Enjoy this period of optimism and free-flowing creativity as you learn to write. However, if you want to be a published writer, don’t stop there. Set up a writing area and schedule time to write on a regular basis. The best way to become a published writer is to practice, practice, practice. Become an observer of both your own life and feelings and others around you. Keep a journal. Read as much as you can. Then grab a piece of paper and pen or get on a computer and be open and brave. Use all your senses and create vivid imagery. Be specific. Use your memories. And don’t forget to have fun.
Writing is what makes a writer. It’s that simple. Write 50 words and you have a paragraph; write 400 words and you have a page; write 300 pages and you’ll have a manuscript. Set a goal and just keep writing. I recently saw this quote on Pinterest and loved it: “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
Market Your Writing
If you just want to write for yourself, that’s great. In fact, I’m a true believer that getting published is less important than the process and joy of writing. Have fun playing with words. Write in a journal, start a blog, or put together a book of poems for your friends and family.
But if your goal is to be published and get paid for your writing, you’ll need to learn how to submit your work to magazines and websites. Start with smaller magazines and websites and work your way up. Use a copy of Writer’s Market for names, addresses and requirements. Do your homework and study the markets you’re interested in.
If publishing a book is your goal, then you’ll need to learn how to write a book proposal and how to pitch your books to agents and editors with queries. Once again, there are a ton of books and websites to help you with this.
And by the way, before you start sending out book proposals you need to build an author’s platform. I fought against this idea for many years but recently relented in order to get my next book published. The new Writer’s Market suggests you need 15,000 social media fans to get a decent advance. So start now! If you haven’t done so already, join Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest, and any other applicable social media site. Start a blog to see if there is interest in your subject of choice.
Then enjoy the thrilling moments of success whatever form it takes. Writing is definitely a roller-coaster ride. Keep a bulletin board with clippings, acceptance letters and even encouraging rejection letters to help you remember early accomplishments.
If you really want to be a writer, you can do it. You’re never too old to begin. All you have to do is start writing.