Acting As If: The Best Writing Advice I Can Offer

keepingitreal

Writing Career. In Process.

There’s a slew of writing advice on the web.  More than anyone can probably read in a lifetime.  And keeping it real: a lot of it is less than helpful.  But every now and then, you’ll come across something that’s golden.  I’ll be sure and link to lots of those as time goes on.  I’ve come across some super useful nuggets of advice in the past five or so years that made all the difference in the world.

But the best advice I ever got was person-to-person, from a life coach.  She said that the best way to become something you really want to be is to simply “Act As If” you already are.  You become a knitter by acting as if you are a knitter.  You become healthy and fit by acting as if you are.  And you really can’t become a professional writer until you act as if you already deserve that title.

How does it change things when we act as if we are professional writers?

1.  We make time for writing, because we believe there is every likelihood that publication and/or readers are at the other end of the process.

2.  We do things like go to critique groups, writing conferences, and workshops, because THAT’S WHAT REAL WRITERS DO.

3.  We draw success to us.  Thoughts become things.  This isn’t New Age “woo,” this is real and tangible and psychologists and other smart folks agree.  The thoughts we repeatedly think become our reality over time.

4.  We get smart about things like finding agents and editors.  They can smell amateur a mile away.  A professional does their homework, and the gate keepers will respond to it.

5.  We write.  A real writer writes.  They don’t just talk about it and dream of it.  Do or do not.  There is no try.

Things started to change for me once I began acting as if I were a professional writer–more on that later.  But give it a try.  See the thousands of readers in your mind.  Feel that fat advance check in your hand.  Believe in the Nobel Prize in your future (or Newbery, or whatever).  Hear the opening of the movie they made of your book.  Go big or go home, I say.  Act as if.  It’s magic, I promise

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