Writers have desires just like any other type of artist or creator. We all want to feel like we belong somewhere. Like our words matter. Like we’re important, somehow.
If you stop and think about it right now, I bet you can come up with more than one thing, as a writer, you’d give anything to have.
A blog that can sustain you financially, for example.
Or a popular book that serves as a gateway to be able to write more popular books.
Maybe all you want is for someone to hear you.
But these are not necessities. In the end, we often want what we can’t immediately have because there’s no guarantee hard work can provide us with those things. Not on today’s internet, where everyone wants what you want and some people are just better at inching toward it than you are for some reason.
There are things, however, that writers need — to have; to do; to believe.
All writers need an outlet to express their creativity.
Every writer needs their own strategy for overcoming roadblocks and writing their own masterpieces.
Writers need to learn to write well for their intended purpose — e.g., all aspiring novelists need to learn how to write fiction. All hope-to-be journalists need to study the work of award-winning journalists.
Yes, we want things like more money, more influence, more reach.
But wanting isn’t necessarily what gets us those things.
Instead of focusing on the things you want, try focusing instead on the things you need in order to get the things you’re not guaranteed to get.
If you want more followers, you need to write more/better content.
If you want to make money, you need to gain real-world writing experience.
If you want to publish a book, you first need to write a publishable book.
The things we want and the things we need aren’t the same. We all want the same things — when it comes down to it, money; recognition; self-actualization. But we all need different things to accomplish our goals separately. Some of us need basic training in content creation. Others need to learn how to build up enough discipline to do a few different writing-related things at once.
No one piece of writing advice can tell you all you need to know or do in order to get what you want. But the needs of writers are more easily met, not because they’re more easily achieved, but because the steps to meet certain needs are often more straightforward.
No one REALLY knows how to get 1K followers on Twitter in a year.
But everyone knows that to have more followers on Twitter, you need to post often, share at your convenience, join conversations, and avoid spamming your stream with nonsense.
Everyone knows that the only way to grow as a writer is to write. It’s not always what you want to do, what you feel like doing. But you need to do it nonetheless.
To achieve what you desire, first meet your most basic needs as a writer. Write often. Write well. And keep going, even when it all seems pointless. One day, you’ll see it was all worth it.
Here's how to keep writing even when it gets tough. Stop Worrying About Your Future You're Better At Writing Than You Think You Are You Are Not the Only One
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.