On Being a Writer

I recently spoke to a group of aspiring writers about the strange and wonderful calling – to write. But in order to write, one has to be a writer. The obvious question that follows, is how does one do that?

So, if you’ll queue the Baz Luhrmann- style beats, here are my thoughts on being a writer.

  1. Voice: Your author voice as a writer is your most precious commodity. It is the one thing that distinguishes you from other writers. Find it. Nurture and protect it. Stretch yourself until your voice is strong and confident.
  2. Write the best work you possibly can. This may sound obvious, but so many writers think they can take the easy way out. Learn the craft of writing. Listen to feedback on your work. Write, rewrite, edit and polish.
  3. Empower yourself. Take responsibility for your own career. Learn how the business works. Learn how to query and write synopses. Network. No one else is going to do this for you.
  4. Don’t be a dick. Be positive. Be professional. No one wants to work with a drama queen or an idiot. Treat your writing as you would any professional career.
  5. And never, ever give up. The one thing that differentiates a published author from an unpublished one is persistence. Keep going. It really is true that the harder one works, the luckier you become.

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