It’s all happening. In less than two weeks, I will walk away from my life as a clinician. Instead I’ll be doing some part-time work in a more simple medical job that will keep some income coming in, but that won’t occupy my mind all hours of the night and day.

I’m terrified and excited, both at once. I have no idea how the whole writing world works, and I have a steep learning curve ahead of me. I’m reading and writing as much as I can. I hope to do some study in creative writing down the track. I’d be grateful for any words of wisdom from other writers! What are your top tips for a writer starting out?

Getting out of my own way

Hello, and welcome!

This isn’t my first blog, but it’s my first blog as a writer trying to get serious about the whole business of writing – which is what this post is about. If you’re a writer, too (and let’s face it, most bloggers either are writers, or should be writers!), maybe you can relate.

I think I’m getting too serious here. Overthinking the entire process until all I can think to write about is – well, nothing really. Because when I do consider an idea, a sneery voice winds down my ear canal and echoes in my head, “Bor-ring!”. I’m finished before I begin.

When I first started writing bits and pieces, squeezed in around the rest of my life, I never stopped to consider if my stories were good or not. I just tapped them out. They were pretty bad in general, but they had some kernels of good in them, and I loved the feeling of expressing myself. Slowly I began to learn about writing, took some classes, learnt to edit. I realised I had some ability, and began to believe in myself. So I’ve cleared space in my life for writing, with a big shake-up of my work hours, and I’m ready to give writing my all. Yet here I sit, staring at the cursor, fighting a rising sense of panic that I’ll never write another short story.

A friend gave me a book of Buddhist quotes, and one attributed to Buddha reads ‘The mind is everything. What we think, we become.’ I understand how powerful our thoughts can be, and I know that to work well, to succeed, to achieve anything in life, the right mindset is essential. I need to calm down, remember the joy of writing just for the story. I need to get out of my own way.

So, here I go …