So you wanna be a writer?

I’ve been asked by lots of people lately about how to get their feet wet and become professional writers. So I share with them my path…

Let me start by saying, I’m no expert and have spent many years fumbling and any of you who want to be writers will most likely do the same. Also, there are no shortcuts. Consistency, passion and a need to grow are necessary. Graft these traits into your character and you’ll find meaning in your work.

The first thing you need to do if you want to be a writer is write (duh). Be obsessive about it. Write what interests you. Figure out your voice. What do you want folks to feel after reading your pieces? Be deliberate about it and hone it.

As time passes, you’re going to feel more confident and you’re going to want others to read the diamonds in the rough you’ve produced. At this point, it’s time to share. Use your social media to share with friends.

Ask for feedback and edit accordingly. Ignore discouraging advice and follow constructive ones. Take notes and try not to repeat the same mistakes. KEEP WRITING!

Now you’re ready to go beyond your audience of 2 (in the early days not many people are gonna care about what you write, get used to it). It’s time to blog publicly! You will feel nervous. That’s normal. But please don’t spend money on personal domains and sites yet.

Use sites like Medium with already existing audiences as your playground. KEEP WRITING! Now share your stuff everywhere, use #hashtags. The more you post, the more confident you’ll become and weird stuff is gonna start happening.

Folks you don’t know are going to start liking your work. You’ll notice folks like some things more than others. Take note.

Write more stuff that folks like. See if you can make those numbers grow. Build that confidence and now a portfolio.

You’ll finally hit a point you have a body of work worth sharing and insight into what folks want and how to write for them. That’s power.

So, when you see opportunities to guest post online, you’ll be ready. If an anthology has a call for submission, no sweat. YOU GOT THIS!

So…JUST KEEP WRITING!