4 Steps to Being the Writer You Want to Be

Sameena Mughal
5 min readNov 26, 2020

Don’t complicate it.

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

In 2015, I came to the realization that teaching no longer satisfied me.

That wasn’t fair to me. It wasn’t fair to the students I taught.

Before taking the plunge to walk away, I took a sabbatical researching Students with Interrupted Formal Education and wrote a scholarly paper for my school district. What I discovered along the way was that writing was all I wanted to do.

Still, I couldn’t resign because I owed my district the semester I took for the sabbatical. I decided to give them the full year to make sure giving up a 17-year career was the best decision.

As I look back on that time, I realize the decision-making process broke down into 4 simple steps:

1. Make the decision

2. Find your niche

3. Know your worth in that niche

4. Be it

Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash

Make the decision

Before the school year ended in 2016, I decided to write full-time. I second-guessed that decision more than once because I didn’t have a step-by-step plan for how I wanted to do it. Like so many times in my life, I made a decision and went with it. I said this to myself then, and I say it to myself now:

This is all you want to do, so do it.

Next came the angst of how do I start over? I was a high school teacher. Where would I even begin as a writer? I had to remind myself that I published two books already. I started. Then came the preparation and pondering.

For me, that gets to be a problem. I think, and I think. But I don’t take the necessary actions. When you’re not 22-years-old and fresh out of college, what are those actions? That’s what I had to figure out.

Photo by Júnior Ferreira on Unsplash

Find your niche

Sameena Mughal

Former teacher who retired early to pursue a passion for writing. Personal development content writer and fiction author. Dog mom. www.sameenakmughal.com