The 12 Best Things About Being a Beginning Writer

Let’s dwell on something positive today.

1. All the ideas! Many writers struggle with the fear or dilemma that they have “run out” of ideas. One of the great things about being a beginner is that you haven’t had the chance to work on any of the many ideas in your head yet. Your workspace is fresh and your mind is clear and ready to imagine.

2. There are so many people and resources available to answer your “beginner” questions. The writing community loves to help newbies out, especially if they are not afraid to ask kindly for it.

3. Nobody knows who you are. Which means, within reason, you are free to express your opinions and practice good written communication. Even more importantly, writing to an audience of zero means you can make small mistakes and write not great material and have plenty of time to analyze and improve without judgment.

4. IT’S COMPLETELY FREE. As long as you have access to a computer and some kind of built-in or easily accessible word processor, you’re good. You CAN spend money on apps, fancy tech, classes, and the like, but you definitely do not have to, especially as a beginner. Cost is usually not a barrier.

5. There is no pressure to be “the best.” Why? Because you are starting out at the bottom, where it is quite literally impossible to be the best. The only person you have to compete with is yourself, and even on your worst days, you can still pat yourself on the back for doing the best you could.

6. You don’t have to shoot for the seemingly impossible … yet. Of course you are going to have big, faraway goals like getting a book published or being able to blog full-time. But you don’t have to worry about aiming that high yet. You’re just getting started. So you can take a few baby steps and enjoy the early stages of your work.

7. You have no idea exactly what you want your writing life to look like yet … and that’s a good thing. The possibilities really are endless right now. And because you really haven’t committed to one kind of writing or gone down one specific path, you are completely free and encouraged to experiment and figure out what you like (and don’t).

8. It’s not difficult to find good writing advice. Giving advice to beginners is something experts tend to really enjoy doing, as long as it is received with the understanding that most general advice is never personalized. There is a ton of information out there. Treat it with care — and actually put it into practice. Speaking of practice …

9. When you are just starting out, practice is everything — and you have SO MUCH time to do it. By that, of course, I mean that you will be spending most if not all of your writing time “practicing” because it is rare for a company to hire a beginner. It’s a great place to start. Practice away!

10. No one REALLY expects you to have everything figured out yet. Sure, you’ll get the “have you written a book yet” questions, but regardless of what stage of the writing life you’re in, there’s always going to be something worthy of an eye roll. You have plenty of time to make your loved ones proud.

11. There are so many things left to learn. A common fear in many hobbies and professions is that you will get to a point where you feel you have mastered your craft and you will wrestle with whether or not to continue. Even if this does one day happen to you, at least for now, you can focus on all that lies ahead.

12. You have an entire journey ahead of you, and it’s going to be totally worth it. There are going to be ups and downs, sure. And you aren’t always going to believe you are good enough or know whether or not you are on the right path. But in the end, you will look back on it all and think, “I am so glad I started writing.”

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.

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