world
Amateurs do not expose themselves to judgment in the real world. If I show my book to a friend and he says, "It's awesome, great book," that's not real world feedback, that's my friend being nice to me. Our creative art is our baby. Our family and friends will never tell us that our baby is ugly. Nothing is as empowering as real-world validation, even if it's for failure. We learn more from our failures than anything else in life, so don't be afraid of it.
Do Not Let Writer's Block Get The Best of You
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Jul 19, 2016)