How to Get Started with Your Writing Career

By on October 11, 2017
How to Get Started with Your Writing Career / Michael Noker / A how-to guide (or how not to guide) about getting started on your career as a writer and a dozen examples of the best beginning writing tips for writers.

Omit needless words. Edit out the fluff; brevity wins. Introductions aren’t necessary. Writing is barely necessary. Everything worth saying can be communicated in 140 characters. Twitter is everything. Don’t tweet.

Find inspiration. Only write when the muse speaks to you. Watch another episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Watch another season. Browse Netflix. Watch episode 16 of season 5. Cry. Hate Joss Whedon for what he did to you. Not because it’s sad, but because you feel inadequate. Don’t write about it.

Dream big. Wish you could be Joss Whedon. Wonder why you’re not yet. Look up how he got his big break. Resolve to write the next cult hit. Check your phone. Scroll through Instagram for 20 minutes. Like every photo. Get annoyed when nobody Likes yours back. Post another selfie with higher contrast.

Find your voice. Pull a book from the shelf. Only read Facebook. Make jokes about only reading Facebook. Don’t use it as an opportunity to change. Every joke buys you another week of procrastination. Give into internalized pressures and read the news. Get angry about something you’ve read. Don’t write about it.

Dedicate yourself to writing. Only leave the couch to make yet another box of macaroni and cheese. Live in your underwear to save time on laundry. Tell yourself you’re an environmentalist. Skip showering, too. You probably smell fine. Remind yourself Grace Helbig barely showers too. Wonder why you’re not Grace Helbig. Watch Grace Helbig videos for several hours.

Surround yourself with brilliant people. Post on Facebook to let everyone know you’re going to see a movie. Invite people. Get disappointed when they say they’re at work. Force yourself to put on pants and see a movie alone. Park outside the theater and cry while listening to Toto’s “Africa” instead. Go through the drive-through on the way home.

Give yourself time and space to create. Ignore the call from your credit card company. Ignore the email from your editor. Ignore the text message from your mom asking how your article is coming along. Respond to the troll who made fun of your comment on one of Grace Helbig’s videos.

Enlist help. Ask your boyfriend to proofread your work. Frantically scramble for a new piece when he agrees. Realize you haven’t written in a month. Show him the piece you wrote a month ago. He’s already read it. Rats. Tell him you need it edited “for tone” this time. Ask him for merciless feedback. Defend your work from the two criticisms you heard before you tuned him out. Don’t fix or note the issues.

Be persistent. Congratulate yourself on a day of self-care you so desperately needed. Scribble a few ideas in your notebook while you brush your teeth. Look at your vision board again. Visualize your someday in the limelight. Resolve to write tomorrow. Smile. Your big break is just around the corner.

Michael Noker is a freelance writer, comedian, and LGBTQ activist based in Albuquerque, NM. You can also find his work published on Talkspace. 

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