The Five Stages of Becoming an Awesome Writer
So, you’ve decided you want to become a writer. Welcome to a world of crippling self-doubt and wanting to set your laptop on fire. Fun is guaranteed for all.
Let’s begin with a deeply profound analogy. Writers are like athletes, only we drink less water and we don’t need to go to the gym as much. Like athletes, writers usually have a process they go through to ensure optimal performance. But it’s not quite as simple as kicking a ball, or in this case, typing out a hundred words. Mindset matters. Ask any writer and they’ll tell you the same. You’ve got to have your head in the game.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you an extremely brief but equally accurate summary of the writing process. Drum roll please.
Step 1: Preparing your surroundings
You can’t be an awesome writer if you don’t have an awesome writing space. I’m a lone wolf when it comes to writing, so if there are people around, chances are I won’t be doing anything productive. Like I said, writing isn’t just an activity; it’s a frame of mind. It’s not as easy as opening up a document and beginning. You’ve got to get excited about it first! I find turning on some Beyoncé is always the best way to get in the zone. You can’t go wrong with Mrs. Carter. Whatever you need to do to get into the zone, do it.
Step 2: The first page
Whether you’re just starting something new or continuing an existing piece, writing that first page is either going to be the easiest or hardest part. Sometimes those first few paragraphs will spill onto the page with no effort. Other times, getting through a few sentences can be a struggle. Either way, push through and get that first page done, even if you know it’s not perfect. You can always fix the errors later. Small, realistic, daily goals lead to big achievements.
Step 3: The inevitable road-block
It usually takes about four songs and five sassy hair flips to realize that I’ve spent most of my time dancing in front of my document than actually getting words written down. Sound familiar? Then you have officially reached the town of Writer’s Block. Population: you. It’s at this stage where you usually give up on writing and watch Jimmy Fallon interviews you’ve already seen a million times while scrolling through Instagram. Don’t worry; we’ve all been there. It took me three days to write this paragraph. I’m not even kidding.
Step 4: Back at it again
Now that you’ve watched all the Chris Evans videos that exist on the Internet and have finished complaining about how there’s no apple juice in the fridge, it’s time to get back to work. If you feel like completely giving up in life, don’t fret! That just means you’re on the right track. Overcoming your writer’s block can be difficult and frustrating. Your first few ideas that come once you begin again might be disheartening, but keep going! Think of it as a warm-up. Or better yet, the first pancake. Everyone knows that first one’s going to be a little wonky. But with a little patience, you’ll have a perfect stack in no time. Where is this analogy going? Now I’m just hungry.
Step 5: Back to the grind
By this time, you’ve probably wanted to throw your laptop out the window every half hour and have deleted about five pages of work. But guess what? Against all odds, you’re officially on a roll! Those words are spilling out so fast, you can barely keep up. All the blood, sweat, and tears really were worth the trouble, even if they did leave some mental bruises. And it only took thirteen Buzzfeed quizzes to get those creative juices flowing. Who knew?
The truth is, even with its ups and downs, writing is an extremely gratifying process. It’s immensely satisfying to jump over all those psychological hurdles and stare back at pages of words that have flown right out of your brain, even if it did take a few days procrastination and self-loathing to get there. You created it. It’s yours and nobody else’s. And that’s extremely powerful.
Everybody has their own experiences with their writing process, which might be different than mine. Some survive on coffee. I survive on chocolate. You might find that Starbucks is the best place for inspiration. I, on the other hand, prefer writing in bed when I’m snuggled in pajamas.
There’s no singular formula or instruction manual for writing; it’s just a sensation that comes from within. And yes, most of the time that sensation sucks. Big time. But at the end of the day, there’s no better feeling than calling yourself a writer. Except Beyoncé. If you can call yourself Beyoncé, you’ve won at life.
Congratulations, you survived the five stages. I hope you enjoyed them, because you’ll be repeating them almost on a daily basis. But now begins the real fun. Editing. What? You didn’t think this whole writing thing was that easy, did you?
Saba Kapur is a 20 year-old writer based out of Melbourne, Australia. Her passion for storytelling developed at a young age, born from a deep-seated love of books. Lucky Me is her first novel and an ode to her favorite things: fashion, romance, and mystery. Born in India,
Saba spent her childhood in Indonesia and Kiev, Ukraine. She is currently in her final year of college, studying International Relations and Criminology at Monash University. She hopes to one day become a fabulous lawyer in New York City, with a closet full of stilettos. In her spare time Saba enjoys reading, watching anything to do with Ryan Gosling, and pretending she’s Beyoncé. She currently lives with her parents, her older sister, and a large supply of chocolate.