Imagine that you had a burning desire to have an exhibition of your photos in a gallery, or you would like to write an episode of the Archers, or you would like to write a weekly ascerbic, comedic, sports column in a national newspaper. Or imagine your own thing that you want to achieve.

Now stop. Whoah. Stop.

Too many people who would like to be creative get hung up on the destination. They jump right to the end. It is as though they imagine themselves simply waking up at the end of the story and finding that everything has worked out for the best. Because in reality, getting there is too hard and would probably never happen.

So what do you do? You work backwards. First of all, to get your gallery opening, column published or script selected, the selector would need to know you, they would need to know your body of work. Well, having a published body of work still sounds hard and unlikely. But as you get further and farther back, you get to small enough chunks that are pretty easy to deal with.

Practice, publish your practices, tell people, practice, publish, tell people.

I lie to myself all the time. I know vaguely what my big future dream is. But I know for certain that being a practised writer is a pretty big part of it. So I do that bit. Because that bit is fun and easy. Pretend the dream is to have a cool website with a regular stream of content. Why? Because that’s the first step of the other dream anyway.

One super tip here. Do remember to concentrate on the thing itself. The modern equivalent of your overly complex beautiful revision timetable is your domain name, your blog design, your whatever. It’s good to do these things but remember to create that content as well.

As Bruce Springsteen would have it, you’re “working on a dream”. Nobody is going to turn up and give it to you. You better start heading towards it. So start. Start now.

4 thoughts on “Start

  1. As my dad once said to me (or was it Nike?): ‘just do it’.

    The problem with wanting to be a writer is that the first logical step (start writing) is actually flawed. You need to read to be a writer. I’d say the ratio should be something like 100:1. Read more than you write.

    Then there’s the second, unsolvable problem: knowing if you’re good or not. Despite what everyone else tells you, you need to believe that you’re good, but you also need to listen to what people say, and be your own worst critic. It’s a nasty dilemma. As someone I can’t remember once said when asked for tips for young people wanting to become writers: ‘don’t do it’.

  2. There’s a great quote from Steven King: “if you haven’t got enough time to read, then you don’t have enough time to write”.

  3. paul says:

    Eminem might say to loose yourself in the moment (you own it) better never let it go.

  4. Indian says:

    There’s a terrific amount of knolwegde in this article!

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