So You Want to Be a Writer
It’s time for me to have a good laugh. There are scores of books out there on writing. How to write, proper grammar, you name it.
The only way to be a writer is to do just that – write.
Many people get caught up in being anal about grammar and waste way too much time on it. There are quick, simple tools to use to fix this dilemma. First, spell checker. Second, use a thesaurus. Third, who cares about your punctuation!
Yes, you heard me. The books that sit on the shelves and never sell are the ones that are boring. A good book is not about proper grammar. A good book has a worthwhile story in it with good characters.
A great book is written so well (the storyline – not the grammar) that the reader simply cannot put the damn book down until it is read from cover to cover.
Readers do not care about grammar. In fact, unless you are an English teacher or editor, the human eyes skip over much of the typing that is on the page. The brain, when engaged in a great book, does not even see the punctuation on the page. If you see the punctuation on the page the book you are reading is not very good.
Not to mention, if your grammar is perfect, than when you do sell your book, the editor is going to get paid to do little work. You do your job of writing, and let the editor do theirs.
Another handful of writers lack the number two aspect of being a writer. Number one is having a story or idea that must be expressed in the written form. This number two trait is discipline. You have to show up at regular times, keep your derriere in your chair, and write. You also have to train yourself to stay focused on what you are writing and not on other nearby, easy to avoid writing things like Facebook, Pinterest, checking sports scores and the like.
Amongst the things they won’t tell you in your English courses, nor will many authors tell you if you know one (the reason being they are all learning this stuff too), is that you will have to create a social platform if you ever want your work to see the light of day.
If I had known ten years ago what I know now, I would tell myself to pick up some techie classes like website design/coding. I had marketing classes (business major), but they were ten years ago when this social networking stuff was just a wee baby. Learning social networking combined with marketing and basic web design skills are a major help for writers today.
Be true to who you are and what you write. Whatever story or idea is circulating within you, nobody else can tell it and write like you can. Find the courage to say what you have to say, and the confidence to write it the way you believe it needs to be told. Stay unique.
Keys to becoming a writer:
- You have a story/idea that absolutely will not leave the inner recesses of your mind until you get it out.
- You need discipline. This is often learned as the years go by. Unless you are an athlete. Being a disciplined athlete has its perks.
- Embrace the notion you will have to promote your work. This means you will need to learn social media networking – building a website, blogging, marketing through social media sites.
- Have courage and confidence in who you are and in the work you do. There is only one you.
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