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21.07.2011 14:15    Comments: 0    Categories: Fiction Writing  Creative Writing  Writing Craft  Writing Tips      Tags: fiction writing  starting out  karen s. wiesner  

Making the decision

So you have decided you want to write. Perhaps, you have been scribbling down snippets of thoughts on scrap paper for years, or maybe you have something important to say. It might even be you've just read a story or seen a film and thought, 'I could do better than that'. You probably can.

If the prospect of setting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, and sending the finished product into the wide world seems daunting, remember all published authors had to start somewhere....

Okay, first and foremost, set aside a space for writing, preferably somewhere quiet where you can work uninterrupted.

Invest in a word processor or computer. Some publishers still accept handwritten manuscripts but their numbers are dwindling.

Read as much as you can about the art of writing. Local libraries are a good place to start. Consider subscribing to Writers' News, sister magazine to Writing Magazine. Both publications are excellent sources of information for new and established writers.

Buy a current edition of the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and/ or Writers' and Artists' Handbook. The Small Press Guide is also an extremely useful source of markets looking for short stories and poetry.

Enroll in a writing course or workshop. There are plenty available on a variety of subjects.

Join a writing circle. At the very least you will meet people with similar aspirations. The better groups will set homework and provide constructive criticism on your work. In time, you will be able to return the favour. Many groups also engage the occasional guest speaker.

Network. Tell your friends what you're up to. If you can pen a press release, critique or newsletter, they'll be knocking on your door in no time.


See, it's simple. Now you're ready to produce the masterpiece!


The Right Mindset

When you decide to become a writer, you may encounter various obstacles. The biggest of these is often self-doubt. After all, what right do we have to think we can succeed where millions of others have failed. Every right! Believe in yourself and others will too.

This is where a supportive family and friends can make the difference between completing that first special manuscript or consigning it to the wastepaper basket.


It's important to realise that writing can be a lonely profession but this isn't necessarily a problem. If you're doing it properly, you won't have time to feel isolated with all those characters inside your head clamouring for attention.


Confidence, perseverance, discipline, a willingness to learn and a thick skin.

Yes, you'll need them all to keep plugging away at the keyboard at odd and often antisocial hours, especially if the rejection slips begin to arrive.


Make time to write each day!

This is critical, even if it's only to write fifty words or edit an existing manuscript. The more practice you get, the better. Don't worry about the housework, the telephone or the garden. Get in there and create. After a while, you will probably discover that a certain time of day works best for you. Try to keep that time free.



First Draft In 30 Days
Karen S. Wiesner
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