by- Tom Kubrak
For the first few years I was writing, I had too many ups and downs to count. It took me too long to realize why…
Simply put, I finally found out that I wasn’t respecting my own craft.
It took me too long to realize during another down period where I wasn’t getting the most out of my writing; procrastinating a lot, writing things that didn’t even make sense, not knowing my writing specialty and going one week where I only wrote for a few minutes one day. It wasn’t a good time. On top of all the other bad habits I was picking up I wasn’t able to get a hold on why I wasn’t getting the most out of my writing. But then I tried something. something new…
...I started reading more.
Living in a media-galore age, it’s difficult to stop watching videos and just pick up a book. We must though because, we’re writers. Ultimately, we want people to read our writings right? I mean that’s the goal I think, but like most writers, I think I can speak for most of us when I say, “If no one ever reads my work I’m cool with it, but yes I do want people to read my work. I think my work could benefit someone out there in some way shape or form. Maybe someone won’t read it in my lifetime but maybe in another.” I think that’s why we keep writing when something gets a terrible review or a publisher rejects us.
Ultimately though, the majority of people won’t ever read what we wrote. But yet…we still write. Because we love it.
How to Respect The Writing Craft
If we want to even have work for people to decide whether or not they should read, then maybe we should try reading something too. This might sound silly to some writers who pride themselves on knowing a great deal of authors; young, old and long gone. Also, these readers, pride themselves on being able to quote from some of the greatest books of all time. If you’re like me, I’m not one of those. I read like a snail and other than that, I had a long hiatus of not picking up a book. Almost ten years! I have some catching up to do. Plus, I get very distracted. But, it’s a weakness that I’ve learned to overcome. It’s a weakness I had to overcome if I wanted to write still. I had no choice. I was in too deep to turn back when I figured this out.
Anyways, don’t be like me and forget that maybe, just maybe, if we’re struggling to write that book, then maybe it’s because our reading is lacking. Think, maybe you haven’t picked up a book the entire time you were writing in the last few months when you were struggling. Or, we replaced reading with podcasts or movies(been there done that.) It’s okay though, and no that doesn’t mean you have to give up movies an podcasts entirely, we just have to have a better balance with all of these options.
People…it’s not the same… a book is a book. A movie is a product of the original screenplay and an audible book was first typed up or hand-written.
I finally broke my hiatus, where I didn’t read between when I was 10-18 years old, in the last few months of my senior year in high school. Yea… as you can imagine, I didn’t do so hot in high school. Regardless, it felt amazing to just pick up a book and say I finished it. I almost wanted to shout it to the world. My ‘feat’ of finishing a book finally. It was a pretty good book too. “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. A self improvement book that brought me out of a pretty dark time and opened my mind to possibilities I had never heard of.
Point is…I read, and at the time I was studying with a business team, so I read business books. Boy-oh-boy did it help me understand and learn business quicker. Why, because I read books by people who were successful in business not by academicians preaching about it. .
Going Forward With Your Writing
Now, I’m embarking on some pretty big projects: books, screenplays, full length/short plays etc. For you, it may be starting that first short story or maybe your jumping write into that novel idea you’ve had. Before doing that though, in my opinion, you have to master this strategy.
I sometimes look at the first page of a new project and it seems insane to me that I’m going to be able to write it. But, I learned something to get me into the proper mindset… you got it…
I now have learned to respect the craft. That took me longer than it should have though.
But here’s the Un/common thing… I have to read as much as I write everyday. If you want to write more everyday, learn how to read more and equal each every day.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” – Stephen King
Next strategy #4- The Setup
By- Tom Kubrak
IG & TWTR @tomkubrak