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Sunday, December 28, 2014

How to Start Writing

So you want to become a writer.

I’ve been there. A few years ago I asked myself “What would it be like to write a book? How would I start such a thing?” Well, I started by writing short stories for my self. At first it was just a few pages, less than five in fact. It really doesn’t take long to fill a page with words that eventually lead to a story. Eventually it led to stories of thirty or more pages. At that point I challenged myself to begin writing a book, and started typing away. I admit that I was influenced by the works of other authors for my ideas.

After several months I had my first manuscript written. Manuscript is a book, that hasn’t been accepted by a literary agent yet, nor is it a published work. When I was in my twenties, I managed book store chain satellite location. One of our standard reference books was called ‘Writers Market.’ Writers Market is an excellent resource for finding literary agents and publishers. Since I’d already known about it, I got the latest version. I realized that there were also short pages of advice from other writers included. One of the best ones was simply about “just starting to write.”

That’s true! If you want to become a writer, just start writing, every day. Write whatever comes into your head. Write about your experiences as a child. Write about your passion, be it painting, landscaping, photography or whatever your passion is. Write a diary. The thing is, the more you write, the better you become. New ideas will start coming to you. Write them down. No matter where you are, if an idea comes to you make a note of it, on paper! When you have time, write that idea out and expand on it. Just write!

Think about that book you want to write. If you’re already thinking about a book, then start writing a story line. Start writing paragraph after paragraph. This doesn’t really have to be your book but by writing your story line you’ll have a sort of outline, a beginning. When you feel ready, you’ll already have ideas written out.

That said, you also don’t have to write in your proposed genre. You can write anything at all. Random thoughts! As long as you write daily, no matter what the subject, you’re getting practice. Try to come up with at least a full page every time you write. This means at least one full page per day.

Earlier, I mentioned Writers Market. I highly recommend this book. You don’t have to rush right out for it, but I would suggest you get it before you get too far along with your writing because of the tips and insights it offers.

Until next time, happy writing!