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10 tricks to help you feel like a writer

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
4 min read

We don’t feature many list posts here on Write for Your Life, but once you start being silly about a subject, it’s very difficult to find any order for that silliness without the use of a list.

I recently talked about being a healthy writer and, more specifically, about not being a martyr. That is, don’t run yourself into the ground because you think that doing so is simply part of being a writer. It’s not – it’s just one of those writing stereotypes.

There are many writing stereotypes and the majority are what people turn to when they want to feel like a writer. Because being a writer is cool, you know? People are impressed by writers. Everyone wants to be one.

So yeah, this list is for writers-who-are-probably-not-writers-really. But I know that doesn’t apply to you, right? You’re a real writer. You write all the time.

Unfortunately, even us real writers need to feel writerly from time to time. We can be a rather needy bunch, after all.

So if you, like me, find any of the following familiar, don’t worry. Don’t panic. You’re not on your own.

The list!

1. Candles, candles, candles

Ahh, candles. Candlelight. The romance of the writer. How can we possibly put together any sentence of substance without the aid of scent-based, flame-oriented low lighting? If in doubt, get the candles out.

2. Tell someone you’re a writer

If you’re starting to question your ability to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, or if you’re so wrought with anxiety over your latest writing project that you’re thinking of giving it all up and trying manual labour, just tell someone you’re a writer. They will ask you about your writing. You will tell them. You will feel superior. I mean better.

3. Correct someone’s spelling

If you really want to feel like a writer, don’t wait for someone to ask you how to spell something, which they inevitably will because you’re the wordy one. Just get stuck in and correct them. Show them your mastery of language. Thrive on how much it irritates them. You’ll feel like a writer. That’s the main thing.

4. Lie about having read a book

Writers talk about books all the time. It kind of makes sense. We say, ‘Oh yes, I thought it was fantastic,’ and ‘Actually, I particularly liked the opening.’ You know. That kind of thing. But how many times have you said you’ve read a book when you haven’t because hey, you’re a writer, you’re supposed to have read everything? Come on. It’s more than that.

5. Try every piece of writing software you can get your hands on

This is a reasonably modern trick to help you feel like a writer. There are so many writing applications available these days that you can spend days deciding which one is exactly right for your unique writing needs. Then you can tell other people how great it is and feel like all those wasted hours were worth it. You know your software. Of course you’re a writer.

6. Wear a suitably writerly hat

All good writers accessorise. And nothing will make you feel more like a writer than donning a special writer’s hat. You never know, if that novel sells well, maybe the hat can be your thing. We all need a thing, right? Of course we do.

7. Go to an open-mic spoken word night with a five-minute limit, then read your own work for 20 minutes

That’s what real writers do. We don’t need rules or limitations on our work. We’re artists, after all. And why would the audience want a Big Mac when they can have the gourmet meal that is your 20-minute epic poem loosely inspired by the death of your dog or impending divorce?

8. Create a nom de plume

Even if you never have any intention of writing under a different name, I bet you’ve spent at least a little time thinking about what that name might be. And I bet you enjoyed it, didn’t you? You felt like a writer. Don’t be ashamed. It’s fine.

9. Buy a domain name that’s your own name

If you really want to feel like a writer, you’re going to need a website. It’s all about building a platform, these days, right? Go to your nearest domain registration site right away, search for and snap it up as soon as possible. If your name is taken by someone else, it’s all over. Stop writing immediately.

10. Set up a blog and start offering writing advice

This is the ultimate trick. If you’re telling other people how to feel like a writer, you’re definitely a writer, and a brilliant one at that. Handsome, too.

Image: echiner1

Share your thoughts

Do you find yourself needing to feel like a writer from time to time? Maybe you’re so full of confidence and gusto that it all comes naturally to you? Either way, let us know and give us more examples in the comments!

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Iain Broome Twitter

I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.

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