Authors, this post is for you if you’re looking for writing inspiration, you need look no further than Brande’s classic Becoming a Writer.
Readers (who aren’t writers) this book might give you tips for how you can work to accomplish whatever goals you may have. Her tips actually work when applied to any task you want to accomplish, from learning coding to learning a new language.
I take notes when I read, and I found myself highlighting everything. Nearly every line of Brande’s could be a tip on a coffee mug. Every sentence is motivational while also realistic. She doesn’t promise you’ll write a best seller; she reminds you that you can write, despite every obstacle thrown in your path. It takes dedication and a willingness to do something for your own good.
I’ve been trying out Brande’s advice with varying results. When I read the book in 2018, I started getting up a bit earlier to write. Typically the first half an hour was grumbled and garbled as I struggle to wake up, but the second half hour was productive.
In the last two years, I was able to accomplish two major writing goals: to move my previous blog’s posts into Word documents to save them, and to begin an adaptation of a novel into a film.
There’s a feel-good factor in this. I now know how morning athletes feel when they’ve already run ten miles and it’s only 8 a.m. I feel the same. I wouldn’t have gotten here without Brande’s kind but forceful encouragement.
But I haven’t been able to keep it up. It’s been difficult to get up early for a few months, so instead I decided to try a different tip: to cultivate a temperament to be able to write at any time of day.
My current life demands that I focus on difficult editing tasks in the morning, moving my writing time to after lunch—when my brain is usually dead. I struggle.
Day-by-day in fifteen-minute increments, I’m getting myself to write after lunch, just snippets. It’s been two months and afternoon writing is getting much easier.
What I want to tell readers about this book is that Brande has actionable suggestions and useful advice. I recommend every writer read this book and choose one tip to work on over a few weeks. If it doesn’t work, try a different one. If nothing else, you’ll come away feeling good, and it’ll last a while, so take advantage of it to get some words down!
I read a lot, not just for my work as an editor but for fun and to learn, and yes, for a little escapism!