If you want to become a writer: dream big, make a plan and visualise.
But then let it be. Appreciate what you have now. Because guess what “arriving” as a freelance writer feels like?
Yep – it feels pretty similar to what you’re feeling like right now.
This is what it takes to become a writer…
Among the blog posts, the Twitter feeds and thousands of words, I learned something yesterday. Amid the running in the rain and the pounding of the keyboard, I listened to a short Tony Robbins video on YouTube he made earlier in the year.
Tony was suggesting that humans have an overwhelming urge that compels us to conform to the type of person we predetermine ourselves to be. We crave consistency so much that we’ll do anything to keep in line with how we’ve already defined ourselves.
Here’s the vid. If you’re short on time, skip to 15:23…
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About half way through this video, Tony talks about setting a standard for yourself. We all do this – just to varying degrees. When exactly we set these standards for what ‘type’ of person we decide we are I don’t know. Perhaps it’s the first, second or third time we fail as adults.
Perhaps much sooner. Perhaps we base it on the people we surround ourselves with the most. Perhaps we base it on how we grew up, or on our very first job.
Either way, it does appear true that when people define themselves as something, they get pretty serious about doing everything in their power to ensure they conform to the standard they have set for themselves. (For instance, self-proclaimed “fitness fanatics” set themselves a standard to always exercise, come rain or shine – and they do.)
This also means that when somebody defines themselves as “an office worker” (willingly or not), they’ll invariably always be an office worker. Somebody who labels themselves as a “labourer” will unearth labouring jobs throughout their lives, no matter how much they dream of being a writer, artist, actor or…. dentist.
It’s also interesting that those who consider themselves wealthy will find a way to make themselves so, despite any outside or mitigating circumstances.
It has been asserted many times that if all the money in the world was taken from each and every person – the rich, the poor and everybody in between – the poor would go back to being poor, the so-called middle class would go back to working for their money in an office (or wherever) and the rich would find a way to be wealthy once again.
It stands to reason then that those who consider themselves “writers” – whether because they write everyday for themselves, or because they get paid to write – will do what they believe writers do every single day. They don’t start off with loads of enthusiasm and then stop writing or stop trying to get published after the novelty of setting a goal wears off.
This is the power of setting a standard for yourself.
Because, as Tony Robbins says in the above video, setting a standard for yourself is a much easier method for achieving a goal than using willpower. When I finally gave up smoking I didn’t use willpower. In fact, if I think about it, I’ve used willpower all the times I’ve ever failed at anything the first time around. When I quit smoking I set myself a standard; I said “I’m a non-smoker now” – and (crucially) I believed it.
In fundamental terms then, this is how you become a writer (in fact, this is how you “become” anything):
Set a standard for yourself and believe in it.
For tips on how to make a living as a freelance writer, and to get my FREE eBook on how to build a solid portfolio and reputation online, click here now.
Image courtesy of Ritesh Nayak via Flickr.