How to Become a Writer in 10 Easy Steps
From the copywriter working in an ad agency to the screenwriter trying to find a break in Bollywood, from the budding novelist to the listicle writer who hopes to get featured on Buzzfeed, writing is an extensive and diverse professional field.
If you have the same question -
I want to become a writer, Where do I start?
then we have got you covered,
There are three important factors to becoming a successful writer. They are:
- Training and,
All 3 of these go hand in hand. While talent is mostly inherent it can be honed and acquired with the right kind of training and experience. In the digital age, words are becoming more important than ever before. When done right, writing can become an excellent method of expressing oneself and it can even be extended to become a full-time career and you can start to earn as a writer.
Here are 10 easy peasy steps for all the aspiring writers out there:
Step #1. Read a lot. Then read some more
Most of the best writers I know are also voracious readers. The logic is very simple. The more you read, the more exposed you are to a quality writing. Subconsciously, you begin to internalize the elements of the text, and slowly and steadily you’ll find that you are starting to implement the same in your own writing.
Try reading books from different genres. Go for fiction and nonfiction, sci-fi and history, travel and erotica. Reading diverse 'writing' gives you lots and lots of ideas. The more ideas you have, the easier it becomes to actually write.
Step #2. Write a lot. Then write some more
Like anything else in life, with writing too, practice makes you perfect. You cannot become a great writer by writing three tweets every month. There is no other way to become a good writer than by writing constantly.
More you will write, you’ll find, easier the process becomes. Your thoughts become clearer, words become more articulate and you even enjoy it more.
A great way to do this is by committing to a certain number of words every day. For example, set a target for yourself to write 500 words every single day. It doesn’t have to be your best writing ever. The idea is to keep making progress.
Step #3. Start your Blog
The easiest way to become a writer is to become a writer!
Start a blog about anything. Be it art, fashion, travel or technology, point out your interest and commit to writing a post on it, every single day. You get the motivation to write more if you know that people are reading.
Starting a blog helps you put your work out there and eventually you learn through practice, how to write a blog and also get valuable feedback from people. This can be very encouraging. Plus, it might also help you get noticed to get your first writing gig and maybe even turn it into a full-time career in the long run.
Eventually, with time your blog will become your portfolio so that you will start getting writing gigs.
Step #4. Take a writing course (Degree required for becoming a writer!)
There are several institutions that provide short and long-term writing courses. Find one in your neighborhood. If you prefer to learn from the comfort of your home, you can even enroll in an online writing course. All you have to do is understand what kind of writing you enjoy most and see yourself doing and then simply select a course that is the most in line with your expectations. Learning from professionals can be a great way to get handy tools, tips, and tricks that will help you improve your own writing significantly and improve your creativity and productivity.
Here are some great credible writing courses that you can check out:
- British Council’s Creative Writing Course: https://www.britishcouncil.in/english/courses-adults/creative-writing
- Creative writing course by Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts: http://www.ssla.edu.in/academics/courses/9-course-outlines/120-creative-writing
- Diploma in Creative Writing by Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning: http://www.scdl.net/distance-learning-diploma-in-creative-writing-in-english.aspx
Step #5. Write a diary
Maintaining a diary or a journal is an excellent way to improve your writing. You can chronicle your day in the diary entries in whichever form you feel like - a narrative, a poem or even an essay.
Diaries are not only a brilliant storehouse of memories but they can also help you track your daily progress in your writing skills. There is no better feeling than to flip the pages and see how far you have come - as a writer and as a person.
Step #6. Write drunk, edit sober
Write drunk, edit sober is perhaps the most famous quote by Ernest Hemingway. You can take it literally if you’d like to, we won’t stop you! But the bigger idea behind the quote is that while writing, don’t worry too much - let it be free flowing and creative. Don’t overthink. Don’t get stuck in the technicalities. Just write. You can take care of the formatting, errors and missing details when you are editing your work with a fresh eye.
Step #7. Observe
Inspiration is all around you. So pay attention! Be an explorer. Notice the little things. Try to solve mysteries in the world around you. Notice things that are quirky and unusual. Like the pattern of the top, the lady on the bus was wearing? Make a mental note. Love the color of the leaves today? Take a mental photograph. When writing, having noticed things will be a source of inspiration and help give you something to write about. Besides, it makes your writing richer, and more realistic.
Step #8. Find good critics
Your mom or your best friend will always think you are the best writer in the world. But when you are seriously trying to be better, their opinion will probably be the opposite of helpful. Instead, find a mentor who is already successful at what you want to do and use them as your sounding board for ideas. Make sure that this person won’t shy away from giving you honest feedback. Their valuable inputs will go a long way.
Step #9. Don’t give up
A lot of writing actually lies in the rewriting. If your critic’s feedback or editor’s remarks mean there is a lot of reworking you have to do, do it. Don’t let the feedback bring you down. Be brave to accept harsh criticism and go back to the drawing board with equal fierceness and try again. And don’t be lazy. Seriously. That is the worst thing that you can do to yourself and your work.
Step #10. Don’t get complacent
On the other hand, if your work gets praised and lauded, don’t let it make you complacent. Remember, every writer is only as good as their last piece. Use the appreciation as fuel to become even better and not as a validation that you don’t need to improve any further. There is always something better that you can do. Believe in yourself!