How Do You Become a Writer?

Many people around the world dream of sharing their writings with others, and you may wonder what it takes to become a writer too. Thanks to the popularity of Amazon’s writing program and other self publishing programs, you can now write and publish your own manuscripts without spending years trying to find an agent. Before you start putting pen to paper and fleshing out the book ideas floating around in your head though, you need to think about what steps you need to take first.

Decide on a Specialty

While some people might think that all writers are the same, this isn’t true. There are actually a number of different specialties and genres out there that you can choose from. James Patterson made a name for himself as the author of thrillers, while Stephen King became a household name because of the supernatural and paranormal books that he writes. You may want to write books that deal with legal issues, romance novels or even erotic thrillers. Some writers also find success with non-fiction books about improving self-esteem or building healthy relationships.

Take Writing Classes

Whether you want to become the author of non-fiction or fiction books, you should always take a few writing classes first. Writing classes give you the chance to get feedback from both your teachers and your peers. They’ll tell you whether they enjoyed reading your work, what they liked and didn’t like about your characters and even how easily they followed along with those characters. Your teachers will also give you valuable feedback regarding how to follow the simple layout of a story, how to storyboard your ideas and how to transform the ideas in your head into actual books.

Write and Write More

While Amazon and other programs let anyone become a writer, very few authors experience success right out of the gate. You might hear stories about authors who became overnight sensations and made millions off their first few books, but many authors earn a much smaller amount every year. In a survey of creative writing teachers done by The Guardian, most recommended that students write as much as possible and write whenever they have time. J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter series, often wrote while her kids were asleep and whenever she had some free time. Aim to write at least a few hundred words every day.

Get Feedback

Getting feedback is the best way to determine if your ideas will appeal to the mainstream or general public. Before you announce that you want to become a writer, try writing a few short stories or sample chapters of a book idea that you have. Ask your friends and family to read over your ideas and stories and provide you with some feedback. Make sure that they are as honest with you as possible. You’ll want to know if your ideas make sense, if there were any plot holes you forgot about and if the reader enjoys learning more about your characters.

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Becoming an author takes some hard work. You might spend years working on ideas and writing books before finding a publisher or deciding to publish those books on your own. If you want to become a writer, take some writing classes, write as much as possible, choose a specialty and get feedback from those around you.