Becoming a Writer

Becoming a Writer – What do you need?

Welcome to the Becoming a Writer blog series.  Each Wednesday, I will feature a new post dealing with my journey to becoming a writer, these posts will cover everything from why I write, to building confidence, asking for feedback, to dispelling the common stereotypes of what writers do.  My hopes for this blog series is to inspire beginning writers to start writing and keep with it and for experienced writers to rediscover the reasons they started writing in the first place.

A quick introduction for those of you who are new to my blog.  I started writing [fiction] eight years ago.  This past January, I self-published my first book, Dissonance.  To date, I have sold approximately 70 books.  I don’t claim to be an expert, but just an average writer trying to get her works into the hands of readers.  I don’t have all the answers, or even half of them, but I have learned that inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes and occasionally, it comes in a form you least expect.  I have noticed that  [sometimes] you are more likely be inspired by someone in the same situation you find yourself in, instead of an industry expert.


What do you need to be a writer?

Before I started writing, I thought a writer needed an immense vocabulary, an expansive imagination, more creativity than they knew what to do with, a love of coffee [okay that one is a joke, but a lot of writers seem to like their coffee], and a profound and different story to tell.  And I admit it, I was wrong… I was wrong about all those things [especially the coffee].

You actually need very little to begin writing.  People will try to convince you that a laptop or tablet is required, or a special word processing software are a necessity to get your ideas straight.  Others will say you need a critique group, a following, and you need to know the audience you are writing for.  And tons of other recommendations and needs. As a beginner, this is all extremely overwhelming and intimidating. Where do you start?

I am going to tell you, all that advice [while good] is wrong.  The only thing you NEED is a piece of paper and a writing utensil.  The word processing software is nice, but you don’t NEED it.  Knowing who you are writing for helps narrow down your message, but it’s not NEEDED.  Critique groups can help you develop your writing voice and help you learn the craft, but it’s also not NEEDED.  Creativity, a large vocabulary, coffee… and the list goes one, while nice to have are, again, not NEEDED.

When you are starting out, the only thing you NEED is to try [and of course that pen and paper].  You don’t need time, if you want to write you’ll find it.  Don’t think you are creative?  Start writing, it will come.  Don’t know what you want to write… no worries, the story will appear in the words.  The more you try, the better you will become.  It’s like any new skill, because writing…. it’s not a given talent, it’s a skill to be developed [like that flat washboard stomach].

When I started writing, I had no clue what to do.  I consulted writing books and magazines, but still didn’t know what I was doing, though I felt strangely inadequate afterwards.  I discovered what I needed was to sit down and put pen to paper.  The only thing I needed was not an expensive computer [we only had small laptop at the time and my husband was using it most of the time], an expansive vocabulary, or a network to critique my work, but instead I just needed to try.  Trying set me off on the greatest adventure of my life [to date].  I am thankful I decided to try and set that pen to paper.

So my task to you, is to try.  Don’t worry about all the rules, advice, and so called needs.  Just try… you’ll be amazed at the outcome.


6 thoughts on “Becoming a Writer – What do you need?”

    1. Don’t give up. I know several writers who have attempted to go the route of traditional publishing, through small vanity presses and trade publishing houses, some have made it, others still trying, and then some who have ventured out on their own and are doing wonderfully. Just keep in mind there are several paths to becoming published. Think about your goals and figure out how to get where you want to be. [I know it’s easier said than done]

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I was thinking about the title before I read the post and came down to pretty much what you said – all you need is some method to record your words. I started with pen and paper – zero audience, no writers group, no idea where my story fit, or even how the story would end.

    Still working on that washboard stomach though :p

    Liked by 1 person

  2. With me, my first obstacle was a feeling of being all alone with my inept abilities as a writer. Even though I found it a snap to get an A in every English and writing class in school, judging from the thousands of books, both fiction and nonfiction, I read, I have always felt my innumerous doubts concerning my skills would stop me before I’d start. Once I realized that I wasn’t alone–not be a lot shot–the act of trying became so much easier. It doesn’t make any difference as to how many mistakes, blunders, or failures I have now, just as long as I keep on trying to make it to the finish line. The love is in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s