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Connie Ragen Green — On Becoming a Writer

I had wanted to write for longer than I can remember. It began officially when I composed a poem while in the third grade to read on parent’s night. It was as if I had done something special that no one else could accomplish and I liked that feeling. My thoughts on becoming a writer were beginning to take shape.

In the sixth grade a boy named Danny began a school newspaper and asked me to be one of his writers. I’m pretty sure he rewrote every word I submitted but it felt good anyway to be included in this project.

In college I took some English classes and it was then I realized my writing wasn’t very good. I wanted to write situation comedy scripts for television and learned the formula. I took each rejection to heart and slowly my writing came to an end, save for the papers I needed to write for my classes.

I took to reading books on becoming a writer and came to the conclusion that Dorothy Parker got it right when she said “I hate writing, I love having written.” That became my mantra for more than twenty years. I would torture myself for days at a time to do some writing and then retreat back into the comfortable space I created for myself.

It turns out I was focusing on the wrong thing for all of those years.

Writer Sarah Cy has penned an article that lends validity to my experiences. It’s called “Want to be a Great Writer? Then Don’t Focus on Writing. (Do This Instead)” and here is what she says:

The key to writing well isn’t to focus on writing.

It’s to focus on your writing system.

Yes, this is what I needed to hear. It all makes sense when you think of it in this way and approach your writing as a “system.”

Cy uses Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and A.J. Jacobs as her examples here.

You know what all these successful writers have in common?

A honed writing system.

Hemingway, King, and Jacobs didn’t just throw words on paper whenever they felt like it. If they did, they wouldn’t have become great writers and we would never have heard of them.

Hemingway always wrote in the morning, as soon as the sun rose. Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day, rain or shine. Jacobs writes ever-more-detailed outlines-that-turn-into-books while walking on a treadmill.

So if you want to be a great writer, don’t focus on great writing. Focus on creating and sticking to a great writing system.

In this article she continues by sharing the three parts of a writing system. Each is detailed and will make you think and take action. Then Cy shares her own writing system as a Case Study and this is pure gold if you are interesting in learning more on becoming a writer.

On Becoming a Writer to Live Your Passion

Writing has become my passion. Every day I write and this writing becomes blog posts, articles, courses, products, short reports, and full length books. If you are also passionate about writing I will encourage you to read through this article again, read Sarah Cy’s article, and get to your writing!

I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. You may see all of the books I have published here. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.

Originally published at

Online marketing strategist, author, speaker, and publisher working with entrepreneurs on six continents.

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