We’re a month into 2024, and how is the year going for you so far? Are you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? Have you been following Dry January or Veganuary?
Well, how about embarking on a different sort of quest for 2024, one that will give you a year-long (maybe even lifelong) interest, exercise your brain, and help you use your imagination.
Why not make 2024 the year that you become an author?
It is said that we all have a book inside us, so perhaps now is the time to get cracking on yours. To help you, here is our guide to getting going.
- Discover your passion
Before diving into the world of writing, take some time to work out what really interests you and floats your boat. For example, you may be a sci-fi lover or an historical fiction enthusiast. Finding your niche will make the writing process more enjoyable and authentic.
- Be well read
Reading is fundamental to honing your writing skills. We don’t mean just reading the story, we mean reading and observing the craft of writing. Explore various genres and styles to understand different writing techniques and ways a story can unfold. Make notes of what engages you as a writer, and think about how you can incorporate these elements into your own work.
- Practice makes perfect
Writing is a craft that improves with practice. Set aside dedicated time each day to write, whether it’s a diary entry, short story, or a chapter of your novel. Join writing workshops or consider enrolling in a creative writing course. This way, you will not only receive constructive feedback, you will also learn from experienced authors.
- Be disciplined
Establishing a consistent writing routine is essential for making progress. Set realistic goals, such as a word count or a specific amount of time dedicated to writing each day. This routine will keep you focused and help you maintain momentum throughout the writing process.
- Be grammar aware
Develop a solid foundation to your writing by understanding the basics of grammar, punctuation, and storytelling. Why not buy a grammar textbook? It will be a sound investment and will not only enhance the quality of your writing but also make the editing process smoother.
- Remember to edit
Whether you edit as you go along, or you prefer to go back at the end of a writing session and edit, it is essential to look over your work, so you can refine and polish it. Think about seeking feedback from readers, writing groups, or professional editors to gain valuable insights and improve your text.
- Get online
Writing a book is one thing, getting it into print and selling copies is another. Start building a following online, or even create a blog to showcase your writing and share your writing journey. Use social media platforms to engage with the writing community, share writing tips, and promote your work. In this way, you will get ahead by connecting with potential readers.
- Build a network
Connect with other writers, attend literary events, and engage in online writing communities. Building a network not only provides support and camaraderie, but can also open doors to valuable opportunities, such as collaboration, mentorship, and potential publishing connections.
- Stay strong!
The journey to becoming an author is a challenging and, sometimes, lonely one. Stay resilient, learn from setbacks, and keep refining your craft. Celebrate small victories, and remember that many successful authors faced numerous obstacles before achieving success.
We hope we have inspired you to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and begin your journey as an author. Whether or not you end up as the next Tolkien doesn’t matter. If you can pen even one short story, that is an achievement to be proud of.
And do remember, if you create a children’s story and need some wonderful illustrations to complement it, you can contact the team here at Happydesigner, and we’ll be very happy to help.
So, get writing, and good luck!
Written by Jo Smyth (www.wordworker.co.uk)