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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tian

Want to be a Writer? FAQ for Aspiring Writers

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Last month, we held the "Expanding Your Career Horizon: How I Got Into Creative Writing" event for aspiring writers, featuring a panel of Asian writers. We had a fireside chat with Vincent Yee (as seen on The Kelly Clarkson Show), an award-winning Asian American author, and heard from several part-time Chinese writers on their unique writing journeys.

In the Q&A section, we had engaging discussions with the writers inspired from a variety of stimulating questions from the audience.

For those of you who missed our in-person event, I wanted to summarize some of the key topics we discussed below in a Q&A format.

I hope this will answer some of your most burning questions about getting started as a writer, and clear some common barriers to writing!

1. What if I don't have time to write?

Writing has a relative low barrier of entry. As long as you have a smartphone or laptop you are able to begin writing anywhere at anytime.

If writing is a top priority for you, then you will be able to find ways to make time for it!

💡 You will just need to free up time by reducing other less important activities. For example, could you do your grocery shopping online and get it delivered to your home? Could you cut down time watching TV shows and playing games? Are there any social activities that you could turn down?

💡 Another tip is to block time for writing and build it into your weekly schedule. For example, you may designate every Friday evenings for writing, and so when something else comes up, you can be sure to say no to let others know that you are booked for that evening.

2. What if I have the time but just lack the energy to write?

💡 Sometimes even though you do have free time, but you lack the energy to write after a tired day of work. Instead of forcing yourself to write or giving up on writing altogether that evening, perhaps you could take a quick 30 minute nap or go running to quickly recharge before attempting to start your writing session.

3. How to be motivated to write and finish a project?

Now that you have created time and reserved energy for writing, how do you kick-start the writing process and stay focused to finish what you set out to do in that session?

💡 Know your golden time for writing. When do your creative juices flow best? Some like to write in the early mornings, others late at night and some like to write on the plane. You need to figure out what time works best for you and set aside that time for writing.

💡Create the right environment. Start a ritual before your writing session. Over time, doing this ritual will signal to your brain the start of your writing session, and make it much easier to get started! For example, I like to light a candle before writing and put on relaxing music while I write.

💡 Silent your phone and put it out of sight to avoid distractions.

💡 Know your WHY and write something that you REALLY care about. Before every writing session, remind yourself WHY you are doing this. For example, Vincent Yee's vision is to “write for better Asian Representation”. This mission has not only helped him stay motivated, but has also helped him to better cope with rejections and critiques.

💡 Find your support network. Regularly meet with other writing enthusiasts to learn from and support each other in your writing journeys. For example, you can find in-person and online meet-ups for writing together on Meetup or check out your local library and bookstores for relevant events.

4. Do you think you need to be gifted to be a successful writer?

Thinking you are not gifted shouldn't prevent you from writing.

💡 In fact, your ideas, having the passion to write and the work-ethic to finish a project are more important than being gifted in writing.

💡 For example, if you are concerned about your language abilities, there are many tools out there to help edit your writing, such as Quillbot.

5. How do I deal with critics?

💡 Instead of worrying about critical comments, what is more worrying is there are no responses at all! If you happen to get a critical review of your work, it at least shows that you have gained some attention and is a sign that you may be onto something!

💡 Again, it's vital to constantly remind yourself of WHY you are writing. When your urge to tell a story and passion for writing are strong enough, they will out-shadow your fear of critiques.

💡 Lastly, instead of being afraid of negative feedback, welcome feedback. Getting feedback from a variety of people early on is a great way to improve your writing and is a critical step for getting your work published!


I want to leave you with two thoughts:

If your write, you are a writer!

When you decide to write, there will not be any "bad" things in your life. If something good happens to you, great! If something goes wrong, turn it into inspiration for your writing!

So what are you waiting for? Get writing! :)


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