Did you ever wish you could go back in time and let your younger self in on some of what you’ve learned?
If we’re honest, I think we all wish that we could take we’ve learned into the past. It would be great to benefit early from our accumulated life experience.
It isn’t possible to go back in time. But we can still share what we’ve learned with other writers who are starting out.
And remember, we can still use what we’ve learned from the past today.
In this post I share ten things I would tell my younger writing self if I could. At the end of the post, share what you would tell your younger writing self (if you could) in the comments.
What I Wish I Knew Back Then
Over the past 25+ years as a writer, I’ve learned a lot. Armed with today’s knowledge, I could have done a few things differently.
In no particular order, here are ten things I know now that I wish I had known back then. Here’s what I would tell my younger self:
- You are a good writer. Yes, you can earn money doing what you love. It takes hard work, but don’t give up. Most people quit trying way too soon.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. There will be a ton of changes over the next few decades. Learn everything you can about them as soon as you can and you’ll do well.
- Keep up with your friends and acquaintances. On both a personal and professional level, your connections are more important than you know. Stay in touch.
- Let your employer send you to grad school. If you are lucky enough to work for a company that offers tuition reimbursement, take classes. You’re not too busy. Make the time.
- Keep writing in your diary. Your diary can connect you to your past and be a source of illustrations for your writing. You may think you’ll remember this time forever, but you won’t.
- Save as much as you can. Sure, you’re not rich now. But you’re not poor either. And you’re wasting money you should be saving. Start that rainy day fund sooner, rather than later.
- Take care of your health. Your mother was right. You do need to eat the right foods, exercise, and get enough sleep. If you don’t, you’ll pay for it later.
- It will get better. Going through a slump? It’s probably temporary. Work through it the best you can until it passes. Get help if you need it.
- Travel more. Travel broadens your experience and improves your imagination. Don’t stay stuck in one place. See as much of the world as you can.
- The more you write, the better you get. You have a talent for writing. Don’t ignore it. Practice really does make perfect. So, write often.
Looking over the list, I find I can still do many of these things. And actually, I’ve done okay in some of these areas over the years.
But if I’d known these things 25 years ago, things might have been easier.
What would you do differently? What do you wish you could tell your younger writing self? Share your thoughts in the comments.