The Inimitable Anne Rice
There are hundreds of articles out there on “How to Become a Writer”, but as I did my research for this blog, nowhere could I find an unequivocal answer on when that happens. Is it when we first put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)? We’ve written our first draft, am I a writer now? Or when after months (sometimes years) of rewrites we have a product ready to go to Beta readers? Perhaps it’s when we’ve done all the editing, polishing, agonizing over and finally we’re sure our baby is ready to go to a publisher? Can you start to see this could be a never ending process?
So, when IS that magic moment when we can finally declare “I am a writer”? The secret may be in that definitive word “declare or declaration”.
DEFINITIVE: Conclusive, Final, Decisive, Ultimate, Absolute, Complete
DECLARE/DECLARATION: State, Announce, Assert, Affirm, Pronounce, Proclaim AND, my favorite of all STATE PUBLICLY.
I AM A WRITER!!!
Tell your friends, tell your family, share it on social media, share it with writing groups. Get it out of your head and into the public.
And then there must be ACTION.
Action that is consistent with our declaration of being a writer. For example:
1. Make time to write every day – even if it’s only 10 minutes. It’s the practice that makes a difference.
2. Ignore your inner critic – this voice can sometimes be so loud it’s overwhelming, but if you can learn to tell it to sit down and shut up, you’ve taken a huge step in the right direction.
3. Write first – edit later. Remember, you are not an editor, so don’t waste your time editing as you write. Just keep writing, leave the editing to a professional.
4. Keep learning – join a writing group/groups (there are tons out there on the internet who want to support you), take a writing class, hire a writing coach. This was probably one of the most important things I did when I first started writing. I hired a coach and I took her coaching (the other key element).
5. Attend a conference. There are some wonderful conferences out there. Do your research and decide which one is best for you.
6. Be YOU – there is no one else quite like you.
7. Get published. Send out submissions or decide to self-publish.
8. BUILD AN AUTHOR PLATFORM AND SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE. Choose 1 or 2 social media opportunities (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) and work them every day. If you don’t know what an author platform is, google it, or ask a writer you admire and follow. I can’t stress enough how important an author platform is and this can often be the most difficult part of being a writer.
1. Have fun!!! Enjoy being a writer.
2. Set goals. Some writers find doing a 1,000 word challenge a day inspiring and productive. But whatever challenge you create it has to work for you.
“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.”
And remember, perhaps the biggest hurdle for writers is getting past the internal dialogue of “I can’t”, “Nobody will want to read my work”, “It has to be perfect (or) it isn’t perfect”, “What I have to say isn’t interesting enough”, and so on. We are our own worst enemy.
What you have to say matters, so happy writing everyone.
About the author:
Ellen lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and finds the months of rain and gloom particularly conducive to creating in this genre. Ellen’s love for reading and writing developed at an early age and she wrote several short stories and plays which were lost over the years and many moves. In 2003 a friend introduced her to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Ellen was fascinated by the idea of good and evil vampires. At that point she started reading every vampire novel she could find, particularly loving Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris and Laurell K. Hamilton. “When Darkness Falls” is the first in a series of books called The Vampire Redemption Series and is adult fiction.
Connect with Ellen:Blog: http://ellenchauvet.wordpress.com
Available on Amazon and Goodreads: Kindle: http://amzn.com/B01D4WYV96
Create Space: www.createspace.com/6145373 (Amazon’s print version)