I could share my top tips for beginner writers all day long. How to start writing is one of my favorite things to talk about because the early stages of your writing career is a very exciting time.
You’ve likely decided to be a writer because you can’t not write. You’re enthusiastic about crafting the right words and have great writing habits.
The choice was bigger than you. It’s something you have to do … or at least try to do …
Or maybe you should stick with what you’re used to doing? Leave writing to others with more experience? Forget about that blog launch? What were you thinking?
Yeah, I’ve been there.
Tips for beginner writers who are afraid to start
Making a commitment to write because you’re passionate about a certain subject matter doesn’t make you automatically fearless. In fact, working as a writer probably makes you feel more vulnerable than you have in a long time.
When this happens, I often mention the art of living like a squirrel. I love watching squirrels frolic around the greenery outside my home, especially when they climb up palm trees across the street.
These palm trees are extremely tall and lately I’ve noticed more and more squirrels climbing up the trunks to the highest branches.
Of course I can’t speak to whether or not the squirrels are afraid, but they don’t seem like they are. And it doesn’t really matter if they’re confident because … they’re present.
Living in the present moment helps them overcome any fear of falling or disappointment, if the tree doesn’t have any nuts.
They’re just following their current instincts, and that’s one of the best tips for beginner writers who want to write professionally. Let’s dive into three other similar pointers …
1. Stop second-guessing and start writing
All writers have something in common.
One day, they decided to stop overthinking and start writing. Rather than dismissing their little ideas, they knew it was time to thoroughly explore them with words.
After they make that decision, they work with their best possible idea at the moment and follow it through to completion.
There’s no more waiting for the “perfect topic,” “perfect angle,” or “perfect writing conditions” — no more obsessing over how to be a good writer.
You have to build a narrative for people to check out and follow before you can grow an audience over time.
Here’s a rule of thumb for when you’re choosing one of your many ideas to write about:
If it has even the slightest possibility of helping someone, try.
Writing that changes the world exists in the world, not in your mind.
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2. Ditch perfectionism and the need to feel safe
This tip for beginner writers may sound simple, but it’s a lot easier said than done. It can feel safer to not write anything than to write the wrong thing.
For example, years ago when I was learning how to become a freelance writer and editor, I was afraid to publish content on my website.
Why? Because if I made a writing mistake, I thought I would look like a bad editor. If someone corrected a mistake I made, I didn’t yet have the confidence in my own editing abilities to shake off that type of criticism.
Plus, my website was new, so who was actually reading my blog anyway?
Nonetheless, that fear made perfectly logical sense to me and also kept me safely stuck — you don’t get new clients if you don’t market yourself.
And everyone makes mistakes — errors don’t always mean you’re “bad” at what you do. Writers and editors recover from goofs. If they only happen occasionally, congratulations, you’re human.
I wish someone would have drilled that into me early on in my writing career.
There’s no where to go but up, like the squirrel conquering the towering palm tree.
Once you overcome your fear of “bad,” another decision has to be made …
3. Claim your spot as a writer
One of the most beneficial tips for beginner writers is to accept your current writing level. If you’re a new writer, that’s not only okay, you can use it to your advantage.
New writers often have fresh perspectives on topics that seasoned pros overlook. Tap into your creativity rather than dwell on your lack of experience.
Next, claim your spot as a writer in the digital world.
What you write now isn’t the final word on that subject.
You can refine your position as you evolve, and I guarantee you’ll revisit the first topics you write about later after you’ve gained new insights.
Organize your ideas and give them a spot in your editorial calendar, so that you publish on a regular schedule. You might brainstorm different topics concurrently, but focus on completing one at a time and review a blog post checklist to make sure you got everything just right.
If you can follow through on four solid ideas each month, you’ll have an article to publish once a week.
Even more tips for beginner writers
All writers, not just new writers, have to work with their current instincts.
You go from instinct to action when you:
- Organize your thoughts.
- Form a narrative (for both a single piece of writing and the content marketing strategy you create).
- Complete one idea at a time.
That’s why creative professionals never finish growing. After they master one of these tips for beginner writers, there’s another step to take, and another, and another …
Even though you gain experience, you start every draft from scratch, right?
Having a repeatable creative process makes your journey a lot smoother, so if you want to strengthen your ability to write on command, next check out: How to Write a Good Blog Post: 7 Practical Steps for Modern Bloggers.
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You might want to start with our ebook for new writers …