Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WaW- A Christmas Gift

So you want to be a writer?

Great! What's stopping you? You heard me right. What is stopping you?

Are you super-busy? Do you worry that your work isn't good enough? Are you torn about where to start?

Well, join the club.

If you really want to be a writer you've got to stop making excuses, and start carpe-ing some diem!

Here's a quick checklist of things to do to put the dream in motion.

1. Write!
Okay, I know it sounds silly. But it's something that's often overlooked. People sit around agonising forever and ever about what they'd like to do, and never actually DO it. The proof is in the pudding, people. Pull up a chair and grab a pencil or a keyboard, and get some words down. It doesn't matter what you write about. Even if you write on a topic that you're sure would interest noone, all that matters is that you get a start.

2. Manage your time
Everybody is busy. It's the way the world works these days. (If you happen to be one of the 10 people in the world who isn't busy, please feel free to come to Japan and help me with some of my work.) If you really think you can't find time to write, here's what you do. Grab a notebook, and record everything you do for a week, along with how long you do it. You'll be surprised at how much time you spend doing a large roll of nothing. Do you really NEED to spend 40 minutes on youtube watching music videos? Not unless you're a music critic. (Credit for the notebook idea to Chris Baty- "No Plot, No Problem.)

3. Write every day
Now, on first glance this may appear to be the same as point 1. It isn't. (Or maybe it is and I'm shortchanging you- but, wait, you don't pay me- so yo've got nothing to lose anyhow!) In point 1, I'm reminding you to start writing. Now I'm telling you to keep writing. The way you get good at something is to practice, make it a habit. Every day you'll be a little better. Noone's any good the first time they jump on a board. (Believe me, I had my first surf lesson two days ago, and I've got the bruises to prove it.)

4. Get your feet wet
There are a ton of ways to publish your work in places that others can see. You'll open yourself to criticism, but it will also help you improve. And you want to improve- unless you're just writing because the flesh on your hands finds HB's sexy. You can find a magazine or newspaper you like and try submitting articles or short stories. And in this internet age, there is nothing easier than posting to a blog every day.

5. Study the craft
There are several ways in which you can do this. None of them need cost you a single cent more than you already spend. Firstly, read with a critical eye. Get a pile of books, preferably in the same genre you'd like to write and read them. Note what works and what doesn't. Did you like the really vivid descriptions, or do you prefer the writer leaves more to the imagination? Does a first person narration draw you into a story or do you prefer a third person so you can see multiple characters at the same depth? When you note these things in reading, you may want to carry them into your own writing.
You might also want to do some more formal study of the craft. The internet is a fantastic medium. You can find many writer resources free online. And if you chose to, you can even enroll in a course.

Well, there's an early Christmas present. Everybody enjoy your Christmas! Don't overdo it! See ya soon!

DISCLAIMER: Claire Gittens (Linguista) is not a published author, and has no authority whatsoever. She just thinks a lot, and sometimes it makes sense!

1 comment:

SigneDemmer said...