Want to Be A Writer? Here Are 5 Ways

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert
May 8 · 6 min read

If you love to write, follow these tips and get published.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Louis L’Amour wrote — Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

Good Writing Will Lead to Publication

If you are reading this, you might be seeking writing advice or you might be a writer who needs a little motivation and some inspiration.

Maybe you want to be a blogger or a freelance writer. Or maybe you have been working on that short story, fiction novel, or memoir and you’re in search of fellow writers for encouragement and feedback.

And you want to be published.

Getting published is not easy but it doesn’t have to be hard. I’ve been pretty successful. My first ever query letter many years ago landed me an article in a nursing magazine. I was paid $175. I couldn’t believe it!

Since then I’ve had letters to the editor and op-ed pieces published. As an academic, I have been published in peer-review academic journals.

My years of teaching college ESL (English as a Second Language) writing, my original research publications, and an impressive book proposal were key to my landing a book contract.

The editor and peer reviewers loved my book proposal. It was my first book proposal. My text book is published by a major international publishing house.

A good idea and good writing will lead to being published. Honing your writing skills, and getting writing experience is essential.

Here are are 5 ways to motivate you to write, improve you writing skills, and hopefully, get published. They have worked for me and they will work for you.

Jot Down Ideas

Never forget a good idea. Jot down a thought, a brainstorm, or a topic you want to write about. I carry pencils and a small notebook with me every where I go just to jot down story and article ideas that pop into my head. Those are the best.

I’m an ultarunner. When I get a brainstorm during a training run or a race, I pull out my iPhone and type the idea in the Notes. Or I record my idea in the phone recorder.

Here’s a story idea I jotted down not too long ago. After I woke up from my umpteenth endoscopy, I shared with my husband that, during my endoscopy I dreamed I was blogging about the endoscopy. Still groggy, I was excited about this future article topic.

After the anesthesia wore off and while on our way home, I typed in my iPhone Notes

First time ever, I dreamed that during my endoscopy I was blogging about the endoscopy — this is an article topic! Now I just need to write it!

I even write down ideas I have in my sleep before I forget them, or when I’m tossing and turning in bed. I keep paper and pencils next to the bed, scribble the idea, and go back to bed.

So what’s your idea? Quick, jot it down!

Here are some good tips for jotting down ideas.

Journal

Journaling is a good exercise in writing. Get a journal book to write or journal in your electronic devices. I keep a journal in my laptop in a folder labeled Journal. I also keep journals and composition books I buy at the dollar store.

Write whenever and wherever. Write as much or as little as you want. Reflect about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and the highs and lows in your life, at work, etc.

I am glad I kept an electronic journal all these years and saved all my notebooks filled with thoughts, ideas, and experiences — good and bad, rewarding and traumatizing. They helped me to write my memoir draft.

Try these easy steps to get you journaling. It’s your story. Write it. Save it.

Write a Letter to the Editor/Op-Ed

A letter to the editor or an op-ed essay is a good start to getting your words in print. This a great way to get published. It is a good outlet to express your opinion, your solution to an issue, or your response to a view different from your own.

I’ve had a few letters to the editor and op-ed pieces published in our free town newspaper, our local newspaper, and in a major newspaper.

Follow these strategies and write your first letter to the editor and an op-ed piece for publication consideration.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Join A Writer’s Group

Surround yourself with other writers. You don’t have to write alone. Even though I am a published writer, a book author, and a book reviewer, I am a member of a local writers’ group.

Some of my fellow writers are published fiction, sci-fi, non-fiction, and memoir writers, and poets. Others will soon follow.

I am surrounded by writers from a variety of genre. We support each other. Had I not joined this group, I would not have known about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) every November. It’s free to join.

I used the NaNoWriMo opportunity to discipline myself and revise the chapters of my memoir during the month of November 2017. I felt very accomplished.

I participate in the monthly critique sessions of my writer’s group. I receive constructive suggestions and complimentary feedback on my memoir — a work in progress.

It’s nice to hear,

I can’t wait to read your next chapter.

I enjoy reading the works of fellow writers. I leave the sessions inspired and excited to read their next chapters.

Writing groups can inspire you to stay motivated. You will find support, receive feedback, learn great tips, and get inspiration from published writers and speakers at monthly meetings.

Click here to find a writing group in your area.

Read

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

If you are reading this article, you’re off to a great start!

Good readers make good writers. If you want to write, read. You’ll become familiar with the various writing styles and genres. Read about the topics you want to write about. Read about writing.

Start Writing

Writing is a journey. Writing requires endurance, perseverance, and patience. Writing to be published might take a bit longer.

But sometimes your topic idea is just what the editor or publication is looking for. Sometimes your first letter to the editor or query letter will result in your first published piece.

But one thing is for sure — WRITE! And write with passion!

It’s worth repeating so, take note of Louis L’ Amour’s advice.

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert is a writer, an independent scholar, and an adjunct professor. She is an ultrarunner and runs 50 mile, 100 mile and 24 hour ultramarathons. She writes about ultrarunning, spirituality, gardening, rock climbing, health issues, and writing. She is the author of English for Pharmacy Writing and Oral Communication and is a contributor in How to Survive Your Freshman Year. She is published in Ultrarunning Magazine and Women’s Running magazine. Thank you for visiting her website.

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

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Ultrarunner|Author|WritingMy Memoir https://www.miriamdiazgilbert.com/

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