The Seven Things You Need to Become a Writer
I have over 200 publications and have taught fiction writing since 1992. Based on my experience with over 1000 students, here is my abridged list of what you need to become a writer:
Writing takes time. To be a writer, you are going to have to give up something. I gave up television and the gym. The latter is obvious.
2. A room to write.
Virginia Woolf said: A woman needs money and a room of her own in order to write. EVERYONE needs a room, or a place to write. Preferably with a door to close out the rest of the world. Especially if you have kids. I wrote in the bathroom for years.
3. Supportive friends.
Eliminate all people you can from your life who are negative influences on your writing. The ones who think you will never make it. The ones who think it’s a ‘cute’ hobby. The ones who look down upon the genre in which you write. Do it now. This minute. Become friends with other writers who share your passion.
I nearly said passion, but really, they are the same thing. To be a writer, you have to actually love to WRITE. That is, bum in the chair, by yourself, hitting the keyboard, in a world of your own making. Too many people want to become authors, but don’t actually like the physical work of writing. Figure out whether you do right now.
5. The Craft.
If you want to write a novel, take a course in crafting a novel. If you want to write short stories, ditto. You’ll learn a lot really quick, and it will cut years off of your apprenticeship. Not only that, you’ll make friendships with like minds who will inspire and encourage you.
Yes, you need talent. By that, I mean you need plot ideas of your very own. I can teach you the craft of writing in my college fiction writing classes. But you also need to have the sort of brain that is producing ideas all the time. Successful fiction writers don’t have to look for ideas. They are drowning in them.
7. A Thick Hide.
All writers deal with massive amounts of rejection. Even when you strike gold and get a publisher, you will deal with rejection in the form of bad reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. None of us escape that. All of us need to develop a thick hide to survive as authors.
Luckily, I have developed a thicker hide. It comes from skipping the gym and gaining weight.
🙂 That was great. Thank you, Melodie.
She has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and 5 novels. She has won 9 awards for fiction.
Follow Melodie’s comic blog on www.melodiecampbell.com and Melodie can be found on…
- and from this blog, my guests who have written on on the craft of writing are: Aileen Gibb, Allison Foster, Andre Cruz, Benjamin Cohen, FM Meredith, Graham Smith 1, Graham Smith 2, Ian Miller, Ira Nayman, Jane Wenham-Jones 1, Jane Wenham-Jones 2, João Cerqueira, Jemma Hayes, J Griffith Mitchell, Maria Castle, Melodie Campbell, Marion Grace Woolley, Morgan St James, Morgen Bailey (essentials), Morgen Bailey (rituals), Morgen Bailey (negatives), Morgen Bailey (writing tips), Nathan Weaver, Patrick Swimmerly, Paul Lell part 1, Paul Lell part 2, Quentin Bates, Samantha Gray, Sherry Gloag, SJ Wardell, Stefan Bolz, Sue Welfare, Tracy Kauffman, and VM Gopaul.
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on guest-blogs. There are other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
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I welcome items for critique directly (see Editing & Critique) or for posting on the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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