I am often asked questions about writing. Usually, the questions are some variation of “How Can I Be a Writer?” That’s just such a loaded question. It all depends on what you want to write.
First, you need to decide on your genre. “Genre” means “What kind of writing do you want to do”? (Fiction? Well, then, which type? Christian historical romance or steamy secular romance?). If you don’t know yet, then do some dabbling in many different types of writing to see where your talents lie, and read, read, read in your chosen genre. Read quality writing from published authors who are successful in that genre.
Did you notice that I said you’re going to have to read? If you are serious about writing, you will choose to develop a passionate love of reading. Don’t say you don’t have the time, because we all know that everyone has the same 24 hours in the day. Keep a book with you always to take advantage of times when you are stuck in traffic or are waiting at a restaurant for your group to come. Read in your chosen genre, and also read books and articles on writing. By reading, you are giving yourself a writing education.
Two other tips that may help as you start on your writing venture:
1. Be careful of getting into the trap of joining writer’s groups and critique groups. Until you get started, they can be time-consuming and discouraging. And they are often filled with other aspiring writers, not professional writers. Join one, if you like, but be sure that it is going to be helpful.
2. Take a local community/junior college writing class, if you can. I’ve taken several, and it helped me to polish my writing and discover my chosen genre. A class also gives you feedback on your writing (but if only the teacher is checking your work; don’t let him/her discourage you. It is only one person’s opinion).
And finally, my most important bit of advice: Just because almost everyone writes, that does not mean that writing is easy. I find that many aspiring writers want to be published now, without putting in the time it takes to learn the craft of writing. Be patient and realize that you need an education in writing, just as you would need an education to work in any other professional field. This “education” may be received through paid courses or through simply reading and writing every single day.
If you really want it, if God has blessed you with just an ounce of talent, and especially if you are willing to work hard at it, I know you can become a writer!