I've been working as a professional writer for almost 20 years now.
It’s been a long haul, and fun too. I always enjoyed sitting at my keyboard and click-clicking the keys. Remember that B.B. King classic, “The Thrill Is Gone”? I never had to sing that one, knock on wood.
God knows I tried many genres and styles in the past, including academic papers, journalism, desk top publishing, screen writing, short stories, blogging, copy writing, and technical writing.
Let me tell you right away — nothing beats copy and technical writing in terms of income.
If you’re a young writer entering the field today and you want to secure yourself a steady income before you sail out to more choppy waters, I’d say go with either copy or technical writing. And that would make a good topic for another article.
But today, I’d like to share with you my Top 10 Rules of Success for a Young Writer:
1) First off, be aware that you are a part of a very noble and ancient tradition that is indispensable for our sanity, joy and survival.
If you’re apologetic about what you’re doing, if you think you’d be leading a better and more useful life as a _______ (fill in the blank), then don’t even think of becoming a writer for a single moment. It’ll do you or the ones you love no good but bring much friction, resentment and misery.
Be happy, feel privileged and empowered even when you’re not making much. This is the most important rule to become a good and successful writer.
When love and pride of the craft is there, the rest follows on its own accord.
2) Dare to write, every day. Dare to climb that wall and then fall on your face, over and over again.
Drivers drive. Pilots fly. Writers write. It’s as simple as that. “I’m a writer but I can’t write” is a contradiction in terms.
But writers do not always write “excellent” stuff. A lot of times they write rubbish. (Remember what Hemingway said about the "first draft of anything"?) But their pens keep moving and their keyboards keep clicking.
Remove the concept of “writer’s block” from your mind for once and for all. Writing every day, no matter what (a blog entry, diary, a note on a calendar, two paragraphs of a story, a dialog, letters to your local paper, a well-argued e-mail to your professor, etc.) should be your passion. Give that word to yourself and keep it.
That’s the minimum sine-qua-non condition of becoming a good writer.
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Visit Akinci’s web site http://www.writer111.com to subscribe to his free Monthly Success Update Newsletter, packed with information and tips on copywriting, information design and marketing.
- Top 10 Rules of Success for a Young Writer (Part 3 of 3)
- How Much Do Novelists Make? (Part 2 of 3)
- Book Review – “The Writer’s Rules” by Helen Gurley Brown
- Passive versus Active Voice
- Don’t Underestimate Your Readers
© 2008 – 2010, Daniel Dessinger. All rights reserved.