So, you want to be a writer, but where do you begin? Maybe you don’t know any writers. Maybe people have told you it’s too hard to succeed in this field, or maybe they’re supportive. Whatever is true for you, the tips below can help you make the most of the next few years and develop your skills.
Read as much as you can. Vary your reading menu. If there’s a particular genre you love, by all means, read extensively in it, but read outside of it as well. Read things you think you won’t like. Read difficult classics and easy beach books. When you dislike a book, think about why. What would you have done differently? When you love something, think about why that worked as well. Try to apply what you learn to your own work.
There is no single course of study or college an aspiring creative writer must consider to become successful. You don’t need to study English or journalism although you can if you want to. You don’t need to get an M.F.A. Study something that you are interested in or something that will help you earn money since money from writing can be hard to come by. The only real “don’t” is that you might not want to embark on a career that will consume a huge amount of your time, such as being a corporate attorney or a doctor.
Of course, there are attorneys and doctors who have become successful writers, and you can too, but be aware that at least in the early days of building your career, writing will have to go on the back burner. If paying for school is a concern, remember that you can cover all college expenses with a combination of loans, grants and scholarships. In addition to or instead of federal aid, you can also take out a student loan from a private lender even if you don’t have a cosigner. You can find out more about repayment terms and your eligibility online.
Dealing With Criticism
Above all, if you want to be a writer, just do it. Write as much and as often as you can: stories, poems, articles or whatever appeals to you. The trick is that you can keep it to yourself for a while, but at some point, you will need to put it out in front of people and see what kind of feedback you get. Take a creative writing class when you are in high school or college. This will be a good opportunity for you to learn how to cope with criticism. It can feel very personal, so you need to learn to separate yourself from this feedback.
It is also a good way to start learning how to respond to criticism in terms of improving your work. There’s a happy medium somewhere between “my work is perfect” and “everything negative that people have said about it is right.” Sometimes, your classmates and even your teacher will be wrong. How to learn to tell the difference? Just keep working and getting feedback, and start submitting your work for publication. This will help you get a sense of how to judge your own work and the feedback you are given.