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sachaelisekimber
12-04-2004, 03:37 AM
I finally decided that no matter what I am going to be a writer. Over the last ten years, I have been toying with the idea, but NOW is the time.

I have been working hard to educate myself on what it will take to be a writer. I have read Stephen King's book on writing fiction "The Craft of Writing". I have almost finished, down to the last chapter, Jenna Glatzer's book "Make a Real Living". Under the comments about Jenna's book, others say that they have no excuses to write now. But I feel that the complete opposite. Not so much about the excuses, but that I am not much better equipped. Yes, I have learned a lot freelancing and a lot about myself. Still I am stuck and I don't know what to do first. I need some direction. Some to help me identify what to do first, and to identify which project is the most important project to complete.

I don't think I will need much once I lay my cards down on the table. I am a very capable, and motivated person.

Thank you so much for letting me vent.

Sincerely,
Cherith Schmitt (aka Sacha Kimber)

maestrowork
12-04-2004, 04:35 AM
I'd say first decide what kind of writer you want to be, say, in 3 years, 5 years? Write for magazines? Non-fiction? Fiction? Short stories? What kind of fiction? You don't have to have all the answers now, but just some idea of what direction you'd like to take.

Second, start writing. Get a blog and get into the habit of putting words down. Don't get all bogged down by trying to "choose" a project. Just get down and dirty, roll up your sleeves and write.

Gather your ideas together. If you're the kind of person who likes to get organized, make some files, and start putting ideas together in the files. Magazine article ideas? Non-fiction book ideas? Fiction ideas?

After you've done that a bit, you may start to take baby steps. Pick something that is true and close to your heart, something small, and write. It could be a short story or an essay. It doesn't matter. The most important thing is to finish writing it. Write "THE END." Then revise it. Follow the process that someone like Stephe King has laid out for you. Do the whole thing. Get one piece finished and polished to submission-worthy quality.

Join a crit or writers group. That would help you motivated on a regular basis.

sachaelisekimber
12-07-2004, 02:14 AM
Thank you for your feedback. I had already decided that I was going to get down to business and write. I think I always get caught in the market first then write or write first then market dilemma. From everything I have read, I know I need to do both. I just don't know how to balance it. I also need to keep reading and researching to learn more about writing. But my biggest challenge is TIME. Yes I have also heard that this is every writers biggest challenge. But I want to quit my day job and write full-time, but I have to have money coming from my writing to do that. So for now I am limited to 2-3 hours per day.

Long term goals are a bit more difficult to say. I know that I have enough small projects listed out in my notebook to keep me busy for at least 6 months and probably closer to a year. I have not narrowed down my interests, because I just want to write. I guess I am waiting to see where I can be successful. I would like to write some books, but those are big projects and I need to start small to keep my focus and to cope with the time shortage issues.

I would appreciate any other suggestions you have and I will look into joining a writers group.

"The only way to succeed is to never quit believing." ~sacha kimber

Mangler
12-09-2004, 05:41 AM
Try writing competitions. There are lots of them, and they often dictate length or theme, etc. (Be careful not to get scammed, though)

Writing to set limits is a useful exercise and will enable you to discover your own strengths and weaknesses.

I think the best chance to earn a living (setting aside the minority of coining-it-big fiction writers like Rowling for the moment) from writing is going to be non-fiction rather than fiction, which is probably going to mean writing about subjects that don't necessarily interest you, but which you will need to make interesting for your readers. Competitions may give you opportunities to practise -- and who knows, you might win!

Terra Aeterna
12-09-2004, 08:37 AM
Here's my suggestion:

Go through your notebook full of ideas and write the one that you feel the most exicted and motivated about. Write the one that is most interesting to you. Don't worry for now about where you're going to sell it or who else is going to write it. Just write it the best you can, for the joy of writing it.