Getting started on a writing career is not an easy process, but not an impossible one either. Here are some tips on how to become a writer.
To become a writer, you must first commit yourself to write- everyday, or at least several times a week. Writing is a solitary and difficult task, no doubt. The hardest part of the writing process is getting started. Once you do, you will find that it gets easier to write every day.
Every writer must develop a regular and consistent writing habit. Most writers set themselves a goal of a certain number of writing hours per day, or a certain word count per day. Whether you are able to write for eight hours a day, or just a couple of hours- it is important to set that time aside daily for writing. If you still have trouble getting started, consider writing challenges or workshops that push you to write as much as possible. At this initial stage, quantity is more important than quality.
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There is a theory that until you have written for over 10,000 hours or written over 100,000 words, you cannot become a good writer. While this may not be true for all writers, it is a fact that, at first, your writing may not be as great as you would like it to be. That’s okay, because you finally got started and are on the road to becoming a better writer through trial and error, practice, and learning as you go along.
Just do it
When it is time to write – just do it. Don’t procrastinate, don’t let anyone disturb you, and don’t wait for inspiration to strike. To quote author Peter De Vries on his writing habits, “I write when I am inspired. And I see to it that I am inspired at nine o’clock every morning.”
It is not important to produce award-winning literature in every page, or write perfect content in your first attempt. So, don’t keep editing or improving every few sentences you write (because it is easier to keep re-reading and editing what you have already written, rather than write some more!). Instead, just focus on getting the thoughts and ideas out from your mind, on to paper or your laptop screen. You can review the previous day’s writing and edit it, before you start the day’s work. Or you can wait until you reach a milestone, like 10,000 words of rough draft, before you do any editing or polishing.
To become a good writer, it is as important to develop a good reading habit as a good writing habit. Read everything you can, from magazines to comics to poetry to the literary classics. Don’t read just for enjoyment- try also to analyze the writing, the author’s style, the quality of the story, the logic of the plot, and other elements that appeal to you and make you want to read the entire book. Get a feel for which writing style will suit you, and which type of stories would be possible for you to write.
For most new writers, it often helps to try your hand at writing different types of content, to find your niche and your comfort zone. For example, even if you have always wanted to be a novelist, it wouldn’t hurt to write some poetry, short stories or even some non-fiction essays. Every bit of writing that you do, in any genre or category, will expand your writing style and help you to become a better writer.
Image credit: Mario Mancuso on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CS_Rajan.jpg [/author_image] [author_info]CS Rajan is a freelance writer who loves to write on various topics, and is currently working on her first novel. [/author_info] [/author]