|Multnomah Falls (upper part) Oregon|
Every so often I mention in a conversation with a stranger or an acquaintance that I'm a writer. Usually the first response is "Oh that's cool" and then we continue the conversation. Or they say "Oh really? What have you published? I've always wanted to be a writer..." and that is the end of whatever topic we were discussing prior to my mention of my night job.
You know the saying, "if I had a dollar for every time I've heard (insert desired phrase)?" Well, I would probably have managed to fund my writing career by now from hearing "I've got a great idea for a story." Guess what? Many people do have great ideas, because humans generally are creative at some level. So we all have ideas. If you want to write a book based off your idea: my advice is to Just Write It. The only way you'll ever become an author is to finish a complete book. Sorry, I haven't discovered any other magical way of reaching authorship, that is legal I might add.
How? You ask. It's pretty simple. You sit down at your computer, open a Word Document, and start typing. If you keep talking about writing it, the book will never get written. And if you keep making excuses that you are so busy or the timing isn't write, well it STILL won't get written.
My other advice is READ. If you don't know how to write a book, read ALOT. I started writing three years ago and since then I've read over a 100 novels of the genre I wrote in. That is double the amount of books I've read in my entire life prior.
Yes, taking writing classes are helpful too, but be careful not to be so caught up in the techniques and rules that you forget to JUST WRITE IT. How are you going to apply the knowledge and skills you've leavened if you're not writing? I've taken lots of classes this last year from conferences and workshops put on my local RWA chapter and Willamette Writers, but the most important thing I've learned is to write. That is the best way I've improved my skills. It's true practice does make prefect. And I SO have a long way to go, with each new book I write or edit my writing gets better and better. No, I'm not published yet, but with each round I get closer to having a publishable book.
Which brings me to another point. Don't expect your first rough draft to be best-seller ready, because it's not. You will need to edit it many times and revise a lot, but the biggest step is to finish it the first time so you have something to edit and revise.
I'm sure you've heard everything I've just said before, but trust me, it never hurts to hear it again. Even I need to be told so sit my butt down and start typing. Best of luck to you all whether you are new writers or seasoned ones.
And don't forget: Tis the Season for Giving Giveaway is going on till Wednesday. Spread the word!