There are two sort of writers out there: those who write for the drawer and those who want to get published and even make writing a career.
My friend Jackie's been the first kind for quite some time but I think she's ready to make the move because just the other day she asked me how I started writing and what I did to get published. She also wanted pointers. Well, I thought I'd share my answer:
When I made the switch from writing without anyone seeing to wanting to be published, I was so concerned about the process of publishing (finding markets, the right format, writing cover letters, writing queries), that the writing took second place and for a while no place at all. All I did for nearly a month was to try and find out how to be a writer that I forgot that a writer can't be one if she doesn't actually write.
I've read too many "getting started" articles. These articles usually suggested anything from buying a computer, printer and paper as well as having a library that includes The Writer's Market to setting attainable goals and creating a work space. Well, I always found these articles scary. And rather obvious too.
Yet, the question remains, what should one do should one wishes to write and be published?
Here are my five simple things:
1. Write. I think that this is the most important thing. One should always write, if it's by setting aside a certain amount of time each day for writing, or by taking advantage of free time or any other method (or non-method) that works. Meaning, a writer should spend time writing without worrying too much about where to start. (One can always write the beginning of a piece later, some even recommend it.)
2. Market research. Set aside a certain amount of time a week/month for market research. This is more important at first until finding markets becomes matter-of-course.
3. Be aware. Be very aware. Of everything. If you're a columnist, pay attention to what's going on in the area that interests you, or if you're a fiction writer, pay attention to how people interact and the colour of the sky.
4. Talk out your ideas, either with someone else or with yourself. Have a notebook, cards, anything to help you organizing the ideas.
5. Get a life. I always try to maintain balance. When I was a student I had this rule that Saturday night is sacred for going out. I didn't care if I was in the midst of finals or if a project was due Monday morning, Saturday night was dedicated to having fun. So maybe I'm too much of a geek who needs rules for having a life, but regardless of how r&r is obtained, it is just as important.
Any other advice?Read the rest
Categories: writing, beginners, publishing, business