Are You Ready to Commit to Living a Writer's Life?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Stef dela Cruz 2 Comments

A lot of people want to be a writer for many reasons. Some feel that writing is relatively easy, something they can do for the rest of their lives. Others think they can earn from writing, given the many thriving bloggers and writers online and the numerous clients posting ads saying, “Writers Wanted”. And if you want to join the growing population of writers in the world, you have probably asked your friends and Googled the phrase how to become a writer.

I miss writing. And I don’t mean writing articles, as I already do that everyday (not that I’m how to become a writercomplaining). I miss writing for myself, for the sake of writing, with no intention of having my work read by anyone. Writing has always been one of my loves; it has courted me since childhood and, as years flew by, it stuck around like a persistent suitor. I just had to say yes – and I’ve always been in love with it since.

But writing is a mixture of knowledge, skill, and heart. Without one of these three, your work will always be short of a masterpiece. I have been writing professionally for four years now, earning a modest income from medical articles that I write for different online and print publications. I worked my way up, starting from scratch – and if you’re not ready to do that, stop reading this article on how to become a writer.

But if you are determined to learn, here are a few things you need to do to be on your way to becoming a good (and well-paid) writer:

  • Ask yourself if you are willing to commit to writing. Becoming a writer means spending a lot of time in front of the computer, possibly jotting down notes in a pad which you might want to carry with you everyday, and honing your skills by exercising your writing muscle regularly.
  • Decide on what kind of writer you want to be. Are you going to be a short story writer,  or a journalist, perhaps? Each writing niche requires a different skill set and a different writing style.
  • Make room for writing. Make room in your mind – you are no longer just an office employee or dentist or full-time mother; you want to be a writer and your mind should acknowledge that. Keep a non-apologetic attitude about this decision. When you make room, don’t just do it mentally; do it physically, too. Make space in your home as well: make sure you have a corner conducive for writing. Every professional writer has a proper work place, even if it is just at home.
  • Learn the ropes. If you want to know how to become a writer, learn about the technical stuff surrounding the job. What does “wpm” mean? What are electronic rights? What is the difference between diction and pronunciation (and did you even know there was a difference)? There are many questions to be asked before you get the answers you need.
  • Finally, write your first piece. Have you ever written anything before, other than the papers you needed to submit in school? Then get to it! Don’t worry, it takes time before you get the hang of it. If your mind seems to have gone blank, there are many things you can do to get things rolling. I shall be writing about how to overcome the dreaded writer’s block, so check back soon!

Of course, these suggestions are just a few of the many that you need to hear if you want to know how to become a writer. It’s the tip of the iceberg, but it should be enough to get you itching for that pen and paper. And kudos to you for finally taking the first step towards becoming a writer!

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.

2 comments:

  1. I'm not a superb writer, that much I know, but writing has always been something I've always loved, too. And it's true what they say, once a writer, always a writer. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree! Writing is something you don't just learn; it's a calling.

    ReplyDelete

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