So You Want To Be A Writer

Are you crazy? If you’re shaking your head yes, smiling to yourself or laughing aloud, honestly wondering when you will stop talking to the walls in your office on those days that you stare at a blank computer screen for hours hopelessly trying to find a flawless opening sentence for a perfect beginning or a clever combination of words to carry you to the ultimate ending of your work in progress – You’re definitely already a writer by my definition…

If you think I’m crazy for suggesting you’re crazy for wanting to be a writer, you’re probably right. I am admittedly not a completely sane person. I am a writer. I do love being a writer. I also know that being a writer can be one of the most rewarding professions some days and one of the most frustrating pursuits other days.

A perfect day in my life occurs when my fingers bang on the keyboard furiously trying to keep up with the surge of ideas and words flashing in my mind as some exceptional creative thoughts connect with my ability to put it all into words effectively. I treasure those hours when inspiration, insight, talent and determination merge together to allow me to write proficiently.

Unfortunately, many days do not develop that way. Picture this – A blank computer screen, a blank stare, a glance out the window, a curse whispered to yourself, a bathroom break, a day dream in progress, a mind devoid of creativity, a lack of artistic emotion, a discussion with yourself aloud, a little scream of frustration, a request for input from the walls that surround you, a demand for a solution to get your writing started on this day when no words seem to work together – no feelings seem to want to flow from within your frustrated brain… The harder you try the less you accomplish.

Why is writing so difficult for you today? You ask the question aloud. You wait for the walls to answer. They fail you too…

As long as you don’t answer yourself, you’re not certifiably insane. You’re just experiencing the dreadful dilemma commonly known as “Writer’s Block.”

How can you deal with this annoying obstacle? There are no solutions guaranteed to succeed for everyone. I can offer a few simple suggestions that have worked for me. Idea #1 – Turn off your computer. Get out of your office. Go for a walk outside.

Idea #2 – Walk away from your computer. Read a book, your favorite newspaper column, or a new magazine article that you’ve been meaning to look over.

Idea #3 – Get up from your desk and stretch. Close your eyes. Slowly extend your arms to reach for the stars. Breathe. Relax. Concentrate on reducing the tension in your muscles. Clear your mind. Repeat until you feel less stressed and ready to re-focus your energy.

Idea #4 – Leave your office and shut the door. Get out the vacuum cleaner. Clean your bathroom. Wash your dishes. Scrub your kitchen floor. Do some sort of housework that will make you feel like you accomplished something worthwhile today.

Idea #5 – Get out of your office. Turn on the television, kick back in a comfy chair and watch your favorite soap opera. Turn on the radio or pop in your favorite CD and dance or sing along. Let it out.

You Want to be a Successful Writer: Make Your Writing Pay

How many books have you read about “understanding the magazine market”, “writing a book proposal” or “how to make your articles sell”? It isn’t easy for unpublished authors to break into the market. Even trying to get an agent to represent you is difficult.

You know you can write, though. You know there is a market for what you have to say.

There is an avenue, however, that is virtually untapped by many writers and it is open to EVERYONE who wants to see their works in print. You can finally take control over your own writing destiny. The best part is that you don’t have to share the profits from your works with anyone else. You keep it all.

It’s self-publishing, but on a whole different scale.

Millions of people will have access to your authored pieces. Will publishers come looking for you? It’s a definite possibility. Will you have more credibility in the publishing world? Oh, yes. You will also have solid proof of your ability to reach your target audience, too.

Before I tell you how successful you can be, let me tell you the caveats.

First, it takes some time and effort. If you are a serious writer, you already know what that is all about, though. Second, you will be writing more than you otherwise would. In fact, you will very likely be writing every day for the next couple of months. At least that is what I found myself doing. If you love to write as much as I do, though, it will not be an issue at all.

Last, it will most likely become your favorite thing to do. (Read: Prepare to become obsessed with your success) I am absolutely serious when I say that you will enjoy it so much you won’t want to do anything else. My kids can’t drag me away from the computer some days. I just love what I’m doing. I have spoken with many other people, just like you and me, who have done this and they have had the same reaction. It’s just plain fun.

So, those are the pitfalls.

Now, I can tell you the good news. You have a myriad of ways to earn money with your writing. For less than $1 per day, you can reach hundreds of thousands of potential readers “buyers” of your works. You can also sell your material in a variety of ways. In addition to this, there are a variety of other ways to make money that don’t even have anything to do with writing.

Ok, enough of that. You can read more of the details if you’re interested. For now, let’s focus on how you can accomplish this.

If you’re like me, you have probably been writing for awhile. I have two books, both of which have been rejected by big-name publishers. I can handle rejection pretty well, so that’s not a real problem for me. What bothered me was that I knew I had good material and no way to reach my intended audience. Sound familiar? You have probably been there, too.

Why should I be limited in what I can do just because someone else doesn’t see things the same way I do?

My answer? Find another way to reach my audience. That’s exactly what I have done, too. I created a web site dedicated to one of my books. I intend to do the same for the other book, too.

I am living my dream of being published. Not only am I reaching my target audience, but I am also having numerous articles published on other sites. I have been contacted by two other sites to write for them as well. A third site asked (and I agreed) to provide advice to the members of its site on the very subject I wrote about. I am an instant expert.

Less than $1 per day and I am published, in demand and am starting to receive checks from my site.

It is a work in progress. My book, which will soon be available on the site, is being turned into an e-book. Guess who gets to keep all the profits? Yes, that would be me.

Just think about it. It might work for you. I just know that as writer, it is extremely hard to get your name out there for the right people to see it. This gives you one more opportunity to make a name for yourself.

So You Want to Write

OK, so how many new writers are out there? More importantly, what are your perceptions on being a writer? And for the most essential question – can you write?

Many believe all you have to do is sit down and write. Then someone will miraculously pay to read what you have written. In a perfect world…, yes, maybe. In the real world, this scenario is about as far from the truth as you can get.

Let’s investigate the question in the first paragraph. Can you write?

I have talked with high school students and graduates, college graduates, and graduate students all of whom thought they could write. Additionally, I read what they were writing and, well, some can, some can’t.

How do you learn to write? Did you pay attention in your English courses? Do you understand the basics of sentence construction? Do you know how to use adverbs and adjectives? Can you answer the question, what is a verb? How is your spelling? Can you place punctuation properly? Do know what alliteration is and how to use it well? What is personification?

Yes, these are some of the very basic questions about writing, but being able to construct a sentence is of little consequence if you are unable to think analytically and logically. This is the crux of the writing business – getting your ideas across to others in a way they can understand exactly what you are trying to convey.

There is also another important aspect of writing: being able to tell the story. I remember when I thought of becoming a writer. I was in the second grade, still learning how to read.

I was reading a children’s book actually illustrated by my uncle, James Caraway. I can remember holding the book in the hallway of our house and talking to my mother about writing.

“Mom, do the people who write these books make money?”

My mother looked at me and with all her wisdom said, “No, not really.” Later, after I developed researching skills, I would discover there was a lot of truth to what she said. I would also think, Mom didn’t tell me the whole truth…

Actually, my mother did not know the truth and the truth lies somewhere between not making any money and pulling in $37 million dollars a year. It all boils down to how well you write, how well you promote, and how well the public accepts your ideas and writings.

One important thing to bear in mind about working as a writer is this: it is some of the hardest work one can engage in. It is lonely, it is laborious, it seems to never end.