Launching a Writing Career Part II

Launching a Writing Career Part II

So now that you’ve got your writing software, you’ve been practicing writing in a journal or similar way just to get the wheels spinning again and you’ve learned a bit about writing and the industry, where do you go from here?

It’s time to start exploring what type of genre and what type of books you want to write. And the only way you’ll find this out is by reading books and practice writing about the things that interest you. So here are 5 ways that you can set out on the next leg of the journey.

1. Buy a Writer’s Market Guide

This is an excellent guide to publishers and agents that will help you connect to the outlets and venues for which to submit your work. You can read about what the magazine or publishing company is looking for, details about length and subject matter. The Writer’s Market provides contact information to send queries and a whole lot of other great details to get you started. It’s organized in a way that if you want to write about travel, you look up Travel in the table of contents and you have a whole handful of magazines that would accept articles on your traveling adventures. Or if you are a scientist and want to write an article on your profession, just look up the info and take your pick.

2. Look up writing competitions online and enter them.

Sometimes writers will enter contests to challenge themselves, never intending to actually submit what they’ve written. But I enjoy the anticipation of entering a contest, no matter the odds, and it gives me something to think about besides pushing paper around on a desk all day. This will increase your writing proficiency and challenge you to work on a deadline. Also, the more you write the more you will begin to develop your voice and craft.  There are contests for short stories, novels and poetry.

3. Start a blog or website

This is a great way to get into the habit of writing and to build a fun community of people who love what you love. My other blog, Ebeye Island: A Spacious Place, I started in 2008 just before I left for the Marshall Islands for two years. The blog has been super fun with people commenting and enjoying all the photos and adventures we had on the island and with the Marshallese. It was so much fun and a great tool to keep me writing and in touch with people.

4. Join a local critique group

You may have some trial and error here to get exactly what your looking for. Some groups will focus more on reading and sharing than critiquing, others on networking and sharing information about events and activities but mostly it’s a great way to meet up with people who have similar goals and interests. Just make sure the majority of your time is spent writing – because that’s what it’s all about. Everything else is in support of that dream.

5. Create a cozy little writer’s nook and set it up with the essentials

I find writing in my living room on the couch is a recipe for distraction. The only desk I had at the time was covered in art supplies, canvases, turpentine and a stack of bills I didn’t want to file away. The rest of the room was no better organized – paint cans, stretchers, cleaning supplies, tubs and bins – it was a big storage room. So, I determined to clean it all out and put things away properly. I cleaned off the desk and bought an average comfy office chair and this is now my writer’s nook.

 

Hopefully these few baby steps can help someone just starting out to get your feet under you and have firm ground from which to launch. These simple things can really help you start learning about writing and give you a bit of confidence so you can begin to make your own success out there in this industry.

 

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