So You Wanna be a Writer
Art vs. Career
It is an unarguable fact that writing is an art; thus every good artist longs for and is willing to fight for the right to display his art, however he or she so chooses. Every writer has a unique style in which he displays his craft. Every writer has a special place where she feels the “Muse” more than anywhere else. There is also in the heart of every writer a story just waiting to spring forth in print. The true artist is not confined by time or space; he is the most powerful creature in the universe. Because with her pen she can kill, and she can make alive, he can make the richest of men the lowest pauper, and vice versa. The ugly duckling becomes the most beautiful swan, and the proud and handsome prince is brought down to a lowly toad. Yes, there is power in the pen, and how dare anyone try and stop it!
While each artist may experience these noble feelings, that facts are, for the most part, they just aren’t practical here in the real world. Because, whether or not he or she will admit it, the true artist longs to be recognized for his or her work. That is one of the things that make writing forums such as Hubpages so popular. More often than not, when an artist does receive the much desired recognition, it makes them want more. Then it isn’t long before the idea hits him that he is good enough to get paid for his work. The problem is that most artist don’t realize it take more than just raw talent to sell a story.
All that romance and ideology is great when a person is discovering his or her talent. However, when a person understands that he is a writer, then she must decide what he is going to do with their writing. Writing as a career is far more challenging, than just writing as way to get your feelings out or impress your friends.
Writing as a career, requires dealing with deadlines, subjecting your work to the public, and most of all being responsible for what you write. We will start out by looking at the different stages of writing.
The different stages of writing
The discovery stage is the first stage of writing, and usually occurs when the artist is very young. It can also be brought about by a spectacular or catastrophic event. Some artist begin making up stories as children and carrying them with them through adulthood. Many writers begin their writing journeys by being great story tellers, L Frank Baum who wrote the Wizard of Oz series created that story by first telling it as a bedtime story to his sick niece.
Some writers win great victories and want to share their experience with the world so they put them in print. A few examples of this are Athletes, Performers, and politicians. Former vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin recently released her autobiography which she wrote.
There are others who discover their writing talents through personal tragedies, or hardships that they have been forced to endure. A wonderful example of this would be the diary of Anne Frank, or the book the “Hiding Place” by Cory Ten Boom.
However, you come to discover your ability to write, once you have it nourish it, and cherish it, because it is truly a priceless treasure. I would like to add here that when the discovery is made it is important to understand that this is the beginning of your writing journey and not the end.
When you discover that you can write, just write. Don’t worry about your form, grammar, or spelling; put away the thesaurus and the dictionary and just write. Then when you have a rough draft of your story, then you can refine it. Practice writing your rough drafts on regular notebook paper in pencil at first. If you type or use the word processor, there is a chance that it will look too perfect, and you won’t want to change it, use the “wood processor and then the word processor.”
It is very common for young people to use writing as a way to cope with life or a particular phase in their life. This is often seen in poetry and / or music, some writers keep a diary or a journal that they write in(recommended, especially for young writers, no matter your age). Most of this is themed writing such as, dating, or relationship, jobs, depression, or sadness; just to name a few. People in the therapeutic stage of writing usually are not successful in writing sellable works. This because they are writing for them and have not yet learned how to write for an audience.
Therapeutic writing stage is almost always followed by the acceptance stage. The acceptance stage is when the writer has come out of their cocoon and has decided to share his or her work with the world. It is at this point when they ask that all important question, “Am I good enough?” This is a very fragile time in a writer’s life, because they have submitted their work to the audience, to the world, to see if they will accept it. Hence we dub this stage the “Acceptance” stage.
Usually the first recipient of the new writers “masterpiece" is their family. He or she proudly reads or tells the story to parents or spouse, hoping to get a good response. This is not always the case and it can cause young writers great sorrow and some to never write again.
The Acceptance stage is one of the things that make writing forums such as Hubpages great. There are thousands of people who are writers and would love to read and even critique a new writer’s work. Another plus here is that you have writers in every stage of their writing career or hobby, (as the case may be). So by reading profiles and reading the authors work, one can quickly choose whom they want to critique their work.
The “Confirmed Artist” is the fourth and final stage in the life of a writer. This is a person who has not only worked hard to hone his or her skills but has gotten the drawer full of rejection slips and had their ego crushed by merciless critiques, reviews, and comments. Yet through it all the artist is both confident and comfortable that they are indeed a talented writer, and it is not if they write that best seller but when. This is a person who has stopped looking outward for acceptance and / or permission and has looked within. What they found by looking within was the facts, I have been blessed with a God given talent, and I am willing to pay my dues and do whatever’s necessary to use and perfect it.
Part 2, Writing for fun or profit
Coming soon we explore the difference between writing for fun and writing as a career