Tips on Becoming a Successful Writer
by Alvina Lopez
At an early age, I knew I wanted to be a writer. While other kids in school spoke of studying to become doctors, teachers, and policemen, I somehow knew my life would be enveloped in writing. For years, I had watched my mother dream up the plots behind her romance novels from the comfort of our home, and even when she struggled to finish the ending to one of her many novels, she always seemed blissfully content with her profession. I couldn’t help but admire and want to replicate her many writing talents. Later on when I began my writing career, however, I grew envious of my mother’s success. What came so easy to her was a struggle for me.
Unlike her, I had my difficulties breaking into the writing field. She had entered into it rather early in her life, but I struggled to get most anything published, even after five years in the field. I’ll admit, I was rather headstrong about my work, so I hardly ever took anyone else’s advice; looking back, I realize I should have accepted help when it came my way. Nowadays, I’ve grown less intolerable and embrace sage wisdom when it is offered. Furthermore, I know that as the writing field continues to evolve and expand, it is becoming harder and harder to get work published. For those of you who are looking to become a successful writer, here are three useful tips in getting your work published and sold in today’s world.
Find a Mentor
Early on in my career, I tracked down a mentor to help me in editing and revising my work. At first, I felt embarrassed to ask them to help me along, but in the end they turned out to be a wonderful mentor in my career. If you are looking for a mentor, sit down and think of authors that are close to where you live, and once you choose one, you’ll open your career to a world of opportunity. Not only does your mentor come with years of experience and advice under his or her belt, they also have connections in the industry. I personally got to help my mentor edit three of her books and meet her publishers, who eventually took an interest in my work. Keep in mind, it never hurts to have someone read over your work and give you some professional advice, and published authors are the perfect mentors to dish out some useful advice!
Many successful writers try to differentiate themselves from journalists, but I believe that is a little absurd. Journalists are actively writing all the time, and even though it may not be the type of work writers want to engage in all the time, there is no reason to pass up journalistic stories. Writing news or feature stories will keep your writing wheels in motion, which not only helps build up your creativity, it also looks great on your resume. Try and seek out media outlets in your area and see how you can be of service to them; not only will you make money at it, you’ll also get published regularly. Sure, it isn’t ideal for every writer, but it’ll build up your portfolio and that helps in pitching to publishing companies.
Join a Writing Group
When I took my first real-world job, I had to move across the country. Not only was I terrified at the prospect of living in an unfamiliar city, I was also wondering how I would initiate myself into the writing community. It wasn’t until I moved to the area that I learned about the blessings of local writing groups. Through a friend, I joined a community group that met once a week to go through writing exercises and editing sessions. Not only did I meet people who helped me improve my writing, I also met people who helped me get my work published. It may be intimidating to enter into a writing group at first, but doing so will aid you in ways you can’t even imagine.
Though it can be frustrating at times, the writing profession is a fulfilling endeavor – if you make the most of it. For those of you who are looking to further your career as a writer, utilize one or all of these tips.
Author Bio: A freelance writer and blogging extraordinaire for seven years, Alvina Lopez now mainly contributes her expertise about online colleges to accreditedonlinecolleges.com. Her ultimate goal is to help future students discover their potential by enrolling in the right program for them. She also writes about trends in education, personal finance, and sustainable living. She loves getting feedback from her readers at email@example.com.
author, speaker, freelance writer
founder of Write On! Books and Write On! For Literacy