Do you want to become a writer? If yes, then you should know that writing involves mustering courage and taking all actions one step at a step. Becoming a writer involves facing the fear of failure and rejection and learning to write even when you don’t know want to.
Writing is an art that can be used to share ideas, express your thoughts and improve your level of creativity. However, the feeling that comes with staring at a blank paper when you get stuck is enough to demotivate a writer. Creating fictitious characters and thinking of a plot can be complex and time-consuming.
If you’re an aspiring writer and you’re confused about what steps to take, you’re just in the right article. Hedmeebooks explains 12 important things all aspiring writers must know!
- Become a great reader
Becoming a great reader is the first step to becoming a writer. So, read everything! Read everything you come across because what you read will subconsciously turn into writing. Ask a librarian for the most popular books and read everything. Ask a friend about the last interesting book they read. Request a recommendation for a bookstore owner. Visit a supermarket and pick up books that centre on topics you are not familiar with, be it religion, sports or mining. Read old biographies and poetry books. Read statements of publishers in magazines. Read acknowledgements in books. Read the back of products in the kitchen. Read articles from Wikipedia and Ted talk transcripts.
You should be aware a writer is a subtotal of everything he/she has read. When reading, absorb words that fascinate you. Bookmark pages that leave you in awe. Fill up your bookshelf with stacks of books from your favourite authors. Becoming a great writer can only be possible when you become a good reader.
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2. Know that it is a slow process
No one can become good at a craft overnight. It takes a gradual process to become an expert in a particular field. Writing is not an exception. It takes a gradual process to become a great writer. So, follow the process and accept any stumble that you face on the journey to becoming a writer.
3. Writing is not just about writing
Writing is the primary task. You ought to produce the best output. However, that is not all. A writer is also a reader, publisher, marketer, blogger, designer, budget-marker, thinker, public speaker, and editor.
When aspiring to become a writer, you should know that writing is more than just ‘writing.’ It also entails developing a set of skills in several areas.
4. Do not expect your first draft to be perfect
The first drafts of great authors were nothing compared to the finished products. What is most essential is getting to the end of your first draft and perfecting your work!
5. Do not quit
It is very easy to start something and give up in the middle, without striving to complete the project. Stop giving excuses and endeavor to complete your work, even though it doesn’t come out in the way you have envisaged.
6. Plot it out
Observe the thought processes involved in writing a story and think of what will be involved in building it.
To write a book, you will need a plot. Sentences comprise a book but to write a good book, you will have to plan out those sentences in a way that they make sense.
You will need to create characters who are not perfect. Next, plan out how you want the story to turn out and set your goals for writing the work. For example, if your goal is to complete a novel in one month, you’ll have to target writing several words counts and stick to it daily.
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7. Your characters should not have a perfect dialogue
Your characters should depict real-life people and the way they relate amongst themselves. We, as humans, are not perfect. Your characters shouldn’t be. When people converse, they stutter, try to rephrase their statements and interrupt each other. These are things you can include in your dialogue. Your characters should also joke, share secrets, exaggerate, etc. The dialogue will be authentic, exciting and interesting when it is based on what people do in real life.
Writing a good book involves a lot of research. You should always find out about any concepts you want to include in your book. This could be from people who specialize in such fields or using the internet to get a piece of better knowledge. For example, if you’re writing a story that is set in Morocco, you must research thoroughly to find out about their culture so that your story can be brought into life.
9. Do it!
You are a writer and your duty is to write. So, go ahead and get those words on paper! Do not look back once you’ve started. Yes, it can be tempting to change what you’ve written but this may make you lose the motivation to complete the story. Your first draft will be cringeworthy but that’s okay. When you feel stuck, take a break by going for a walk, glancing at the window occasionally, making a cup of tea, etc. Ensure you create a mental space so that ideas can flood back in.
What is most important is that you achieve your goal for the day, no matter how difficult it seems.
10. Observe people
Observe people around you and make a mental note of several things, such as, facial expressions, quirks, body language, voice intonation, and language, etc. Observe anything that will inspire ideas for your characters and make them feel real. Observing people can be done while standing at a bus stop, sitting on a bus and staring at passers-by, studying people’s behaviours in a social gathering, etc.
11. Stick to writing
Becoming a writer is not just about starting to write. It is also about continuing to write. So, try your best to write even when it seems difficult. Accept that writing is a part of you and it should be a skill that you can’t do without.
12. Seek advice
You have strived to move from being an aspiring writer to a good writer. You have your novel that has been plotted, written and edited. You have learnt about spelling and grammar so that your work can come out perfectly. Another crucial thing is to seek advice.
Your friends and family are not the best set of people to meet for advice concerning your book. You have to find a professional to give honest feedback.
Seek a mentor and consult other writers or a publishing community. If you can’t find a suitable person where you reside, consider searching online. What matters is giving your work to a person who is also passionate about writing and will give an honest review of your book.
It is possible to become a great writer. You only have to develop your talent and improve your skills.
Writing is not an impossible task if you’re ready to become a writer. You only need to be willing to tackle the steps it will take to become one.
Hedmeebooks focuses on topical issues affecting the young people in our society, as such, our books are designed to sensitize and proffer coping mechanisms and solutions to readers and decision-makers alike. Do you have a copy of our recently-published books; The Change and Ordinary People? If no? what are you waiting for?
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