Writing 101: Some Simple Tips to Getting Started

Have you ever thought that you’d like to be a writer but just don’t know where to start? The fact is, if you can talk, you can write. There are those who are more naturally talented toward this craft, but the main thing you need to do every day in order to learn to become a writer is write.

First, decide what kind of writer you want to be? Do you want to write non-fiction or fiction? Would you rather write for magazines or do you fancy your name on the cover of a book? What does your heart tell you? You must listen to that inner voice and follow it or you won’t be happy or satisfied with what you’ve chosen. You must study your craft. If you love poetry; read poetry. If you like fiction or historical novels or romance, get as many books as you can and fill up your head and heart with other’s words. Then, set out to find your own voice.

Set aside a time to write each day and stick with it. It really has nothing to do with inspiration. If you wait for that to happen, chances are, you won’t get much written. This is the hardest thing you will do – it’s all about discipline and doing this every single day. Eventually, it will become a habit. If you skip a day, you’ll get off track and believe me, getting back on track is agony.

Set attainable goals. If you like the idea of sitting down from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. every day, then that is your goal. You are at your desk everyday between those hours, and even if you just write a paragraph, you stay there. Eventually, your mind will be trained and you’ll start producing more. Or, if your goal is to write two pages per day, then do that. Again, make it a habit and stick with it no matter what.

The key to becoming a writer is to write everyday, no matter whether you feel like it or not. As you muddle through, writing plenty of absolute garbage, there will be some good writing that comes of it. There are plenty of books on writing, but these three are simple, thought provoking and simple. “This Year You Write Your Novel” by Walter Mosley, “Writing from the Inside Out” by Dennis Palumbo, and one of my favorites, “On Writing,” by Stephen King. Keep writing and the words will come, sometimes in abundance and sometimes you must extract them like wisdom teeth, but eventually, you’ll be on your journey to becoming a writer.

Carrie Pepper writes about online college programs, Christian colleges, and financial aid.

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