The Second Big Shift to Turn from Wannabe Writer to Actual Writer

You have an idea to bring to life on the page. You’ve told yourself you’ll get stuck into writing it when… (insert your reasons here).

Life seems to get in the way and so, the time never seems to come.

But the idea? It remains.

It began as a niggle, but is now becoming a well-formed concept in your brain busting to find its way out onto a word document.

How do you change this pattern?

How do you stop procrastinating and just do the work of writing?

Ah, the perennial question.

The first big shift to turn from wannabe writer to actual writer is to change your identity as a writer. My last post offered three powerful questions to help make the shift. When we think of ourselves as a writer, we can’t not write, right?

So, what’s the second big shift required to get writing?

It’s wrangling your untamed idea into a book that has clarity and structure.

You’ve been thinking a lot about this book (or whatever it is you’re planning to write). You have many possibilities on how to write your story, but lack clarity. Without clarity, it’s impossible to get started.

You must wrangle your idea into a coherent, single-minded proposition. You must be able to answer the question: What am I writing? For your own peace of mind, and for other people who will ask you.

A single-minded proposition outlines what you are writing (novel, non-fiction, auto-biography, essay, screenplay) and the core premise of your work.

Here’s my example: ‘I am writing a novel based on the life of my grandmother Elsie, who was deserted by her husband, committed to an asylum and estranged from her four children.’

Once your idea is tamed into a single-minded proposition, you can then get to work on your structure. Structure answers the question: How am I going to write it? In our writers’ circle last Friday, in just 30 minutes, we created a complete chapter outline for one woman.

Clarity (the what) and structure (the how) are the pre-requisites for creative liberation and doing the sweet, sweet work of writing.

We’ll be discussing these ideas and more at the Brave Women Write Dinner on Thursday, 14 March in Melbourne. It’s an intimate dinner for 12 women where we’ll be workshopping and sharing our stories. I’d love for you to join me.


Stay-tuned for the third big shift next week.

With love

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Are you a woman who yearns to share your story with the world? Do you often suppress your inner voice and wait for that perfect day to write? Or perhaps you’ve begun writing and are feeling stuck? If so, the Brave Women Writers’ Circle is the right place for you.

Carolyn Tate is an experienced author and educator and is the facilitator of the Brave Women Writers’ Circle. The 12-week course guides you to bring your writing project to life while connecting you to a courageous community of other women writers.