So you want to be a writer. So did I. I’ve probably written my million words–about eighty short stories and eight full-length novels, and a couple dozen articles, some published, some not.

To be a published author takes perseverance and a tough skin. I seem to have both. But not in the beginning.

It hurts to get that first rejection. It’s discouraging to get the first dozen.

Baby steps are needed. A baby learns to walk by practicing every day, and that’s what a beginning writer should do. You learn an awful lot by simply doing. But it doesn’t hurt to read a book or more a month about writing, and some of the better writing magazines and now blogs.

Read best-selling authors’ autobiographies or self-help books. Stephen King in On Writing said you should read an hour for every hour you write. You can learn a lot about writing by reading the current best sellers and widely in the genre you’re particularly interested in.

The ONLY way you’ll ever get published is to write. Thinking about it, talking about it won’t get you there. You have to go to that quiet spot with your writing tools and just do it.

Good luck!

5 thoughts on “IN THE BEGINNING

  1. Good advice, Jan. The Stephen King book you mention is one of the best books on writing I’ve read. New writers can get experience writing letters to the editor in newspapers. Once they see their words in print, they will be hooked.

    • Hi, Gail. On Writing by Stephen King was not only a great advice book, but it was fun to read. I highly recommend it to all, no matter where we are along the publishing path. I never thought about writing letters to the editor as a warm-up. But you know, I did get a couple of those published before I started writign fiction. Thanks for “stopping by.”

  2. Thanks, Susan. True about no one writing a finished story by talking about it. There was a woman like that in my very first critique group. (And a man like that in a later one,) I think they talked about the plot and characters so much they no longer had much interest in writing the story. A shame, because they are both good story-tellers.

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