All writers have their own way of working. Some work a consistent fifty hours a week and set a word target, others create in brief and fierce flurries of activity. Some writers know their plot exactly and walk their characters through it, while others watch their characters run off in all directions and struggle to keep up with them.
There’s no right way of writing but there are simple things you can do to improve your chances of writing something others might want to read.
- Read as much as possible. This will help you hone your craft and gain knowledge of the industry and the writers who have already succeeded.
- Understand that you are writing for an audience. Look for opportunities to get opinions on your writing. Professional writers, mentors, editors and members of a writing group can offer informed critique but motivated readers will be your audience and your market. Beta readers will become one of your most useful resources.
- Take every available opportunity to develop your skills and practice your writing. Workshops, conferences, training, seminars, readings, author talks, festivals and other industry related events will all benefit your writing.
- Get qualified. Consider enrolling in a creative writing course to help you focus and refine your craft while expanding your networks and opportunities.
- Find your voice. You may be influenced by the writers you fall in and out of love with as you develop but along the way you need to carve out your own niche and way of looking at the world..
- Try different forms and experiment. A writer for screen can become smitten with the stage and then the short story, and novelists can become poets.
- Write. So many writers find excuses not to write. If you can’t find time to write then you might not want it badly enough. If you don’t write, you’re not a writer.
- Beware of rules. Many are repeated verbatim in classrooms, on writing websites and in writers’ groups. Listen closely to these but don’t be afraid to break them too, just do it well.
- Have a thick skin. Despite your qualifications, your unique voice, the praise of your peers and the marketability of your work, you will be rejected. Muster the faith to keep going.
- Enjoy it. What else is there to do?
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