So many people tell me that they wish they could write, but they don’t know where to start. Should they dive right into a novel? Start with short stories? Write articles about stuff they know? Should they go to school? Take a class? Start a critique group? Start a blog?
The answer to all those questions is yes. Absolutely, positively, yes!
But sadly (or not), to do all those things, you’d have to neglect your family. Nora Roberts famously told her children to not bother her while she was writing unless the house was on fire or there was blood. Once her kids turned twelve, she told them only to bother her if they couldn’t put out the fire themselves with the extinguisher or if it was blood from a major artery.
If this is too much for you, maybe it’s best to take things one step at a time.
So, let’s break writing down into manageable steps.
The first thing to do if you want to start writing is to start writing.
Yup, just start. Stop thinking and start writing. Open your computer and let the words flow. Don’t worry about what you’re writing or why you’re writing it. That will come later. The important thing is to put words on paper. Write about your kids. Write about your relationships. Write what you like to read.
Congratulations, now you’re a writer.
But perhaps you want something more from writing? Money, fame, power, inner peace, world peace?
In between your writing, which you should be doing every single day, start researching. There are two areas to research, craft and business. Craft means learning how to write well. Business means learning the business of writing for money and influence. Both these areas are equally important when it comes to being a working writer. For some kinds of writers, craft will be more important. For other kinds of writers (the ones who need to put food on the table), understanding the business will be what’s vital. More on that tomorrow…
Tomorrow: Learning the business of writing
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