If you are serious about becoming a writer, there is no magic pill that you could take to one day wake up a fully established author.
Writing is a hard work, whether you do it for fun, money, charity or any other cause.
Writing is a muscle that you need to exercise every day to make it serve you, instead of dragging you down with the help of perfectionism and procrastination.
In my case, I made a pact with myself: I will write 500 words every day for 21 days. Why 21 you might ask. Studies suggest it's somewhere closer to 66 days. Well, 66 sounded rather daunting, 21 felt more achievable. It's better to take small steps eagerly than no steps at all. Also, make sure the motive behind your writing career dream is precise and genuine. Otherwise, whether it's 21 or 66 days the chances of you getting bored and demotivated in the first few weeks are that much higher if you write to please someone.
I would recommend breaking your journey into several steps to make them short, fun and feasible.
Step 1 - Introduce daily practice.
If you are new to writing the first few weeks might be the most challenging only because it's not part of your daily practice.
Choose the time of the day when you are least likely to be distracted and stick to it.
Set a reminder on your phone.
Let your loved ones know not to disturb you.
Put the earphones in to reduce the outside noise.
Leave your phone in another room.
Step 2 - Write what you are passionate about.
All the blogging advice that I have come across mentioned writing using your knowledge and expertise. If you research something new and then write about it, but you have no feelings either way about the topic - your writing will betray you and tell everyone that you are not genuine.
At least for the first 21 days write about your passions. These simple questions might help you to figure out what you are passionate about:
What do you like reading?
What programs do you tend to enjoy on TV?
What conversations are you more likely to join in on?
What do you prefer to daydream about?
All of those are tiny hints revealing your real interests. Don't be afraid to talk about them. You don't have to make them public if you don't feel like it.
Step 3 - Do not miss writing slots.
If you decided to challenge yourself to 21 days of writing practice - make sure you don't miss a single day.
Even if you only manage to write a sentence or a paragraph - it's better than not writing at all - wouldn't you agree?
The trick with creating new routine and habit is simple: consistency. You need to silence whatever is stopping you from accomplishing your daily goal. If the life itself seems to be conspiring against you, you still have a chance to hit your daily target:
Send yourself a text with daily words.
Scribble them down on a napkin.
Use a voice recording device to record a few thoughts and ideas.
Step 4 - Choose a winner from your 21 draft ideas.
Once your 21 days are up - choose one article, draft idea or a thought and try to build upon it.
If you have a blog - aim to publish it on it.
Have you heard of Quora? Check it out to see if your idea might work for Quora's audience. They always need new bright writers to answer questions.
Do your friends have blogs? Ask them if they'd accept you as a guest writer.
Use your Instagram or Facebook account to create a longer post using your ideas from 21 days of writing.
Step 5 - Forget about being perfect.
There is no such thing as perfection. Even if you are happy with your draft today, the likelihood of you being ashamed of it in a week is very high.
We change and evolve, so does our writing. That is why it's better to publish something once you edited, proofread and are relatively happy with it.
"The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” - George Orwell
Step 6 - Hit 'Publish' and congratulate yourself.
You did it! Not only you have a tiny backlog of blog post ideas, but you also managed to publish one of it.
Keep up with the excellent work. Do not rest on your laurels now that one goal is achieved. You have a long and exciting journey ahead of you, dear fellow writer!
Also, if you only have 2 minutes to spare - check out my article on Medium called 'Magic Tricks to Start Writing a few Stories per Week'. It will walk you through similar ideas to help you start writing and publishing consistently.