Since I was a child, I have always enjoyed writing. More specifically, I have always enjoyed creative writing. Through various situations (ie: Life) I usually kept it on the back burner, only recently making a stronger effort to follow through. I started a website. I’ve managed to get some short stories published via Amazon. There’s nothing special about me or what I do, I just do it. I got past the roadblocks, real or perceived, that had slowed me down. Now, I want to share some thoughts for those of you who love writing and would like to do more.
1. Now is the time
Procrastination is rarely a good thing, and that holds as true for being a writer as for anything else. If you have an idea that you want to realize through the written word, do it today. Get it started. The good news is that, unlike many other creative endeavors, the overhead to start is relatively nil. If you are reading this article on a computer, you’re good to go! You might want to invest in word processing software, but even that isn’t absolutely necessary. The biggest investment that is required of you is your time.
In this day and age, there are a seemingly endless number of avenues to get your writing seen. There are free sites, such as WordPress and Blogger, as well joining the contributor network at sites such as Yahoo, which is how I am bringing this to you. If you write short stories, novels or similar forms, you can also submit your work through Amazon or iTunes for publication as an eBook. Not only do these forums give you a space in which to share your ideas and thoughts, but they can also be used to build a portfolio should you decided to delve deeper into writing.
3. Creative Fulfillment
Now, I’m not saying you should start writing simply to indulge yourself, tossing consequence aside. Instead, I am coming at you from this standpoint: I know how it feels to have an idea, work on it, proofread it, and have it published. Your work is now ‘out there’, available to millions of possible readers. It comes down to scratching a creative itch and not letting procrastination, fear or anything else stop you.
4. Be real
This topic is multifaceted. The best writing naturally comes from a process that is, well, natural to the writer. Write about subjects that you know about. If it is creative writing, write the way it comes to you, the way that you want to read it. Don’t force ideas and don’t feel the need to pad your copy with unnecessary words. Be true to the original idea, and serve it well.
The second part is in measuring expectations. Don’t get started simply for fame or money, because you will find yourself disappointed. You can of course gain regard and earn money by writing, but it takes time and work. A lot of both. Be prepared to promote yourself and handle all writing related business yourself, because you are, after all, your own entity. Please don’t let this dissuade you from pursuing a passion, just don’t run out and quit your day job. Not yet anyway.
Everyone’s favorite part of the writing process! Of course, that is a flat out lie. Proofreading is, however, a very important step, checking grammar (God help me if I miss anything here after calling it out) and ensure that any and all stated facts are double and triple checked. If you reference something, note it. If you have a friend that you trust (maybe with a degree in English, but not necessarily) ask them to read your copy. Check for the issues that I mentioned above, but also ask them if it flows, if it really resonates with what you’re trying to get across. If it doesn’t, don’t give up, just work on it. No one expects perfection right off of the bat.
In a nutshell, these items are a basic overview of what I would tell anyone who enjoys writing. The biggest key is not procrastinating. Don’t let fear of trying something new, or a fear of failure, lull you into a state of inertia. Branch out, share your thoughts with the world. Share your stories, your anecdotes. The world loves good storytellers, and people love receiving information from people who have lived and learned. My hope is that someone pulls something out of this, be it ideas or the little nudge to get over the hump, because I love storytellers myself.