Ambition,  making money online

So you want to be a writer

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I guess it started for me when I was a kid. I was always writing something. A short and often ridiculous story that served no real purpose except it was for me and it gave me pleasure. So, there’s my first lesson….

You become a writer the moment you put pen to paper.

So many people I know come up to me (why me?) and say ‘I want to be a writer-what should I do? My first reaction is to say ‘Great, what are you writing’? The answer sadly, is more often than not, nada, zilch, nothing…or even worse, ‘Well, I’m exploring the idea at the moment’.

This to me is a red rag to a bull.

For me (and I stress, ‘for me’) writing is more than an idea. It is and I’m sorry about the dramatic cliché, it is what I am. There is something in me that feels the desperate need to express an idea, tell a story or make a comment about something, anything. I can’t help it. That is the way it has always been for me. The need to get something down on paper (or a computer screen) is part of me. I don’t understand it and don’t want to in case it disappears and, this is important…it has nothing to do with success, more the need to express myself.

However, don’t misunderstand.

Success if it comes is fantastic. It means you are getting through to people. It means they want to hear what it is you have to say in whatever form it comes, and  of course, it means money.

I have had some ‘success’. I have had plays on, articles published, sold a screenplay but have never been in the position to make a living at writing. I won’t lie and will openly admit that the idea of actually living day to day off earnings that emanate from ideas from my own brain is very attractive to me, but it hasn’t happened yet and I’m not shedding any tears.

I’m extremely lucky insomuch I get great pleasure from the act of writing (especially blogging). It takes me away from the world and its troubles (even if I am writing about them). It is a therapy for me. And I can still start work on something that takes me a couple of hours and end up wondering where the time has gone.

So, before we go any further…if you want to be a writer, WRITE. Put all thoughts of ‘success’ out of your head and just WRITE.

It is only in this way that you may, might hit pay dirt. Experimentation and uniqueness is the name of the game. But to find the treasure, to find you own unique voice, WRITE and then WRITE some more.

Listen. The last thing I want to do is put a dampener/a wet blanket on your thoughts of being a successful writer. There is nothing wrong with being positive about the life you want…but what so many don’t realise or refuse to accept is, that it takes work and therefore time. You have to find your style, your voice, call it what you will and then you (or your agent) have to sell it. Take a look a JK Rowling’s hard journey before her amazing success with Harry Potter.

And here’s the bit you knew was coming…

Don’t give up.

As I said before, I’m lucky because I enjoy writing so much that thought of success of a particular piece are no particular burden to me. It’s only after I finish that I begin to think ‘mmm what should I do with it?’ Be like me, Don’t Stress’

I just write and love every minute of putting thoughts and ideas together. And that’s how it should be. Simple.

If writing is a chore. If writing a piece is like sitting down to take an exam, then, I’m sorry to say you are in the wrong business.

Tools for the job.

It’s always a good idea to be prepared for what is ahead. It’s a lonely job writing so it’s a good idea and nothing to be ashamed of that you have as much help as possible as you begin the journey.

Because writing can be a complicated business, and here I’m not referring to the ideas you have in your head but all the other things you have watch out for like spelling, grammar etc there tools like Grammarly are a boon and a tremendous aid to the task you have set yourself, whether it’s a book, a play, a screenplay. To be blunt you won’t get through the front door if your work is littered with stupid and unnecessary mistakes.

(To be honest it can be amazing what can creep in unnoticed when you are away with the faeries and lost in your imagination)


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Agree or disagree I look forward to your comments

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