Your writer-self – Musings

If you are a new writer, there are a lot of things you will learn about yourself. You’ll have good and bad days. You will stare at blank screens. You’ll experience frustration and excitement. And if you pay attention, all of these experiences can teach you to become a better writer. That’s why, in this blogpost, I’ll muse about getting to know your writer-self.

Taking care of your writer-self

Your writer-self is a part of you you might have never met before. It will share many of your own characteristics, but will also be different in ways. I kind of see it as a sibling, an alter-ego that you let take over.

Your writer-self is a personality with desires and feelings. However, as it hasn’t been at the wheel too much, it still needs to grow up. It will experience things for the first time and will need to learn to deal with them. Just as it probably took you some time to process when your heart was broken for the first time, so your writer-self needs to learn the skills to process writing-heartbreaks.

As you get to know a new person, you’ll learn about their quirks and their strengths. And if you pay attention to it, you’ll see that you go through the same process with your writer-self. As you learn more about them, you’ll know what conditions to create to allow them to be as productive and successful as possible! In this case, it might help to see yourself as your writer-self’s personal assistant. You need to make sure that this personality has everything they need to do what they need to do before you let them take over.

Your writer-self: a practical approach

All this romantic mumbo-jumbo sounds nice, but what does this look like in practice?

Well, let’s be honest. At first, you’ll probably start writing wherever and whenever you have some time and inspiration. It’s like a friend you kind of have fun with but don’t really prioritize. If they happen to call at a convenient time, then yes, sure, you’ll hang out. But you’ll never really call them or actually make time for them in a busy week. However, if you want to be a successful writer, this attitude will not get you far. And this means you have got to start prioritizing your writer-self.

That begins with getting to know their quirks. Your writer-self may like to do research in the morning, but write in the afternoon. It may read better in silence, but write in a busy environment and edit in an office space. It may prefer to read on paper and edit on a screen, or the other way around. You might notice that if you focus for stretches of 25 minutes, that will work better for you than focusing for 45. You may learn that if you’ve just read a novel, you’ll start emulating the author’s style, but only if you read it in the two hours before you start writing. And as you learn all these things about your writer-self, you can start to find ways to make your writing time as effective as possible.

How I can help you grow your writer-self

I’ve created a printable (available through my Etsy shop) that can help you take the first steps to get to know your writer-self. Everytime you start writing, just keep this working sheet next to you. And when you’re done, file it away. If you have done this a few times, you will start to see patterns. For example: you write the most words at X location, when you have writing sessions of Y minutes. Pretty neat, no?

As a writing coach, I always dedicate the first session to learning about my clients’ writer-self. Some questions they might already know the answer to, others are things they never really thought about. All this information, I then use to help them create a writing plan, to accomplish their goals. If you want my help to become a more effective writer, just schedule your first free video call here.