I was lucky, extremely in hindsight, that I heard all the advice surrounding writing after I had finished my manuscript. It also so happened that what you need to be doing to become half a decent writer, I was doing by default.

So here’s what I would tell any newbie, who wishes to be only half a decent writer:

READ, READ, READ: A writer is first and foremost a reader. Anyone telling you otherwise doesn’t know anything.

Next step is to identify a genre. If you can identify one you enjoy writing, you have to read (yes) as many books as you can in that category. The good ones will give you something to aspire for, the mediocre ones will be a treasure trove of ideas and the bad ones will teach you what not to do.

Not to forget reading will teach you writing, language and vocabulary.

GLAMOUR: Writing is a job and is about as glamorous as any other desk, 9 to 5 job. For many writers, it is not even the main job! Breaking into this industry is hard especially since everyone thinks they can write; even if they have never read a lick of anything, even if they don’t understand the w of writing.

WRITE: You’re a writer and so you must write. I won’t even try to suggest a routine. God alone knows people have filtered it down to a science. But consistency and discipline is key. Especially if you really want to make it. If it’s nothing but a hobby, go ahead, be as inconsistent as you want to be.

PATIENCE: You will have moments when everything works. And then moments when nothing works. Hang in there.

“If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:”

– Rudyard Kipling

If you can follow the above steps
Without losing enthusiasm
Without turning into a loon (or maybe a little bit of a loon)
Without sacrificing the inner child
Who dreamed this dream
Then congratulations
You’re a writer.

Written as part of #ChatterPrompts


Header image source


8 thoughts on “How to Newbie: Writer Special

  1. Okay. I know all this and so want to ask something here. I read voraciously but the problem is while reading is often get so engrossed that I forget to take note of the writing style, language, or other nitty-gritties (in respect to become a writer). Now, if I remind myself to note the writing style, etc I don’t enjoy the book and vice versa. Help?


    1. You’re absolutely right. So what I have started doing is, I maintain a Google sheet for books read. After I finish a book, I write what I liked or disliked.
      I have read a few books in the genre I want to write in. This exercise has helped me tremendously to develop my own dos and don’ts

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm.. that sounds a plan. So, could you also help me with something more. I wish to write a non-fiction story with female protagonist. Could you suggest books on the same genre? Google gives me loads of books. But m looking for a personal recommendation. Thanks.


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