The Basic Toolbox for Writers
Writing is no different to any other profession as it requires practitioners to be familiar with and utilize specific terminology and tools. Although having the latest gadgets, software and peripherals may arguably make the tasks within writing easier, they alone will not birth your career as a writer. It would seem, in my experience as a teacher and as a journey – being as a writer, that the tools required regularly come to four basic areas.
An above average capability in the language you choose to write in.
If you are unable to spell nor know the basics of punctuation or grammar; your work will be inaccessible to most readers. Although your beta reader may assist in formatting your paragraphs and separating your dialogue and narratives, its not their job to do so. In the same way that your editor will not correct spelling or punctuation, where the only task the have is to accept or reject your submission.
Some would call this persistence or sheer pigheadedness. Whatever you choose to call it, you need to consistently seek to improve your work and keep writing; every day. You also need to consistently submit your work to relevant magazines, competitions or websites in order to raise your profile and experience as a writer. By separating personal feelings to professional, you will be able to accept criticisms without getting emotionally attached to its tone.
Believe in your message
You were drawn to writing for a reason. Be it you have dreamed of being a writer your whole life or you had a calling only recently; you have valuable things to say and are the best qualified to do so. Everyone has their off days; just don’t dwell on them, learn the lesson and move on. On your down days, you must draw on your faith and belief in yourself and your talent to pull you through. Your dream may be to sell books or make your regular living from articles or ebooks, or it might be just to spread a message you feel passionate enough about to commit time and energy to. Regardless, you are reaching people in a way that they may not have experienced before and it will be your faith that will keep them listening.
There are a plethora of websites, books, workshops, seminars and articles available on how to set goals without having to revisit them here. Set yourself small daily goals and always remember to celebrate every step. Be specific with your goals; minutely so. Your unconscious self (and the universe) will pick up if you reward the gifts you are sent. Set BHAGs (Big Hair Audacious Goals) – there is a saying – “If you shoot for the moon and miss, the worst that will happen is that you land amongst the stars.”
Are there any extra tools you believe should be part of every Writers Toolbox?