I pretend to be a writer so I can begin to form the habits, the abilities, and the focus that will lead me into being a writer.
I have long dreamed of being a writer and in the last ten years I have taken steps to lead me decidedly closer to the place where I can stand proud and declare I am a writer and that I write for a living, for the love of words, and because I have stories to share (so that the voices and my head have a place to go). I got there in part because I made the choice to “fake it until you make it.”
I act like a writer – even on days when I struggle to find my voice and especially on those days when the world seems determined to discourage the journey. I need to get in the habit of pretending to be a writer so that I can make room for the words to flow for real.
Top Tips for Pretending to be a Writer
1. Write an authoritative answer to something you know nothing about. I discovered this challenge on a satirical website in the form of a competition. “Write an ad for an outrageous miracle diet.” I wrote a piece about the cardboard diet – where you can eat all you want and the weight will still burn away. It was fun. It was ridiculous. And because it was fun and ridiculous, my imagination was set free to roam where it wanted.
One of the most important aspects to being a successful writer is to have a freely roaming imagination.
2. Make up 10 titles of books you would never want to read. You never have to share the so be as silly or out of the ordinary as you want. The point of this exercise is to search the edges of your imagination because when we search the edges we expand the view.
A growing and expanding imagination is vital to a healthy writing journey.
3. Rewrite a story that you have read recently. It could be a news story. It could be a fairy tale. It could be a book. Change the viewpoint of the story, or change the characters completely. Allow your imagination to see beyond the limits of the existing world and your imagination will begin to craft a world of its own.
A strong writer feeds and fosters a world creating imagination.
4. Write as though every word you produce will be eagerly devoured by your fan base. I suspect that Tom Clancy, James Patterson, and other writing greats rarely sat around worrying who would read their books – at least in my mind they didn’t after their books became best sellers. See your words through that same place of success. Allow your imagination to drive the “when I am famous” slant of focus and you will soon discover that you write like you expect to be read.
Every word you create will have a reader that needs to read it.
Don’t just think about being a writer – ACT LIKE IT! Pretending to be a writer is about setting the imagination free and then following the imagination to the flow of words it will produce.