Deciding to become a writer should be made after doing tons of research. I suggest shadowing a fellow writer who has been at this for a while. It will allow you to see the up’s and down’s that they encounter as they master their craft as a writer.
Making the decision to become a writer sounds easy, but those who have been at it for a while know different. Some think: “oh, I’m going to be a famous author,” and they breeze through a manuscript and send it to an agent a moment too soon. Some also think: “who cares about traditional publishing, I can self-publish.” Self-publishing is fine as long as you do the necessary research on editing, promoting, and learning the ropes.
So let’s look at this from the perspectives of famous authors.
I love reading one of David Baldacci’s dedications. He thanks those who remained at his side as he reached the heights of a published and successful author—even though it was a tough road to travel.
Other great writers of our time such as Stephen King and J.K. Rowling have received rejections for their manuscripts. They still kept at it and look at them now. The same should apply to you, if it is something you want with everything you have.
Heck, we have been told to keep our day jobs and write every chance we get. That is okay, because once you accept the reality; hopefully, it will push you in the right direction to take those steps in building your career.
Attend Writing Conferences – These are the best places to mingle and educate yourself about the craft. You are able to meet literary agents and learn about the publishing world. If attending conferences are a burden on your finances, download webinars.
Go on a Writing Retreat – This is your chance to take advantage of total quiet time and write until your heart is content. On one of my retreats, I wrote 14,652 words in eight days. They are definitely a must.
Work With a Writing Mentor – Find someone who you can work with on all levels. That means find a mentor who wants to see you succeed. That also means you will need to learn to take plenty of criticism and direction in rewrites.
I am blessed to have found my mentor. She is on the spot and knows what she is talking about. Her vast knowledge and experience has helped me focus on what is important for my manuscript.
Create a Blog – I must confess that I am a late bloomer and in the beginning I dreaded blogging. After reading articles and learning my way around my site, I began to enjoy it. This tool allows you to express yourself and interact with other people.
Create Your Own Writer’s Library – Slowly start purchasing resource books focused on your genre. It should include an array of subjects. Some suggested subjects are:
1. Writing and business
2. Manuscript format
3. Guidelines for queries, synopses, and social networking
(The list goes on)
Have Your Work Critiqued – This would fall back on your mentor. If you do not have a one, join a critique group or forum. Focus on your genre and the personal needs aimed towards your writing.
Sign up for Writer’s Digest or Writer’s Market – This would include other legitimate online resources. Subscribe to newsletters that you can receive via email.
Network – When I took up acting in 2000, I signed up with the hottest network site at that time, Ryze. Since then, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ have only increased our addictions to the internet. This avenue has opened up doors for me in many ways, and I enjoy getting to meet new people.
So what are you waiting for? Set up your home office and get to work!