GkJE | Becoming a writer
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Becoming a writer

It’s been said writers are people who write, whether they’re successful, or even literary, is another matter. One thing’s for sure, you’ll never know which you are unless you begin.

In the beginning

“In the beginning was the Word…” – the start of a famous line of biblical origins – but true of all writing; fiction, non-fiction and otherwise. And it’s almost that simple. If you want to be a writer, you simply have to write…something; that first word.

If you follow Julia Cameron’s advice, it’s three pages of writing every morning as it appears on the page. Not such a bad idea if you’re trying to establish a writing routine, but three pages every day might be ambitious in the beginning.

Three words, sentences, paragraphs…

Three sentences or paragraphs might be your thing when you start, and you might just choose three days a week at first. All well and good, but you’ve just never started, you continue making that same resolution every year.

Some inspiration might be the answer – perhaps a short course at a writer’s centre. There’s a myriad of classes and online courses available to kickstart your writing career as a blogger, novelist or just to help with that family narrative for future generations.

Sit down and make time

It depends on when your brain is switched on. It may be early morning, but could be later – unlikely to be right after lunch – maybe later in the afternoon or even right before bed. It’s a very individual thing. The important thing is to follow what works best for you, not what works best for someone else.

While writing at the same time every day is a good plan, you may just need to plan first. Writers tend to fall into two camps, those who plan their stories in meticulous detail, and those who start writing and hope for the best. Well, not exactly. For the latter, the story tends to appear on the page as they go along, with some fits and starts for review along the way.

There are numerous books published on constructing stories – if that’s where you’re headed with your writing – a well-known example is the structural outline of the hero’s journey.

Regardless of your writing intentions, a little time and inspiration are essential. Another key ingredient can be having a writing buddy, someone you commit to showing your work – albeit a few lines once every couple of months. Sounds daunting, but it’s a great motivator.

If you’re working in tandem, then the fear factor’s probably about the same. A good bottle of wine and some cheese when you meet can also add to the incentive. Whatever you need or do, start today. Write something now.

Pick a character, give them an age, gender, occupation or situation of some kind; pick a time and day of the week and start writing. You’ll be amazed where it will go, and so will your readers, family, friends…fans!

This blog was originally written for The Copy Collective.