I am often asked what it takes to become a writer or "How can I do what you do?" The answer is not complicated. Anyone can write. Even if you were never a contestant for your eighth grade spelling bee, there is spell check. It is a marvelous invention. All of us have access to a dictionary, a thesaurus and a myriad of books and articles on how to write. The following are some tips to get you started.
Pay attention to what you tell yourself, in your sleep. I often think that I have written a bestseller, on the nights, when I do not get up and write down my thoughts. I keep a pad of paper by my bed. When I get that eureka moment, in my sleep, I get up and jot it down. Some nights, I go right back to sleep. Other nights, I canít wait to put my thoughts on paper and am off and running.
The early riser gets the article written. I am often awake before anyone else in my household. In the quiet of the early morning, ideas for articles or often the entire article, will come to me. Of course, this can play havoc with a social life. If I donít retire at a reasonable hour, I am an irritable writer.
Read. There is no one person that is an authority on everything. What you donít know, find out. Read everything pertaining to your field of interest that you can get your hands on. If you want to be a writer of fiction, read what you love. My interest and love, is a search for balance in life and helping others to achieve it. I try to read, talk and breathe balance. If we recognize that we are all a part of this human race, why not love it?
Talk and listen to others. I try and engage others in conversation as much as possible, in the grocery store, the mall, the post office, etc. Yes. I am one of those annoyingly interested people. I am interested in everything and will talk to you about anything. I also listen. By listening, which is also a part of the conversational gambit, I learn about others interests, needs and loves. Writers, write best, when they write what they know.
Writers, write. This is probably the most important part of writing. It separates the ones that want to be writers from the ones that succeed. If you feel that you have something important to say, put it on paper. It doesnít matter if your initial draft is intelligible. That is what the re-write is for, to hone your thoughts.
Take an interest in life. Successful writers write about topics that inform, entertain, uplift or in some way fill the needs which we, as a human race, carry in our minds and hearts. When I began writing, I read a quote from Erma Bombeck, a humorist, syndicated columnist and successful author for many years. She said," Not a day goes by that I donít hear from aspiring writers who have questions. "What if I fail?" ("What if you succeed?")." If you want to be a writer, begin today. Sit down and put pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard. I wish you much success.
This article was posted on November 14, 2005