Hello, and welcome to a new feature here on A Mad Pursuit! I’ve had such a good response, and so many good conversations, around my aspiring writers series, that I thought I’d reach out writers I know and see how they’d answer a simple question: What would you tell your younger self about writing?

I’m entertaining, perhaps, but my experience is only that: my experience. So I wanted to hear other writers’ experiences to not just give a little flavor, but to show just how varied this journey of writing is.

Emily Leverett

Do It Now

Do it. Now.

I loved writing as a kid and a teenager. Then I just … stopped. I believed that I wasn’t good enough to be a writer. I never felt like I was cool enough–especially in comparison to some super cool peers who were writers. I got it in my head that I might be really good at helping someone be a writer, but be one myself? Nah.

Then I got to be friends with Sarah Adams, my now co-author, and we eventually decided to write together. Our first novel was … well, it was a novel. I’ll give it that. (Accepting the shitty first draft is a good lesson, but another post.) I wrote another novel on my own (and it, too, was a novel). I wrote some stories and even got a couple published. I edited collections. (Turns out I am pretty good and helping writers write better, too.) Finally, I published novels.
I got better at writing over time.

So, why”Do it. Now”? Because if I had done that–if I had never stopped, or started up again sooner, I’d have gotten better sooner. I’d have learned the things that I could only learn by experience–and they were requirements–sooner.

If you want to write, write. Don’t let “I’m not good enough…” or “I could never do that…” stop you. Don’t compare yourself to others. I wasn’t good enough when I started. I am now. I’ve still got a long way to go, too. I keep working, learning, getting better. But all of it would have been easier, faster if I’d ignored the voice in my head telling me I couldn’t.

So, right now, start up a new MS Word document, flip to a new page in your writer’s journal, open the Note app on your phone and write.

Do it.

Now.


Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and medievalist. She writes fantasy and edits short story collections. Changeling’s Fall and Winter’s Heir, the first two books in her contemporary fantasy series with Sarah Adams, are out now. Her historical urban fantasy, Marie and the Werewolf, about the medieval nun and romance writer Marie de France, will be out soon.

Find out about Emily at her website or click on the links above!