by Tamika Johnson
So you want to be a writer, except you don't know where to begin. Heck you can't even think of something to write about let alone how you're going to get paid for writing. Maybe you have gotten over those humps but can't figure out why you're not a successful, awarding winning writer yet. Well, here are several tips to get you through all of those problems and then some.
Plan What You are Going to Write - This is very important whether you are just beginning to write or have been writing for years. Simply put you need to know what you're talking about. Many times we as writers get bogged down in what we call ‘writer's block' but all that really means is that we can't think of anything to say. If you take whatever idea you have and start writing down the points you'd like to make about that idea, then the words will flow naturally. Also it planning what you are going to say ahead of time saves on time when you actually sit down to write out that story or article you have in mind.
Write Everyday - And yes I do mean EVERYDAY. If you are serious about writing then you have to treat it like you would a regular job. That means you need to get up go to your office (a.k.a. your computer) and get to writing. Rain, hail, sleet or snow you need to write. Regardless of what you have to do that day you need to set aside time to write. Which brings me to my next point…
Have a Specific Time Set Aside for Writing and Adhere to that Time - This is important if you're going to establish the discipline necessary to become a serious and successful writer. You have to find a time frame that works for you and stick to that time frame. No excuses. The main reasons why budding writers don't succeed is because they lack discipline. And the only way you gain discipline is by doing something over and over again, writing everyday and writing at the same time everyday will help you gain the discipline you will need to be a success.
Write About what You Know and what You Don't Know, Research - When you're first starting out the best thing you can do is to write about something you know. If you don't know anything about astronomy, don't write about it. It is much easier to write an interesting and compelling article about something you know and are passionate about then to write about something you're clueless about. As time goes on and you become a better writer then you can approach topics that interest you but you may not be well versed on. Research is the key. The Internet, books, magazines, periodicals, be thorough and make sure if you borrow someone's idea that you credit them for it. Plagiarism is the ultimate sin for a writer.
Seek Constructive Criticism - Yes I want you to seek criticism. This isn't a bad thing. Sure we all want to hear how wonderful we are and what great writers we are but the positive comments, while ego boosting, aren't going to make us better writers, the negative ones are. Constructive criticism isn't about being cruel or mean it is about telling someone what works and doesn't work about what you're writing which will ultimately make you a better writer. So give your work to people you trust, whose opinions you value and who you know will be honest with you no matter what. Sure, it may sting a little at first, but you'll eventually thank them for their honesty and you'll see the results of their criticism as your writing improves.
Submit Your Work to as Many Sources as Possible as Often as Possible - You should be sending out your work everyday or at the very least once a week. Query letters, reviews, manuscripts it doesn't matter; if you want to be successful as a writer then you have to submit your work as often as possible and to as many sources as possible. Research the magazines or periodicals, etc. you're submitting your work to before you send them anything. You need to make sure that what you are looking to send then is something they are looking for and you need to have a through understanding of their guidelines for submissions. If you expect someone to give you a paying job then this is the only way to go about it. Also submitting your work gets you into the habit of viewing your writing as a business and not just a hobby.
Have Fun - Lastly the most important thing to remember is to have fun, enjoy yourself. This is something you've dreamed of doing and while it is a lot of hard work it should be enjoyable and not a chore.
© 2005 Tamika Johnson
About the Author: Tamika Johnson is a freelance writer and owner of PrologueReviews.com. To read more reviews by Tamika or to have your book, music or film reviewed visit http://www.prologuereviews.com