7 Ways to Become a Writer
“Every writer is in a self-actualizing process. Writing is an apprenticeship. A writer is always becoming a writer.” Liz Strauss
I have always called myself a writer.
I call myself a writer because I write. I must write. That’s who I am. Sure – I became sidetracked in teaching for three and a half decades but all through that time I still called myself a writer.
I am a writer because I must write. Just like a musician must play or a singer must sing, like an artist who must paint or draw or a doctor is compelled to help the sick, so a writer must write. It’s the passion within that drives one on, it is the desire to share ideas and stories in the form of the written word that compels the writer to press on.
Like any other pursuit in life, however, one never arrives at perfection. There is always the striving after a better way to express ideas, there is always another story or poem or article that must be written because it will be better than the last one. As Liz says, “Writing is an apprenticeship.” We are always learning – or should be.
How to become a writer:
There are many ways of honing one’s skills. I would like to list just a few:
- Read. Voraciously. Read the works of other writers – good, bad and indifferent.
- Write. Practice is needed every day. Remember that even the most successful singers, musicians, basketballers and writers practise daily. Remember that not all that you write will ever be published – in fact, most of it won’t be.
- Study: learn about the craft of writing from the many books, magazines, websites and blogs about writing.
- Attend: Network with other writers, publishers and agents by attending seminars, workshops and conferences.
- Reflect: Pause often to reflect upon your own writing. Is it achieving what you set out to write? Can it be improved? Where have you made errors? What parts need rewriting?
- Publish: Sent your precious words out into the wild world. If your words only ever remain on your hard drive or on tatty pieces of paper in a drawer somewhere, you have silenced the inner you. You have silenced those words that you have created and which are crying out to be released into the world where they can touch the lives of countless others.
- Persevere: In many cases publishers will reject your wonderful words. You may have very few readers of your blog. You will easily become discouraged. Persevere. Keep writing. Keep on sending out your words. They will be heard.
Remember: A writer is always becoming a writer.” (Liz Strauss)
- 7 Traits that writers have in common – the inspiration for this post – it is worth reading the whole article. My thanks to Liz.