Tips for Getting Started as a Writer

Courtesy of Ink&Keys Writers Group

  1. Write, Write, Write. Write as often as you can. The more you do it the better you will become. And write for “consumption” if you haven’t already. Meaning, contribute to a blog or a newsletter or something just to get over the nerves of having others read your work.
  2. Read, Read, Read. Read as often as you can. There is no substitute if you want to be a writer. Specifically, read books in the genre you wish to write.
  3. For the most part, the questions you have are likely ones that others have already asked. Look at other writer’s blogs or websites. Do some research online. We Google EVERYTHING. For example, if you are unsure about how a critique group functions, then look at the guidelines posted by different writing organizations, or take a short online course that prepares participants for a critique group.
  4. Take the time to get formal training in the craft of writing. You can participate in writer’s workshops locally, attend a larger conference geared toward the type of writing you enjoy, take online courses, or subscribe to a podcast. Learning basic grammar and editing techniques will save you time and money later.
  5. Talk about your ideas. Discuss the things you are passionate about with a friend or family member. It will help you articulate what you want to say when it’s time to write it down.
  6. Keep a journal (or your phone) by your bed to get ideas down when they come. (For some reason, they like to pop into our heads when we’re drifting off to sleep.) If you don’t record those ideas right away, you will forget them. We know from experience!
  7. Make your writing a sacred space. Intentionally invite God in rather than just occasionally sending up a Hail Mary during writer’s block.
  8. Give yourself permission to write something terrible. Fix it later as you revise. No one’s first draft is perfect. Everyone re-writes. Again, and again.
  9. When you hear the same critique three or four times, even if it’s painful…heed it. Sometimes we have blind spots that only others notice.
  10. Be respectful of your family and other obligations. Your mind might be on characters, scenes, or plot twists, but your family needs you to be present when you’re together. Give them face-to-face time. By the same token, you have to help others understand that when you do carve out time to write, you won’t be answering texts or emails or making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s good for kids to see that you are busy working toward a goal.
  11. Join or start a critique group. Accountability and camaraderie are so important. (Be sure to educate yourself on how to critique properly, to get the most out of the experience.)
  12. Remember, there are different seasons in life. Some times you will be writing more and sometimes less. Give yourself permission to find peace in each season.
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