So you want to be a writer
Contributed by MRW Treasurer, Amy Leigh Harden
So you want to be a writer.
Maybe your head is full of plot idea snippets for romances or mysteries or fantasies floating around in your head. Or you’ve got a character dying to be put on the page. Or a plot twist that would make Oprah take notice.
What next, though? Where do you go from here?
1. Start listening to podcasts and YouTube videos on the craft of writing. Read craft books. Subscribe to author newsletters. Reread your favorite books with a critical eye to what the author does well. Listen to author interviews. Surround yourself with media and knowledge that takes the craft of writing seriously and be dedicated to learning everything there is about writing.
2. Be brave and tell your family and friends that you’re a writer. A dear friend of mine was at a party for the first time ever drummed up the courage to admit that she was a writer. The next thing she knew he drug her over to the snack table where I was standing (and had been standing all evening) and introduced us. “Have you met Amy? She’s a writer too!”
3. This is the easiest and hardest task on the list. Write every day. Put words on paper. Even when you think the writing is bad. Even when you know it’s bad. Even when you are certain you’re going to delete it tomorrow. Do it anyway. Set a daily or weekly goal and force yourself to meet it. The only way you get better is to write. And after you’ve completed a horrible first draft, then you can edit it into a slightly less horrible draft.
Consider writing your unpaid part-time job. If you don’t, it will never become your paid job. Some days putting words on the page is more difficult than others and it feels like if you were a real writer it would be easier but if you’re showing up every day with the mindset that you’re going to do this then you’re a real writer.