My advice for aspiring writers is simple: Keep at it.
That old cliché rings true—practice makes perfect, like with anything in life. Well, maybe not perfect, but the best way to become a better writer is to continue writing.
Seems straightforward, right? You’d be surprised how difficult this notion can be for some writers. I hear stories all the time about writers who simply cannot find the motivation (or time) to write. You can call it writer’s block. Call it whatever you’d like to call it, but the fact is that in order to write—and write well—it needs to be part of your daily routine.
Do you feel compelled to open your computer and punch through prose late at night when you’re tired and would rather stream Netflix? Do you scramble for a pen to scratch out a new idea as it comes to you standing in line to order a coffee? What drives you as a writer?
The way I see it, there are two types of writers.
The first has a grand vision of their work. They see themselves traveling the country on book tours. They imagine signing autographs and walking past bookstores with large posters of their books clinging to the front window. They imagine eating at fancy restaurants in big cities and reaching for the check, for splurging on the bill is nothing with all the royalties rolling in. It seems the actual writing is only secondary. But that’s the vision. That’s the motivation. (There are people like this in every industry. It’s not unique to writing.)
The second type of writer is much simpler. They love writing, and so they write.
I’ve found that in this incredibly competitive world of literature that we live in today, the latter is the more successful.
So I’d say decide which type of writer you are, and then keep at it.