Rayan Khan seems to have it all figured out here. I only wish someone had given ME these tips when I was young. Maybe Mrs Crooks did, I suppose; I probably wasn’t listening.
Here are some less conventional tips for young writers, in no particular order:
- Get a computer. As romantic as the idea of scratching into a tattered notebook, with the stub of a pencil, out on some blustery moor might sound, you are going to be competing with other writers who are using all the tools technology offers. Technology doesn’t make good writing, and it certainly doesn’t prevent bad writing, but it DOES help good writers work harder, better and (sometimes) faster. It also makes the critical step of getting feedback on your work so much easier on your reader. You can get feedback from people all over the world too. If you can’t afford a computer, get a job. Which brings me to item two.
- Get a job and/or stay in school. Writing is a lonely desperate business. The last thing you want is to be bored and broke and facing writer’s block. A job, school and friends will get you out of the house and away from the nightmare that writing can become. A job will also give the money you will need to eat. Unless you live with Mum and Dad. In which case you should think about leaving home. Soon. Which brings me to item three…
- Get a life. The reason so many books these days are about werewolves and vampires is that these creatures don’t exist and are therefore easy to make up. Not that the writers of these books haven’t lived, but, really. Get a life. Get out there. Get lost in Amsterdam. Climb a glacier. Eat snails. See a show. Ride a motorbike in the rain. Swim with jellyfish. Too many young writers write the same books as every other writer because they haven’t experienced enough.
- Get real. Most writers also teach. Some writers work at Sears. Very few writers become rich and famous. If you want to be rich, you should import stretch pants from China. If you want to be famous, do something stupid on TV. If you want to be a writer, you ARE one. Which brings me to my last point…
- Get cracking. Don’t tell me you “want to be a writer”. You can’t “want to be a writer”. You either ARE a writer or you’re not. I don’t care if you’re six or a hundred and six. Sit down in front of your computer, open a new Word doc and start writing. Boom! You’re a writer. Feels good huh?