I recently read an article about the top 10 traits necessary to be a writer. In short, the list is as follows:
1.You should find people interesting
2. You should love reading
3. You should be observant
4. You should be analytical
5. You should have a gift with words
6. You should be introspective
7. You should have self-discipline
8. You should be able to take criticism
9. You should be able to stomach rejection
10. You should be able to re-write
If you’ve read my article entitled, “The Kind of Writer I am,” you already know that I fall short in at least one of the above areas. Namely, self-discipline… Ugh!
And gift with words? Well, I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder.
Despite my shortcomings, the above list encompasses the kind of writer I want to be. My intentions are good but my execution leaves a lot to be desired. So, what do I do? I read and re-read books on the subject. I scour the blogsphere looking for advice and tips and motivation. I do exactly the opposite of what I should be doing… which is writing!
But, in all my research and procrastination there is one piece of advice that I believe can truly take me from this:
and that is to view writing as a job.
That’s right. A J-O-B!
I have my moments when I am able to adopt and maintain this philosophy. I love those moments. I get so much done. But for some reason they never last. I find myself taking breaks and time off. I convince myself that I will write double tomorrow or tell myself that I’m just too busy but I’ll get back on track soon. I spend time surfing the net or watching TV with the computer in my lap and call that writing (like I’m fooling anyone but myself).
Yep, I do everything but put butt to chair and fingers to keyboard (or pen to paper) and get the words out. Does anyone else have this affliction?
I have discovered that even though I tell myself that writing is a job, I still tend to treat it as a hobby. I am, at times, haphazard with it. I treat it like an old, ratty blanket that’s warm and safe and there when I need it, but can be thrown off and easily forgotten at will.
Yes, there are times when I truly dishonor my writing self.
But not today.
Today I plan to stop dreaming and “aspiring.” I plan to make a conscious effort to develop the habits that will enable me to become the writer I want to be. I plan to make a personal commitment to fulfilling my dreams. I plan to hold myself accountable and take personal responsibility.
Today, I plan to write.