The Sixty-four Million Dollar Question – How Do I Become a Writer?

The other day a friend of mine said she wanted to become a writer and asked me for advice. At first I thought, "Who the hell am I to give advice. I’m still not sure if I’m a scribbler, a writer, or an author. Well, I have written a book. Maybe I’m a writer. The book has been published – maybe I’m an author. Hummm . . . OK, here is my advice.

 

Sit down and write – write everyday. Set aside a specific time each day. Maybe in the beginning it’s just thirty minutes or an hour, but do it religiously. Soon writing will become a habit. At first don’t get bogged down with creating the perfect sentence. Nothing is ever perfect to a writer. I have revised my book at least thirty times. If I allowed myself, I could revise it several more times. Write what’s in your head and sort it out later. Also read books in the genre want to write in. The authors you read have spent a lot of time learning their craft and have things to teach you. Consider, but don’t be deterred by the opinions of others – follow you dreams.

 

Anything can be fixed, but try to use the same word processing program all of the time. Each program leaves residual formatting that can lead to frustration when you move between programs. Don’t let your word processing program "auto-correct" your grammar. Spell check is ok, but also has its limitations (for example: to, two, and too are all correctly spelled, but may be incorrectly applied. Spell check won’t pick that up.)

 

There are many books on writing. Some of my favorites are: THANKS, BUT THIS ISN’T FOR US by Jessica Page Morrell, A WRITERS GUIDE TO FICTION by Elizabeth Lyon, and GETTING THE WORDS RIGHT by Theodore A. Rees Cheney. Finally, join a writer’s group, keep writing, take everything people say with a grain of salt, and listen to your passion.

 

For what it’s worth – that’s my two cents.

 

 

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