Launching a Writing Career: One Small Step at a Time

Launching a Writing Career: One Small Step at a Time

The idea of launching a writing career was overwhelming to me. Until I started looking for all the small ways I could get my feet wet.  Writing in general was a hard habit to restart. It takes hard work and determination. It’s not a leisurely past time hobby. I just determined within myself one day that I wanted to go for it; that I had something to say and I was going to get it down on paper in case it might help others in some small way.

Here are 5 simple things I did to jump start my rusty writing engines and get the spark back into my dream:

1. Upgrade your computer. 

Sounds petty but it isn’t. The computer I had been using cost me $250 four years ago. It is a clunker. The hinge had broken loose on the flip top screen, it was bulky, heavy and the keypad and built-in mouse were atrocious. A bundle of frustration. I knew I needed something better if I was going to take this writing craft seriously. Lighter, more portable and a much more comfortable keypad and responsive mouse take the frustration out of utilizing the tool to get my writing done.

2. Acquire a good writing software program to assist in organizing your projects.

This is so important. I happened to go with Scrivner. You can do some research and get the best software for your needs and preferences. Scrivener was a God-send. The ability to point and click to a chapter, rearrange, delete whole sections – all this without scrolling through hundreds of pages to find my place in a word doc – was just what I needed to ease the pain of minor details and get to the fun creative stuff! Invest in a software program, you will be happy you did.

3. Open a blank project that will be a stream of conscience or journal so-to-speak

So once you get that awesome writer’s tool, open up a blank project and start typing away. This is very important to get all the rust out and begin to flow in writing again. I simply leave this project open at all times and whenever I need to loosen the brain and fingers I start typing. No particular idea in mind, no structure and no cares for typos – just pure brain to fingers word-spill. Write about whatever you want – the carpet in front of you, your pets, the phone or show you watched last night – doesn’t matter just get those fingers typing and the brain exercising.

Simple as that. Once I get the rust off, I move on to my serious writing projects.

4. Start reading as much as you can about writing; just start reading anything that tickles your fancy. To write, one must read. 

I’ve found the internet to be an extremely helpful tool. Anything you want to know about agents, publishers, statistics, pros and cons, you name it – if you have a question the internet has an answer. Make sure the answers your getting are echoed by more than one individual who is an expert in the field and you can be pretty certain the info is accurate.

And books about writing. I started with Stephen King’s On Writing and it has kicked me in the pants and inspired me to get on with it. For me, it takes a good mix of how-to and inspirational gusto to keep the fires going.

5. Get thyself to a writer’s conference.

I signed up for the Kentucky Writer’s Conference which will be taking place this month. I’m looking forward to connecting with other writers and pitching an agent – that should be fun! But practice makes perfect – if all else fails you take away from your experiences and fix mistakes for future opportunities.  Chose a conference that will teach interest you. The one I’m attending is not so much writing workshops as it is the publishing industry and how to navigate it.

Keep writing brave and fearless cadets – we’re all in this together, might as well have fun as we go!

 

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