This week my daughter told me that she might like to be a writer someday. Considering how last year we struggled to just get her to write a one-page essay for English class, I admit this came as a bit of a shock to me. I mean, I know that she likes drawing and writing but I didn’t know that she’d want to do it as a career. Up until recently, I thought she wanted to be a veterinarian. However, it made me think about Being a Writer.
I often see other bloggers mention that they are working on a book, or that they wish they could quit their jobs and just write full-time. That is definitely not me. I do not consider myself a writer. I am just a person who sometimes writes stuff. I like to make people laugh, and I like having an outlet to share the changes in my life with my friends and family. A blog is a nice place to do that, and it’s certainly more convenient than sending emails to everyone individually. But I am not working on a book, and I have no intention of writing one. While I would love to be able to survive strictly off my creative efforts, the thought of being a full-time writer fills me with anxiety. That is not the path for me.
However, I did think about what advice I would give my daughter if she asked. Not that she would, because she’s 14 so obviously asking your MOM for advice is so not cool. And she probably doesn’t think of me as a writer either. But I digress. If she wete to ask, I would tell her these are the 3 most important things that I have ever learned about writing:
Rule number 0.5 of writing:*
If you want to be a writer, you must start by writing. After all, a writer is by definition someone who writes. Right? Like I said I don’t really consider myself a Writer, but even I have been known to stop what I am doing to jot down an idea or a funny sentence that occurs to me while doing something else. I have even pulled over to the side of the to to record an idea, knowing that if I don’t write it down I will forget before I get home.
Rule number 1 of writing:
Save early and save often. (That’s Ctrl-S if you’re using most word processing programs on a PC. If you’re using a Mac, I can’t help you, but I’m sure you will figure it out.)**
Rule number 2*** of writing:
Don’t talk about fight club. Wait, wrong list. Rule #2 is actually make a backup of your writing.
Rule number 3 of writing:
Make a backup of your backup. Just in case something happens to the first backup.
Observation: I might have OCD.
* I originally left this rule out of my list thinking it was self-explanatory and redundant, but am adding it back in due to several people mentioning it.
** I’m going to go ahead and guess Command-S because it makes sense. But if you try and and that doesn’t work, don’t blame me. I’m not in Tech Support.
*** Number Two. *giggle*