Becoming The Writer

Being a writer is the dream of millions of people.  Some have a story in their head that just won’t go away, some have a song in their heart they want to share with the world, and others want to tell people how to do things they thought they couldn’t do.  Each has their own thing, and each is a writer.  But how does one go about making it happen? Well, that’s the thing.  Each person has to do it their own way.  Ya, I know.  Not much of an answer but let me explain.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer.  Even before I knew what it was, I was creating worlds of my own.  As a child, it was called an over-active imagination.  As an adult, it’s called insanity…unless you can find an outlet for it, then it’s called being a writer.  And I can speak from experience, it won’t happen over night.  So how can you make it happen.

1.) Read!!!
Every published writer will tell you that this is the one thing you must do in order to be a writer.  If you can’t be a reader, you’ll never be a writer.  I have to admit this is NOT my strong point either, but it is essential.  Read everything you can about the type of writing you like most.  If you’re a fiction writer, read about the fiction industry.  It’s one of the hardest markets to break into, but thanks to places like Amazon.com and Lulu.com, it is viable.

Think about the genre in which you’ll be writing.  If you’re into the paranormal romance thing, read as many books as you can in this field to get a feel for what people are buying.  Not only is it a good idea to know what’s selling, it’s good to know what to avoid so your stuff can stand out from the crowd.

2.) Brainstorm
I’m a firm believer in the power of the brainstorm.  I’m not always very good at it, but I’ve seen it work.  There are hundreds of topics out there in which to start your brainstorming process.  It’s up to you to see which ones work and which one’s don’t.  What works for one person might have the opposite effect on someone else.  I’ve heard a lot of people talk about mind-mapping.  I’ve tried it and it just isn’t my thing.  I have found that teaming up with a writing buddy works best for me.

If you think a writing buddy is the way for you, the next trick is in finding one.  I was fortunate enough to find one through a site that no longer exists.  My advice is to check out some of the writing forums online.  There are tons of them out there and almost all of them are free to join.  Remember though, be careful in your choices.  Do some recon work before making your final decision.  And if you find more than one buddy, that’s okay too.  The more ideas you and your buddies can come up with, the better your chances at seeing your dream become a reality.

3.) Network
This goes along the same lines as finding a writing buddy.  Meet people who’ve been-there-done-that.  You’ll find a lot of writers who are more than happy to tell you about their journeys and will give you some very sound advice on how to take your writing to the next level.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  This is another of those things I have to remind myself of occasionally.  If I can’t find the answer in the search engines, I know I can find someone who will either know the answer or can point me in the right direction.

The best ways to network include writing forums, blogging communities, and social media sites.  Yes, you can use social media for something other than posting pics of your cat.  Whatever it takes, meet other writers and find out what worked for them.  It might not work for you, but it’s a start in the right direction.

4.) Write!!!
Yep, I said it.  As obvious as it sounds, just write.  I love free writing.  Just sit down at the computer or with pen and paper, and write.  Write about those cat pics, write about your Aunt Sally’s birthday party, write your grocery list.  Whatever you have to do to get the creative juices flowing, just write about it.  You don’t have to show these free writes to anyone else, or you can use them as fodder for something bigger.

As a writer, you have to train your mind to write.  Seriously.  There will be a lot of times when you feel like writing but nothing happens.  You’ve got to find a way to get past this.  As you work to write each day, you’re brain will begin to come up with stuff you never dreamed of before.  And as time goes by, you’ll find that the writing process gets easier.

5.) Believe
Finally, you’ve got to believe in yourself.  If you can’t see yourself as a writer, nobody else will either.  Even if you’re not a great writer at the moment, you can be.  You’ve got to train yourself to keep going, keep moving forward in your chosen field.    Even on those occasions where you want to give up, and it will happen, keep on keeping on.  Write a letter to yourself reminding yourself of why you wanted to do this in the first place.

Though just about anyone can become a writer, not everyone is a great–or even a good–writer.  It takes practice, patience, and perseverance.  Learn all you can.  Write everyday.  Meet like-minded people.  Create new ideas.  Believe in your abilities.  And before you know it, you’ll be able to tell the world that you are a writer.

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One Response to “Becoming The Writer”

  1. […] my previous post, Becoming the Writer, I listed 5 things needed to really become the writer you’ve always wanted to be.  Now, keep […]

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