Becoming a Writer

Becoming a writer is very exciting! For most writers, the toughest part is deciding what type of writer you’d like to be. A Columnist? Novelist? Greeting Card Writer? Whatever you decide, it’s important to know that if learning about new things on a daily basis excites you, then a career as a writer is for you!

So, the big question is…how to become a writer? Well, there is not an easy answer nor is there only one way to become a writer. The most important thing is to write. Write something…anything, just write.

You see, the word “writer” is a title. Being a writer is work. So, if you think you want to be a writer, ask yourself these questions.

1) Do you really want to be a writer? You know, actually sitting down at the keyboard and putting thoughts to paper?

2) Will you write and re-write until you love what you wrote? Or maybe even until your editor loves it, no matter what?

3) Becoming a writer means you have to see yourself as a writer. Can you see yourself writing for a living?

4) Will you do your best on every job?

5) Are you willing to take some time and research a specialty or niche for yourself? Will you work tirelessly to increase your skills and knowledge of the writing business?

6) Have you declared yourself as a writer?

Most people think you need to be published to be a real writer but that’s just not true! If you write, if you love the act of putting ideas on paper, you are a writer! And if you are a writer, do not let anyone tell you that you aren’t one!

Becoming a writer is a process. Remember, there are many types of writers and you can choose one style or write in many areas. For example, I have written a novel, several non-fiction, how to books and am a freelance copywriter.

My best advice on getting started? Where is your passion? Do you love the short and snappy style of greeting cards? Why not begin to write greeting cards? Are you more of an intellectual? Start by writing scholarships. Maybe magazine writing jobs are what you want, or editing jobs excite you. How about that novel you have been thinking about writing?

Whatever you passion is, that is where you will do your best work and begin the process of putting samples together of your work.

Samples? Yes, when you begin your career as a writer, you will want to start collecting samples. Put your best work in a book so if you are called to do a job, you have a varied selection of your writing to show a perspective client. But don’t use the fact that you don’t have samples of your work to give up your dream of becoming a writer.

Whatever you do now doesn’t really matter; you can be a writer and be read by thousands. You have the power to inform, educate, motivate and entertain. Your words can do all that! So, if it is in your heart and soul to be a writer, you need to follow your dream! A career as a writer can be a very lucrative and enriching experience. I know I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Learn to Write – Becoming a Better Writer

There are hundreds of people walking around with the dream to become a children’s writer. However, they may be unsure of where to start or don’t how if they can learn to write. Like anything, writing a children’s book doesn’t happen overnight and there are specific techniques you can use to increase your chances of both completing a viable manuscript and being published.

Become an Observer

When it comes to writing fiction, especially children’s books, it’s all in the details. Most people go through their day being a part of the action. However, to be a productive and effective writer, you need to begin to look through the lens, so to speak. Just as a photographer has to take a step back in order to capture a beautiful shot, an author also has to spend more time observing- surroundings, scenarios, conflicts and human nature.

Make it an Automatic Habit

Once you start observing, you might find yourself analyzing every situation you find yourself in, with your book or plot in mind. This is a productive exercise. Keep a secondary dialogue going in your head with observations on what is happening around you.

Inspiration is a Myth

While there are certainly times when you will touch those computer keys and the story will seemingly fly off your fingers, those events are usually the exception. Most inspiration is the result of good, old fashioned discipline. The more you do something, the more opportunities you will find for real success.

Make Time for Creativity

When you discuss writing with other authors, almost everyone can relate to the classic case of writer’s block. The solution of this is to put that butt in the chair, plain and simple. Schedule your writing time and don’t let anything interfere. If your family life is distracting, get up early. Those are generally the most productive hours to learn to write anyways. Don’t get dressed, check email or eat breakfast until you have put in your time. An hour each morning should be sufficient to work on your children’s book.

It’s Not All About the Good Stuff

If you’ve ever been in a group of people while you listened to someone relate a truly horrible situation, you know just how interesting these stories are for both the storyteller and the group of listeners. What you might not realize is how you can use your embarrassing moments to improve your writing skills. Every story is built around a conflict, after all. Detail a particularly embarrassing moment, including as many details as possible. This will help you with your descriptive writing and also train your brain to recognize both details, and the human nature that is behind them. When writing a children’s book, use incidences from your childhood. Most good children’s book connect with the audience, so this exercise is very useful to your overall success. You may even find just the plot that you are looking for.

Make Goals

Some of the most successful people use goal setting as a tool to remain productive. Goals can be very important for an author. So much of writing is a personal endeavor, often with very little feedback. Make little goals as you learn to write and devise rewards that you find motivating to mark these goals. This can keep you going, even if you are unsure if you still have it in you. If you need outside encouragement, find a friend or mentor to report your goals and progress to on a weekly basis.

Tips For Becoming a Freelance Writer

The idea of being a freelance writer conjures up images of a glamorous lifestyle and long days off. But it’s really not like that. Being a freelance writer is hard work – darn hard work. It’s also demoralizing and extremely tiring. Anyone thinking of breaking into freelance writing needs to think long and hard about how and why.

It’s possible to get a distorted image of what it’s like to make a living without having a full-time job. People like John Chow, the famous pro-blogger who makes a considerable amount of money from his blog, tout a “dot-com lifestyle” as if the only way it’s possible to lead a fulfilling, happy life is to copy him.

If you want to make a living writing, be it on the Internet, with a blog or for magazines, then you need to put in the time and the effort, probably even more so than if you were working a full-time job for a publication.

What’s most important is that in the transition period being thinking about being a freelance writer and actually becoming one, you need to have enough revenue to support yourself. If you are a freelance writer just starting out, you aren’t going to be making enough to support yourself for a few months.

If you are certain that you can support yourself then you need to plough ahead with finding sources of work. These could come from blog networks or clients you’ve found on forums. There are lots websites dedicated to helping people find freelance writing jobs, but you need to get in there early, because every day there are more and more writers looking for work and taking the jobs you want.

But it’s never easy. Until you have established a decent network of contacts, you are going to have to put up with rejection on a daily basis. Everyone goes through this – even writers pitching stories to national magazines and newspapers.

It is disheartening to have a great idea shot down by an editor. It’s even worse to have written a story, sent it in and had it rejected. Similarly, when you are applying for freelance writing jobs, there will be countless times when you simply won’t get a reply. If you do get a reply then consider yourself lucky. You might not get the job, but a reply is better than nothing.

To find work, you have to sell yourself as a product and you have to do it all the time, day in, day out, without fail. It’s up to you to convince the client that you are able to do a better job than the thousands of other writers out there. You can do this by sending a well-written application, offering links to samples of your work and attaching a resume if you think it would help.

The key is to not give up. There are no shortcuts and no easy ways to make it to the top, but with perseverance you can make a living out of freelance writing.