I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear these words from a friend. You know that moment… the one where a friend comes to you and asks for help with something you ACTUALLY know about.
So many people have held my hand on this journey to become a writer (a shout out, here, to the amazing and illustrious Logan Smith, prominent hand holder). I become giddy when it’s my turn to hold someone else’s hand on their journey toward sitting down to write that first sentence, all the way to ‘The End’.
By the way, once you write ‘The End’ on your first novel, it’s only a matter of time before you write the first sentence on your next novel. If you haven’t done so already!
So how does a person begin?
Here are five steps I recommend for becoming a writer:
1. First and foremost, pray. Pray with all your might. I dare not do any of this without the Lord, especially since I seek to honor Him in all I do.
2. Second, take the expectation off your self that the first sentence you write has to be the first sentence of the novel.
3. Third of all, practice some discipline and diligence in your writing. This can be done in several ways:
- Blog twice a week, or more.
- Write three pages every day. I woke at 5am every day for 3 months to write these three pages. If you don’t know how difficult that was for me, ask my mom. I was born a night owl. But inflicting this sort of discipline on myself helped. Immensely.
- Take a course (this can often help you gain confidence as you finish assignments and receive feedback).
- Meet with other writers who are WRITING, and write together. Don’t TALK about writing together, actually write in each other’s company. Listen to their work and read your work aloud to them.
Do what fits you best. If you want to be private in your process, start with the 3 pages. If you want to build an audience, start blogging. If you want to network and get regular encouragement, take a course or meet with other writers.
4. Fourth, get to know your own creative process. There’s a spectrum of creative processes in writers, from those who plot every detail before they write the first sentence to those who figure out what the book is actually about when they’re 3/4 the way through the first draft. You don’t have to have the same creative process as Stephen King to be a great, or even a prolific writer. My awesome crit partner (love you, S. T.!) is a plotter, and I adore her books. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer of sorts, where I know what will happen in a vague sort of way, but I dare not write that down before I write the actually story. Be okay with who you are. One process or another will not squash your creativity, unless it’s contrary to how you roll.
5. The fifth, and probably one of the most important parts for us introvert writers, is this: GET A TRIBE! I couldn’t have survived the indie-pub process without a tribe of supportive people.
Now pick up that pen, or open a word document, and GO!
Books I’ve written:
Tues-Thurs, Jan 15-17