As a writer, let me share a few secrets about writing?
People tell me that they’ve always wanted to write. Truth be told, they should just DO IT!
The first secret is that folks ARE interested in other people’s ideas, opinions, experiences, and fantasies. If you have something to share, there are folks out there who would enjoy reading your work.
The second secret is that you don’t have to be a great writer to share your ideas… that’s what partners are for. Not everyone has both the ideas to share AND the skill to narrate them. Like many projects, writing can easier and more successful when you work with a colleague who has the skills that you don’t. A partnership can also generate motivation, enthusiasm, and energy as well as bringing together ideas and expertise.
So… what’s next? That’s easy. Simply make the decision to write that piece! Writing, like every journey, begins with the first step. You have to start before you can finish! Get out your journal, your diary, your computer, or post-it notes, and make that first step happen. Capture your initial thoughts so that you can come back to them. NOW you’re writing!
Is your project a short story, an article for a professional journal, a novel, a cookbook, or a blog? Whatever you’re writing, you will need to make a plan. Authors only sit down, write, and produce a finished work in novels. In the real world, a written piece takes shape as the author identifies, organizes, then expands upon ideas. A work of fiction, or memoir where all the facts are already known, both require organization, transitions, and development. A novel grows from an idea, the evolution of a fictional character, and all the bits and pieces of story that get that character from page one to wherever he or she is supposed to end up.
Share! If your writing is a secret, it will probably remain secret forever. Engage someone else in the process. Share your dream with someone who will be excited about what you’re doing and will encourage you to keep at it. You’ll be surprised at how much richer your characters and story line can be when they grow with input from someone you trust.
Capture your ideas where you can see them, either in hard copy or in a computer file; don’t spend time on editing as you go. Let your thoughts flow and wait until you’ve run out of steam before you reread and refine. If you’re not a master of sentence structure and vocabulary, work on your story and leave the editing to your partner, or to a professional. If you ARE a master, you should still consider having your manuscript professionally edited. It is difficult to be dispassionate about one’s own writing; a good editor knows what readers will appreciate… and what they won’t!
Now, get that story out of your head and into reality so the rest of us can enjoy it!