“You don’t need confidence. Just write.” Paula Fox (Born 1923) Novelist
Follow Paula Fox’s advice. Follow Lady Gaga’s wisdom. Be inspired by Nike. However you get there and whatever motivates you is cool. But just do it.
When you’re tempted to fill your days with a million little tasks, in lieu of writing, consider this:“If busyness is an emotional complex, then it’s likely that when we are busiest, we are doing least. We can be extremely active without being busy, and busy without accomplishing anything. We may be feverishly engaged in some task and yet not truly focused on the matter at hand. The job may be merely a means to accomplish some other goal: to make money, to impress, or to prove oneself to another. Our busyness may be a way to avoid difficult emotions and thoughts, or we may simply believe that it’s important never to waste time.”
~ Thomas Moore The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life
“The things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” — Aristotle
Many scholars (much smarter than I am) have investigated how we learn and basically have deciphered these learning styles into three types: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. (You can take a learning styles test here.)
I am a kinesthetic learner, which means I need hands-on experience. As a writer, the only hands-on experience you have available is to write. It is the act of writing that helps in learning the hows to and mechanics of good writing. But you have to start with something and have to get to that shitty first draft.
Summation: In order to learn, you have to do. To know how to write, you have to write.
“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” Rabindranath Tagore
You don’t become a writer by saying you are a writer.
You don’t become an author by wishing a manuscript into existence.
You become a writer by doing, by putting pen or pencil or paper and letting the words flow.
It is easy to say you are a writer. It’s easy to have all the accoutrements of a writer (fancy laptop, cool tablet, a ton of writing books, membership in a writing organization, a website). But unless you do it–actually write, draft and plot–then you aren’t a writer.
You’re a no-doer. You’re just a talker.