I Think I Want to be a Writer

You’ve had that feeling for some time now. Maybe you’ve had it all your life. Maybe it’s just a voice in your head that’s gotten a lot louder lately.

That voice is saying – I’m not sure…but I think I want to be a writer. But I can’t do that, can I? Who am I to think I can compete with all those successful writers out there?  You can’t just up and decide to be a writer….can you?

Many of the most successful, bestselling writers started out with the same doubts.  They feared they would never make it either. 

“I think it’s the people who have no doubt that every word they put down is gold that probably don’t write very well.” Dean Koontz

No one is born a successful author. No one is born a successful anything.  Writing success – any success – starts out with an idea, a motivation, and progresses to a whole lot of hard work.

“Books aren’t written. They’re rewritten. Including your own.  It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.” Michael Crichton.

Some people are born writers. They start writing at a very early age and live their entire lives knowing that’s what they are meant to do. Others start very late in life, either while working at an entirely different career or perhaps after they retire. It really doesn’t matter what your experience may be. These people all have one thing in common – the desire to write.

“I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer. I never dreamed of being a writer. I wrote only after witnessing a trial.” John Grisham

You probably have a lot of nagging doubts about trying to write a book( or perhaps a screenplay). How do I even get started? What will my friends and family think? What if I’m no good? Where will I find the time to write if I’m working full time? It can be overwhelming, so it’s best to just start with one thing at a time.

The first thing to decide is that you’re really going to do it. Make the decision. YES. I’m going to try this. I’m going to write a novel.

That’s it.

Don’t make your goal to quit your job and become a bestselling novelist. You don’t have control over your level of success, you just control your level of dedication. Every published novel started out as an idea in somebody’s head. If you’re thinking about writing a novel, you must already have at least one idea that you’re really passionate about.

Make the decision that you’re going to give it a shot. As they say in RENT, “No day but today…”.

After you’ve decided that you’re going to give writing a try – write something. Anything. You can set a timer and write for 15 minutes. Start writing down any story ideas, character ideas, and themes or emotions you want to convey. The next step is to read up on how to actually write a novel. Many published writers will tell you that they just dove in to writing  without reading ANYTHING about how to write a novel. Then they were promptly rejected and told that they needed to learn about writing before they submitted anything else. Cut out that wasted time and do it right from the start. Read books on writing and learn about point of view, setting, the correct use of adverbs and dialogue tags, and all that stuff. Read blogs from the experts, both published authors and literary agents, who can give you the must updated, insider’s advice on how to write well.

If you’re serious about writing, realize you can’t do it all at once. This is especially true if you work full time and/or have a family and other responsibilities. Start in manageable increments. Spend 15 minutes a day, either writing or reading about writing. Increase that time until you are able to spend an hour a day on writing. You really can write a novel one hour at a time.

“When asked, “How do you write?” I invariably answer, “one word at a time.” Stephen King.
  

If you’ve always secretly wanted to write, I can promise you that you won’t ever, ever regret writing a novel. You may regret not writing one. Finishing a novel is a huge accomplishment. Lots of people talk about writing a novel.

Very few people actually do it.  

Ready to get started?

The timer’s set for 15 minutes.

GO.