How to Get Started as a Writer or Author

learn to write for a living

Find the write teacher!

This morning, someone asked me how to get started being a writer. He said he’d love to “be” one, but where to begin? Well, if you’d like to be a writer or an author, you need to step up and prepare, then dig in and do it, just as you would with any career. Here are a few quick ideas for getting to where you can sell your writing for a living.

  1. Figure out what your passions are. Most of us can take on almost any topic once we have some experience and if we know how to research, but it’s a lot easier and more credible to write about things that really light you up. That’s why I write about ghostwriting and about empowering authors.
  2. Educate yourself. Take writing classes online or at your local college. The practice work is invaluable, the feedback is crucial, and you’ll have an audience built in.
  3. Discipline yourself to write, every day, even if just for fifteen minutes. Believe me, it takes strong self-direction and motivation to sit down every day and produce something that meets my clients’ expectations. No matter what I want to go off and do, I know I need to work some every day, even on weekends, if I want the privilege of working for myself. It’s been effective for two decades for me. Besides, I love what I do.
  4. Read as often as you can, especially the type of writing you want to produce. Critique the work as you read, or do a formal review when you’re finished.
  5. Talk to people, let everyone know what you do — you’re a writer. When you’re ready, morph your aspirations into a business with good business cards, a website, a social presence. You can’t operate in a vacuum. NOTE: Don’t ask your family to read and critique your work — what are they going to say? “That really needs work?” Find a cold eye to read your stuff.
  6. Consult an author mentor. (Wow, I’m one of those!) Put a little budget aside for high quality mentoring which is not expensive if you hire the right mentor. Everyone believes they were born to write, very few were born with the skills and techniques needed to earn a living at writing.
  7. SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION (don’t read if PR annoys you) You can find my latest book at Amazon. It’s called 1001 Brilliant Idea for Any Writer to Steal. There are enough prompts in the book to keep you motivated and productive for the rest of your life.

There you have it. Browse our blog to find tons more on how to get yourself published and in front of readers. Best luck!

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