Most writing advice takes the form of simple directives — Don’t be afraid to make mistakes / Write every day, even if it’s crap / Stop over-editing and submit that story / If it doesn’t sell, put it in a drawer and move on — all of which are useful bits that have certainly helped me over the years. Unfortunately, their common focus is on what one does as a writer. None of them gets at the core issue: how to be a writer.
So let’s talk about that, about being a writer. At one level, I think this is simply something you choose to do. You’re a writer when you decide you are, and an easy test is when someone walks up to you and asks what you do. If you say, “Oh, I’m a [insert day job title here]… and I also write” then no, you’re not a writer yet, not in your own head. You haven’t embraced that choice.
To help you with that, I’m going to switch hats for a bit, and go from being a writer to being a hypnotherapist. All that other writing advice, that’s all stuff for your conscious mind, all stuff you should do. To get to how to be a writer, we need to tap into your unconscious.
The unconscious is where all your emotional memories live, it’s that portion of the metaphorical mental iceberg below the water line. It’s a realm that’s much more interested in possibilities than problem solving, and it can be notoriously difficult for a person to access (let alone guide) directly. Fortunately, you have me.