I was talking to my friend earlier about writing, and how it’s something that seems to be a lot harder than people give those of us who are actually and actively trying to make it as a career give us credit for.
Write every day.
Read every time you get a chance.
I’m not saying that you can’t write without doing these two things… but if you really want to be a writer, want to be published, want to be an author… it’s so important. I’ve been writing consistently and as often as possible since 6th grade when I realized it was what I truly had a passion for. (before that, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I then realized that Kentucky was not surrounded by ocean. Ironically, I moved to California xD) I look at my writing, and I realize how much I’ve improved. It’s not just something that’s happened solely because of the fact that I’ve grown up. I’ve worked to perfect my craft in the way that someone works to perfect their art skills, their computer skills, their dancing skills. It’s something that you work at… and you have to work at it very hard. I feel like every day that I write, i’m striving to make improvements. Every time I edit, I’m seeing things that I need to change next time. Every time I get a critique, I’m adding that knowledge and advice to a giant repertoire of information to apply later. You have to have the drive to write as often as possible – you have to want to improve. You can’t just wake up one day and be the next J.K. Rowling and pat yourself on the back because you did a good job on suddenly writing your novel and instantly getting it published. I would say 999,999 times out of 1,000,000 that will never happen. And congrats to that one person who does accomplish that goal… let me know how you did it.
The other important factor to writing is to read… and to read often. It opens you up to the world that you want to be involved in, it shows you techniques, it expands your vocabulary, it gives you an idea of the market (though it’ll change constantly), it will give you something to aspire to. You need to read. You need to read as often as you can. You need to voraciously devour books like a person getting their last meal. I think that reading is just as important as writing every day. It improves and broadens your mind. You wouldn’t see a computer programmer who never looked at computer information. You wouldn’t see a professional football player who didn’t check out other players… you have to research your field.
The last thing, of course, is getting your social network platform. Getting your name out there is important now-a-days… it really is, but I’ve already touched on that in a blog. It just kills me when I hear people constantly saying, “Oh, yeah, I’m an author, too! (but I really don’t want to write right now. But I wrote this short story in highschool….) or… my least favorite thing, “Well, it’s not like it’s that hard to be a writer… you just have to put words to paper.”
I write every day that I can. I have people constantly getting commissions from me. I work HARD at what I do, and I do as much research (in reading, in marketing, etc) as I can. As writers, my readers, I know that you understand this.
Do any of you have this same problem? How do you deal with it? Please, leave your answers in the comments.
Until next time, ending my little rant! Keep Reading and Writing!
Author Amanda McCormick