The explosive increase in the number of newspapers and magazines and the resulting shortage of good writers will allow almost anyone to publish something good or bad! If you want to become just an average and mediocre writer, you can churn out any amount of trash and can get published somewhere or other, but the net result will be a waste. Careless writing wastes both your as well as your reader’s time, and in the long run you lose the name and respect that you could have received by helping others through good writings.
You must follow certain sensible practices if you want to rise above mediocrity. You must always keep you eyes upon success as well as excellence, and both of these goals are within the reach of any writer willing to pay the cost. I’ll now give you six tips on how to enter this profession. These are tried and proven methods, and you should give due weight to each one of them. They are:
1-Start writing immediately.
2-Develop your skills through a course and apprenticeship.
3-Desire perfection but be practical.
4-Begin humbly and progress.
5-Develop supportive habits.
Let me explain each of the above points in some more detail.
I-Start Writing Immediately: Many people would like to wait till they achieve perfection before they begin. This is foolish because none can achieve perfection without first beginning to write. Further, by the time an aspiring writer might feel that he is ready to write, he might have lost several special opportunities.
I remember the story of a friend who aspired to become a famous writer. Over the years he collected a host of interesting clippings for illustrating his writings. The material was sufficient to provide two lifetimes of quotations. All the while he kept dreaming for a great assignment, insisting that he would begin writing only when this dream materializes. This was a stupid approach, but by a rare stroke of luck he got a coveted assignment one fine day.
Time And Opportunity Wait For None.
So Do Not Wait. Start Immediately !
He immediately purchased a filing cabinet, enlisted the help of his wife and children and embarked upon a massive campaign to classify his clippings. The collection was so massive that it took six months and fifteen days to finish. What’s worse, the task was so absorbing that he didn’t notice that his contract for the writing had lapsed exactly fifteen days ago. It is rumoured that he continues to collect clippings, and is waiting for another stroke of unusual luck.
Opportunities do not wait for anyone. Nor do they drop into one’s lap at every imagination. You must both be ready as well as be prepared when it knocks at the door, and the only solution is to begin writing IMMEDIATELY!
Trinity School of Apologetics and Theology
2-Develop Your Skills Through A Course And Apprenticeship: Only five per cent of the successful writers are born with the necessary skills. The rest have to acquire and polish their art and craft through systematic training.
Several good writer’s training programmes are available and what you are reading right now is one of them. Such courses share with you the accumulated experience and wisdom of a host of successful writers. They teach you the five W’s (What, Why, When, Where and Who) of writing. They explain the “How” of writing and the methods of correcting and even publishing of your writings. Without this combined wisdom of generations available to a writer, he would be forced to waste a lot of time before he discovers even elementary information related to success in this field.
Most writer’s training programmes assign a lot of homework to students. It’s here that you put your newly gained theoretical knowledge into practice. Thus you should learn to appreciate assignments even if at times they do not look very enjoyable.
While the training given through assignments is sufficient to make you a successful practical writer, you should always supplement that with more work as your time allows. For such work you should find out a successful and trained writer who can read your work and offer critical comments.
If you are unable to discover such a person, then you are always welcome to contact us for enrolling in our apprenticeship programme — after you complete the course.
Anyone Desiring To Produce Quality
Results Needs To Study The Art Of Production!
3-Desire Perfection But Be Practical: Every piece of writing is a work of art and therefore the first version of your penmanship will never be perfect. This means that you should always revise the first copy of your writings.
If writing is a work of art then the writer is an artist — a wordsmith. This means that as you continue practicing your art, your writings will become more and more mature as it happens in any other craft.
Thus every writer should aim towards perfection both in the way he writes and also in the written work that is produced. However, there is nothing like ultimate perfection and therefore he should set practical limits for his quest for perfection. Else, the whole life will become an impractical pursuit for perfection, effectively preventing the writer from producing anything.
Desire perfection, but not to such extremes that it kills your talents even before others see them.
4-Begin Humbly And Progress: Some people aspiring to become writers set their eyes too high. They dream of publishing directly in Readers Digest or publications of only that level. They will never succeed in this profession till they start thinking more realistically.
Just as writers range from beginners to achievers, publications also range from amateur to professional in level. Obviously a magazine of high standard will publish only writings that come up to their level. Writers new to their profession should, therefore, aim humbly at amateur publications first. They can then gradually work their way up to the level which their abilities would allow.
5-Develop Supportive Habits: The art of writing can be enhanced by developing habits that support the creative activity that writing is. For example, many people know that one gets inspiring thoughts, ideas, and expressions, etc., suddenly and in a moment of illumination. But such thoughts vanish as fast as they come. Good writers should therefore develop strategies to record such inspiring thoughts before they are lost.
As you progress with writing, you will discover numerous supportive habits, but you don’t need all of them at this stage. The beginner should try to develop three very important practices mentioned below.
FIRST, you should try to read as much as possible. This is necessary to stimulate your mind and make you mature. The more you read the better it is. No amount of reading is over-reading for a writer.
SECOND, you should ALWAYS keep a diary and pen with you. Note down every inspiring thought, quote, anecdote or data that comes to your attention. Do not allow the idea be lost, and do not let the presence of others discourage you from writing it into your diary.
THIRD, make it a practice to write one full page every day. Write whatever comes to your mind. It could be a summary of an argument you heard, an observation you made, or an inspiration that hit you. What’s important is to write something regularly, not the subjects upon which you write. A stage will come in about three years of such practicing when you will be unable to find time to write down all the inspiring thoughts that you get every day.
Start it today itself. Buy a diary and a lot of paper or notebooks. Then, Read, Record and Write!
Persistence Is The Secret Of Success In Any Competitive Field !
6-Persist: Whatever your profession or hobby, you cannot succeed in it without persisting. This is much more true of becoming a writer. Most people harbour this misconception that everything written by a writer gets published! Nothing could be farther from truth. Not everything written even by famous writers gets published. Further, many of their writings see the light of the day only after repeated submissions or revisions.
Thus, right from the beginning you should expect a lot of rejections. Do not be discouraged. This happens even to the most experienced writers. Persist and one day the rate of rejection will decrease to tolerable levels.
Rome was not built in a day, nor is successful writing developed in one sitting.
Copyright 2008 Dr. Anand Philip