So you want to be a writer and write some great stories, but you don’t know where to begin or a whole lot about the writing business? First, this page is for anyone wanting to learn to write and get into the business of writing. This is not a professional course or master class. This is a series of simple lessons that I hope will help you understand the business end of writing as well as the artistic end of writing. So, let’s begin the lessons!
Lesson # 1
STOP SAYING YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK! SHUT UP AND WRITE THE BOOK! That’s all I need to say for this lesson. It should be self-explanatory. Let’s move on to the next one.
Lesson # 2
DON’T do it for the money! Writing is not a guaranteed get rich quick business. Either people like what you write or they don’t. If they do then you might make some money at it. If they don’t then you won’t. Write because you love to write. It will show in your stories. People can tell when someone loves what they do and when they don’t. Your stories will say everything about you as a writer and a person. So just don’t write thinking you’re going to get rich. Write because it’s what you love to do.
Lesson # 3
LEARN from people that are successful. Every single writer that is a household name started at the bottom and worked their way to the top. The lessons they learned along the way are lessons that everyone that wants to be successful should listen to and learn from. After all, who would you ask how to write a New York Times bestseller? The guy who cleans your pool or Stephen King? Always look to successful people for inspiration and insight into what to do. They’ve been where you are now and they paid the price for their success. Learn from them. Pick the people in your field of writing that are successful and learn about them. Learn about their routines, where they get inspiration from, what their habits are and how they handle difficult situations.
Lesson # 4
Read the genre that you are writing for. Especially the books that are successful. This will tell you what your audience is looking for and what they want to buy. This changes all the time. One day people will be into dragon’s, the next day they’ll want serial killers. The market is constantly changing. When you read you get insight into what the reader wants and likes to read and then you will be able to craft your story to fit their desires. If you’ve never written a science fiction story or care anything for science then you really shouldn’t pick science fiction as a genre to write for. The reader knows what they are looking for when they pick up a book. And they can tell if a writer will interest them and give them what they want. So, become knowledgeable about the genre you write for.
Stephen King started out as a failure being rejected time after time. He had a stack of rejection letters that was quite impressive. But that didn’t stop him. He kept on going. He kept learning and growing as a writer. Never give up if writing is what you love to do. Always keep learning from successful people.
Lesson # 5
Get ORGANIZED! Plan your work, day, and career. Not everyone has the time to sit and write a 60 chapter novel straight through. Sometimes it takes months to write a book. Sometimes it takes years. Plan what you are going to do and stick to your plan. Set aside time for writing. Start a routine that you stick to religiously. A lot of people have families and kids to take care of or careers that consume a lot of their time. So look at your life and make a plan for your novel. If you work 5 days a week at a job then set aside the weekends for writing.
Gather information about what you plan to write. Make a list of characters, places, situations that will be in the story and develop them. Then you will be able to write the story more fluidly because you already know the characters and what they are like and how they behave.
Set a goal to reach for each chapter of your book. Tell yourself that you are going to finish a certain chapter within a certain amount of time and then stick to it.
Lesson # 6
Develop thick skin! Not everyone is going to love what you write. Not everyone is going to be polite or nice when they leave a review for your book. Not everyone is going to be happy for you! That is just the reality of writing and life. Like I said before, write because it’s something you love to do. Don’t write to make someone else happy. Write a story the YOU want to read. Don’t worry about what some organization or group think of your novel. Just be honest when you write. People can tell when you’re bullshitting them. Show your love of what you do when you write whether people like it or not.
Lesson # 7
Learn to start at the end of your story and not the beginning. This method works great for a lot of people. Writing the ending gives you the chance to build the story and how the story came to its conclusion. It’s a technique a lot of successful writers use sometimes when they have an idea for a novel and don’t know where to begin. It sounds crazy but it generally works.
Lesson # 8
Learn to walk away from your manuscript and leave it alone when it’s finished. Give it some time before you go back and read it. This allows you to clear your head and be able to see mistakes or changes that you will want to put into your manuscript before sending it off for editing or publishing.
Lesson # 9
Find a place to write. Writing it is said and is true by the way that it is the loneliest of professions. That is true, true, and true! Why? Because in order to write a great story you need to be left alone. You need peace and quiet to do what you do and to think things through. Trying to write a novel in a busy airport or train station is a near impossible feat. I’m sure it can be done but only by someone that’s crazy. Find a place for you to write that is comfortable and allows you peace of mind so you can focus on what you are writing. Set aside a room in your house or apartment or wherever you’re living and make it your writing space. Go away to a bed and breakfast if you want or a cabin in the woods like Thoreau did and write your novel in peace and at your own pace.
Lesson # 10
Read about writing. Learn about writing. Learn about technique. Read other author’s books on writing. Watch master classes. Take a course at a local college in writing. Always seek out ways to grow as a writer and become a better writer.
I truly hope that these ten lessons have helped you on your path to becoming a writer. Learn from them and learn from other writers. Keep growing and keep working hard to achieve your goals. In the end, when your work is finished you can sit back and be pleased with yourself knowing you created a novel. Maybe you will get rich from it. Maybe not. Who’s to say what life has in store for you. And if you want to dive even deeper into the world of writing stick around because I’ll be offering a full-blown course on Indie writing soon. It will cover every aspect of writing and publishing and how to do everything from writing your story to creating artwork, marketing, publishing, and advertising. It’s the Ultimate guide for Indie writers and publishers. Look so keep an eye out for it. It will be available soon.