A woman with a journal sitting down to getting started as a writer.

Three Steps for Getting Started as a Writer

This is the time of year when many writers take advantage of shorter days, drawing inward to get their stories onto the page. November is NaNoWriMo month, a great time to focus on getting started as a writer. Here are some helpful tips to keep you committed to your writing journey so you can maintain your enthusiasm to the finish line. 

It doesn’t matter whether you have been dreaming about writing for a long time, or your desire to put words to the page showed up recently. These three tried and true suggestions for developing a dedicated writing practice will keep you moving toward your goals.

REMEMBER – You can write a lot in three minutes!

Step 1 for Getting Started as a Writer

Make a date with writing. Add creativity to your calendar, like you book a massage or medical appointment. Choose frequency and times that fit your schedule; aim for success. 

For example, after hearing this suggestion, many aspiring writers declare, “I’m going to write half an hour a day, every day of the week!” The first time they miss a day, they’re left feeling defeated, a failure at this writing thing. If this is a recurring pattern, it’s time for a new approach to get you started as a writer. 

Try choosing one creative time each week or month! Be realistic about what you can commit to AND show up. This is critical for changing old habits and beliefs. Celebrate yourself for showing up. Adding more creative dates into your calendar builds your writing muscles.

Step 2 for Starting Your Writing Practice

Develop a timed writing practice (ten minutes of writing prompted by an open-ended sentence or topic). For example, “This is where ….” or “I remember…” It’s best to use a pen and paper for this practice, and keep the pen moving for the full ten minutes. 

The beauty of timed writing is that it bypasses the intellectual brain, where the inner critic resides, ultimately supporting the growth of a first draft. 

I recommend two books by Natalie Goldberg, for more information about timed writing practice:  Writing Down the Bones, and Wild Mind.

Step 3 for Getting Started as a Writer

Find a writing buddy who is also on a writing journey. You can hold each other accountable to your small-step goals (e.g. write 500 words in the next two weeks), and celebrate the small wins along the way. 

I celebrate my wins during meetings with my buddy. It helps to break down all the steps of creating a manuscript into smaller pieces. 

I completed 10 minutes of timed writing three times this week.
I completed the chapter about my mother.
I read a book that gave me ideas about how to structure my story.” 

Take time to name all the small steps that feed your creative energy, building your writing vision. 

If you decide to share your rough draft writing with your buddy, take time to learn how to give each other encouraging feedback. Treat fresh writing like a newborn baby, and look for what is strong and beautiful in the words that you are reading. 

When your buddy is ready to move onto the revision stage, that is the time to offer suggestions. I’ve outlined a supportive process in my FREE gift: The Writing Feedback Guidebook

Writing Feedback Guidebook

Enter your name and email address below to receive your copy.

Creatively Yours,
Image of Marie leaning against a pillar holding a coffee cup


l love hearing from my readers!

If something in this newsletter inspired you, send me a note at marie@mariemaccagno.com.
If you liked this post from Adventures in Writing, I invite you to share it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cover of the Writing Feedback Guidebook on an ipad

The Writing Feedback Guidebook

How to Ask For & Receive Helpful, Supportive Feedback on Your Writing

Not all writing reviewers are created equal! When you hand your carefully crafted pages to someone to provide feedback, the result is often unhelpful & at worst, can be crushing. This FREE guide will help you choose insightful, supportive readers. It will also teach you how to ask for what you need and want from them to continue honing your writing with confidence.