You want to write a book, but you’re not quite sure you have the skills or what you say would be of interest to people. What should you do? Below are some suggestions to help that aspiring writer in you take shape and write the book within you:
- Join a writer’s club.There are many local writing clubs. Find one in your city or near you that suits your needs. I used to belong to a group of aspiring authors and a published author guided the group. We met every other week. She provided different types of writing assignments each time we met whether it was a poem, research for our proposed book, or a creative writing assignment. Then, the next time we met we shared our “homework” and the group critiqued our work. Talk about intimidating and putting yourself out there! But, we learned from each other!
- Subscribe to online or hard-copy author subscriptions, i.e., Writer’s Digest. This is one example of a journal which you can receive online or via mail. Writer’s Digest publishes the magazine six times a year. It is chockfull of information on how you can improve your writing skills, how you can enter writing contests, where you can find writing retreats, which tools help writers, and much more.
- Start your own writing blog. Peter and I are starting a new creative writing blog – “AteCourseMeal.com” which will be “live” soon. We are doing it for a few reasons. We have a group of friends who eat out weekly on Friday nights (Fab Friday) and we unwind from the week, catch up with friends, and eat at “out-of-the-way places.” No chain restaurants. We are highlighting what’s great about the mom-and-pop restaurants around town and during our travels, and we are sending the restaurants some publicity. We’re also going to publish our homemade recipes and more. Stay tuned! But the idea is we love cooking and critiquing food, we enjoy eating out and during the course of writing the blog, we’ll improve our writing skills and what better way than by writing about something we are passionate about. We chose food. What are you passionate about: cooking, sports, gardening, music, etc. – whatever comes to mind. The main thing is to write often. Two options for free blogs are WordPress or Weebly.
- Improve your vocabulary, spelling, and grammar. Having a broad vocabulary means you don’t need to use the same words over and over; you have language depth and that makes the story interesting. Spelling and grammar – so many people believe because you have spelling and grammar check on your computer that you are “safe” from mistakes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. One example is homonyms. Homonyms such as their, they’re, and there are so often mistaken and misspelled – they don’t mean the same thing and when written incorrectly in writing it changes the entire meaning of a sentence. Knowing how to spell properly is essential if you want to become an outstanding writer. Excellent grammar is another must for writing; if you don’t understand sentence structure the material will be so difficult for your readers to comprehend you’ll lose them very early in the story. An excellent source for a grammar tune up is www.grammargirl.com.
- Grab the attention of your readers. Express your excitement and passion in as few words as possible to excite your audience and secure their attention. Let their mind see the story you are telling them.
Which tip did you identify with the most? Which one are you going to make a commitment to starting so you can begin the path to write your book or article? Let Pete and me know and we’ll be happy to help you start the process.
Until next time,