How to be a writer – by a wannabe!

So. As the topic says. How to be a writer.  I’ve been thinking about this for a while now.  Since starting to write myself (go figure, right?).  So how to start? The answer is pretty basic and wonderful. I started to write.  I put my thoughts down into words and let them flow. My fingers caressed the keys. My imagination twisted and turned.  It was awesome!  And…so…

Now what?  What’s next after the writing?  What separates the writer from the wanna be? Or to simplify the question. What do I need to do to become a writer? (because just by writing you are technically already a writer persay so maybe I should change that to.) What do I need to do to become an author.

1.  You have to want it.  Like REALLY want it.  Not kinda want it.  Not pretty sure I want it. Not would be cool to get it. You have to ‘balls to wall’ want it.  Seems simple right?  But true.  If you don’t want to be a writer. If it isn’t the fire in your blood, the dream in your heart. Then being a writer will be hard.  Because if it is your dream, your fire, your light.  You won’t give up if the going gets tough or the path is long and filled with failure.  You will hang in there because when it come down to it, you just plain love it.

2. You have to be able to take criticism and rejection.  A lot of it. The first draft of everything is shit.  Remember that and you will be fine.  I wrote my first book and thought. Dang. not bad. Then I had someone else read it.  And wow.  It was THAT bad. But by having them read it and tell me what they didn’t like.  I got better.  Everytime I got an opinion, I learned. That doesn’t mean I made every change suggested. It made me look at the reason they didn’t like it and think about my prose. Which is good.

3. Learn your punctuation. Seriously.  Learn it. I’m not sure when it happened but when I was young (this so made me cringe cause damn it, I’m not that old.) there were two spaces after a period.  Now its one.  Color me sad.  Never mind the semicolons.  Don’t get me started on them. There are semicolon nazi’s out there who will crucify you on the point of a single mark.  Which makes sense.  When you write, you aren’t texting, you aren’t talking to your homeys.  You are evoking a period, a time, a place, an emotion and punctuation matters.

4.  You have to be able to take criticism and rejection. I know I am repeating this but it is so true.  Example. The Help. Bestselling novel and critically acclaimed movie.  Took the author 60 rejections prior to finding an agent who could/would/did sell her book.  The first query for Harry Potter. This would never sell.  (obviously this was sooo not true).  Reading and writing and what people like is subjective.  You will have some people love your work and some hate it and both of these is just plain cool. Because they are reading it and it is evoking a response.

5.  Editing is your friend.  And if it is your first book. Like this is mine. Consider hiring an editor.  All those silly punctuation rules. They will know them. And you will learn wonderful words like disembodied body parts and gerunding and you will rejoice!.  Okay maybe not the rejoicing part.  But you will be a better writer.

6. You will learn the joys of social media.  More and more I’m reading about the words platform and audience.  In a world where everything is on the internet. The importance of having a pre-made fan base of interested parties can not be stressed enough.  I read some statistics the other day that most Agents/editors get anywhere from 20o-500 queries a week.  That is a lot of words. So you need to stand out.  In your writing. in your business plan. in your idea. Something needs to pop and shock that agent/editor into paying attention. (I’m still learning this and finding querying not so fun! lol)

6. You will wait….

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And wait some more.  If patience is not your virtue then writing might not be for you at least not at first. Cause there is a lot of waiting.

I am still in this waiting phase so the rest of this is To Be Continued!  Any questions feel free to talk!. I get a ton of spam on this website that I’m learning how to filter through as I learn about the joys of blogging but will always answer!.

Colleeen

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