By Jennifer Blanchard
Recently, I bought a pack of Coca-Cola. I was mixing a drink (vanilla vodka and coke, in case you were wondering) when I noticed three words written on the side of the can: Give, Live, Love.
Those words really struck me, because they make up the three things that all writers must do to be successful.
When you’re just starting out in your writing career, it’s easy to get disillusioned or become obsessed with getting published. It’s easy to focus on things that aren’t important, such as creating an author persona or researching self-publishing.
A newbie writer needs to do one thing and one thing only: Write.
But many times writers get sucked into the world of “extras,” meaning everything involved in being a writer aside from actually writing.
This is where the word “Give” really comes into play.
As a beginning writer, it can sometimes be difficult to share your words with the world. Don’t be afraid though. Just give, give, give. You’re writing, that is.
So rather than writing something, editing it and then leaving it as an untouched file on your computer or sending it out to a thousand different publishers, give it away.
- Post your short stories on your blog.
- Post your poetry on sites, such as Author Nation.
- Give away your entire novel, piece-by-piece in a series of blog posts (or even on Twitter, if you have the patience!).
My point being this: By giving some of your writing away, you will attract readers, keep them (hopefully!) and build a fan base. This will make it much easier to get published in the future because you have a built-in audience. Publishers love that.
Although this seems like a no-brainer, writers (and especially beginning writers) spend so much time behind the computer writing that they don’t alwways have time to experience life.
Life is amazing. Life is wonderful. Life is exciting and interesting and fun and crazy and sad and all the adjectives in existance rolled into one.
In my opinion, being a writer is the most fantastic job (or hobby) in the world.
You get to share your thoughts and ideas. You get to find ways to articulate happenings and describe things in your own way. You get to create and make things up and have the world in your stories be however you want it to be.
What could be better than that?
But in order to be the best writer you can possibly be, you need to experience life from time-to-time. You need to get out there and do things. And learn things. And be part of things.
Because it’s the things we do, see, feel, taste and touch that make us actually have something to write about.
If you never experience anything, then you won’t have anything to write about.
Yes, you can be a writer by living vicariously through someone else. Yes, you can be a writer and write about things you’ve never experienced before. Yes, you can still do a great job articulating something you’ve never done or felt before.
But the best writing will always come from something you’ve experienced. Something that drilled deep down into your soul and caused you to have an emotional reaction. Something that no one, but you, can describe in the way that you saw it, felt it and experienced it.
That’s what being a writer is truly about.
In order to be a successful writer, you must be a lover–A lover of words, a lover of experiences, a lover of life, a lover of people, a lover of the world around you.
But most importantly, you must be a lover of yourself and of your writing.
When you don’t love yourself, you will stand in your own way. You will be the cause of your procrastination and your inability to sit down and write.
When you don’t love yourself, you don’t believe that you or your dreams are worth it. You think that you’d be better off if you didn’t write at all. You think that what you want isn’t important.
When you don’t love yourself, you put yourself on the bottom of your priority list, and your writing suffers.
So love yourself–Your whole self.
Love your flaws; love your mistakes; love your strengths; love your weaknesses; love what makes you tick; love the way you think; love your unique perspective; love what you look like; love how you are; love who you are.
When you love and accept yourself, you will be a better writer because you won’t spend your writing session making excuses, telling yourself you’re not good enough or allowing your inner editor to take over.
When you love and accept yourself, magic happens, because you trust yourself, you trust your intuition and you know that you are all you need.
So this holiday season, as you’re opening gifts, eating delicious food and spending time with family and friends, be grateful. Be grateful that you are you. Because there’s no one in the world exactly like you. And there never will be.
What does “Give, Live, Love” mean to you?
About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.