Where Do I Begin?

You want to be a writer, but where do you start? 

Start writing. I’m not talking about shopping lists and sticky notes; I’m talking about writing stories. Hand a friend a stack of 3 x 5 cards and have her write a topic on each one. Pick a card each day, set a timer for thirty minutes, and write. Make sure you have an opening paragraph that introduces your topic, then support your subject using at least three points. Sum everything up in a final paragraph, making sure you’re not bringing up any new information.

Read through this first draft. Does it make sense? Do the ideas flow from one to another? Make corrections and then try again.

This will basically help you formulate ideas. Take classes to develop your grammar skills. A creative writing class will also help you develop your own style and voice.

Start Reading. It’s time to do your homework, but this time it’s homework worth doing since it will help you hone your skills and move you a step closer to becoming a writer. Read books about writing. If you are interested in children’s books, get books in that genre. Fiction? Non-Fiction? Pick a genre and you will find how-to books on that area.

Find books on how to format what you write. No one accepts written manuscripts anymore, so you need to learn how to type (if you don’t know how), and what format to use when you type it. An excellent resource is “Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript” by Cynthia Laufenberg. This book was a huge blessing when I first started out. Don’t forget you can get great books on e-bay and in the used book section of Amazon.com for a lot less than retail. Pull out that library card, too, if you don’t want to invest in a bunch of books as of yet. 

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One Response

  1. These steps are so simple–yet so important! Thanks for the reminder!!! -Nancy

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