by: Laura Hickey
So, you’d like to be a writer? Congrats! Writing not only is a great way to express yourself, but can provide an income. Keep in mind not all writers make a fortune, some still cant quit their day job. Below are some tips to start your writing journey.
1. Start Writing
Okay, so this tip is obvious. For some, it’s a question of what to write about, for others how to write. Write how and what you want. What kind of books do you like to read? Fiction, Mystery, science fiction, how to books? How about articles, reports, maybe you’re interested in journalism. Whatever the case may be, to get your creative juices flowing, start writing! Don’t worry about how it sounds, grammar or other mistakes, you can go back to fix these.
2. Join online and offline groups/message boards and chats
If you already know what you want to write about, consider joining writer groups at your local library, or online groups, along with message boards and chats. It’s a great way to network with other writers and published authors. It’s also a good place to share your work and receive feedback. Many places online are free to join, some require a membership which usually consist of a user name, e-mail address and password for your user name. Some request more information such as a name, address and sometimes phone number.
3. The Library
You’ve probably heard about some books that writers refer to, this could be writer markets, e-book publishing, self publishing and generally how to improve your writing. Bu what do you do when you can’t afford to buy these books from your local bookstore or online? A trip to your library is the key. Many libraries carry writer resource books, which if you have a library card, are free. If you’re living out of the area, the library may require a fee for membership. The book you’re looking for may not always be at your local library, however libraries borrow from other libraries in and out of state. The method of receiving outside books is called Inter-Library Loan. Later on, if you find the book to be a great resource, you may be able to purchase a used copy online.
The Internet is also another good resource for information. Keep in mind that not every resource you find online is going to be an honest good resource. It will take time to sort out which websites are useful. Most information is free, so you can sit back and research in the comfort of your home. If you don’t have a computer with Internet access, check your local library and see if you can use one of theirs.
Workshops taught by experts is a great way to learn from the professionals, but only if you can afford it! Make sure the topic of the workshop is based around your interest. For instance, if you love fiction..it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to a workshop based only on non-fiction. It’s a good idea to register early to ensure a spot at the event. Bring a new legal pad, plus a few writing tools to take notes.
After writing a while, you may want to enter contents. Some require an entry fee. I suggest staying away from the entry fee contents until you’ve entered some other free ones. That way you can get a feel for how contests work. Spend some time writing and re-writing your entries. If you’ve written your entry in 5 or so minutes, th judges will notice it immediately. You wouldn’t want a reputation for sloppy work.