“The reason one writes isn’t the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say.”— F. Scott Fitzgerald
Dreaming of writing a world-famous short story or novel is the wishful thinking of many Americans. But is it really just wishful thinking? Well, dreams without deeds will forever stay dreams. If one aspires to become a great writer for personal pleasure or public satisfaction, then the first thing to do is actually take out a pen and paper (or turn on that computer screen in today’s day and age) and start. Within every individual is a unique voice that is desperate to be liberated — a quiet little voice that wants to sail the high seas, scream at the top of its lungs, bawl its eyes out, and maybe even take its very first steps into another world.
There is a way to let this caged voice sing, and that is to express oneself through writing. Writing releases your inhibitions, sets your heart free, and lets you explore who you are — and that’s not even including what your writing may inspire in other people. Yet despite these wonderful ideas swimming happily in your head and almost bursting with joy at the prospect of being liberated from the walls of your mind, there is one teeny, tiny setback — it can be quite the challenge sometimes to articulate those thoughts on paper. And if you feel sidetracked, blocked, discouraged, exasperated (take your pick) — you’re not alone. For this is the murky territory where all writers dwell, where all writers stop and think of such phrases as “not good enough” and “can’t compete.” An imposing difficulty, to be sure, but is there anything a prospective writer can do? Yes, there most certainly is!
One of the most useful resources for those lost in the land of hesitance is a writers’ workshop. Simply put, writing workshops are meetings where groups of determined writers (just like you) join together to converse about potential ideas, discuss relevant writing/publishing information and tips, and of course offer support and advice for one another. They are wonderful utilities for imaginative individuals to relay their thoughts and gather helpful guidance as needed. When several group members work together and contribute to the writing discussion, not only can the creative juices get flowing, but significant perspectives on writing can be presented. Perhaps best of all, lasting friendships are to be found from writers’ workshops, friendships that can lead to future connections as you establish yourself someday as a prominent writer.
Some basic steps to follow:
- Read! Reading begets better writing — use the texts you come across serve as inspiration, models, and insight!
- Be determined if you want to be a writer. Interact with other aspiring writers in your area or online, and (again) join a writers’ workshop! Writing groups can even discuss popular books that have become successful today, and what made them (and their writers) so darn compelling.
- Launch a foundation for yourself — look for potential freelance writing jobs to increase your credibility and writing skills.
- Maintain a positive outlook. Never give up, and never limit yourself — your work may take you farther than you ever expected. Water for Elephants and I am Number Four, for example, were all novels before they made it to the big screen. Who knows? Maybe one day your name and work will be onto cinema slides!
- Take a look at some of the Writer’s Guide works available — they not only offer publishing information, but they also present some incredibly useful tips and resources!
- Write! The beauty of many successful writing careers is simply not only doing it to make money, but because it is something one loves to do. Writing may be a labor of love, yet it is a dedicated and zealous love like no other.
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So if you’ve been thinking for what feels like forever what it might be like to actually write a short story, a poem, an article, or a full-fledged book, make a change today. Stop putting it off — “someday” might never come. Hearken to that little voice inside you with the big dreams, for you have a message that no one else has. You deserve it to yourself and your future readers to share that gift to the outside world. Take that first stride on a fantastic voyage of adventure, emotion, and words, and write.