Saturday, November 19, 2011


Set yourself a writing project. I remember as a child standing in a library. I was in awe at all the books lining the shelves. I always had the greatest respect and admiration for authors. Writers have this gift where they are able to entwine thousands of words together to create a story which transports the reader into another world. The reader becomes a part of this other world where they are able to see and feel what the characters see and feel. A book that is able to mesmerise and take the reader away from their real world, to me is magical. I stood there in that library all those years ago and I knew that day what I wanted to accomplish in my life. I wanted to have my books up on those shelves.

If you’re up for it your very first writing project can very well be your novel, or you can opt to take one step at a time. Prepare yourself. A writing course would be a good starting point for you to learn the basics, from grammar to story structure. Subscribing to writer’s newsletters and journals will give insight into what is happening in the writer’s world. You will be provided with information on writing tips, competitions and markets. Read writer’s blogs and visit writer’s forums. You can learn from other writers. Reading about how published writers go about the business of writing is a huge stepping stone along your journey. It’s interesting reading the processes of other writers. Process is something you experience, it is something you learn. Part of these processes will be something you use as you nurture your own writing process - eventually you will have your own process. When you feel you are prepared to venture out and create your own piece of writing decide on your writing project:

Deciding on your first writing project can be as simple as a letter to a magazine. For me knowing that the editor wanted to publish what I wrote gave me some confidence. Getting paid for it was a bonus. Sometimes the magazines may ask about your opinion or experiences on a particular topic, you could submit a letter about something humorous or thought provoking or you could simply write in to let them know what you like about their magazine.

Think of something you are particularly good at, or have some knowledge about and write about it. It could be anything from gardening or cooking tips, family budgets, travelling hot spots, to how you overcame a hurdle in life or beat an illness.

Poetry comes in many forms; from three line haikus, to rhyming to free verse. Poets are finding an audience for their work by places which provide a venue for their readings; pubs, libraries, writers groups etc. There are also competitions, literary journals and other writers’ magazines which accept submissions of poetry. Use your imagination and create music with your words!

What sort of story do you enjoy reading? Focus on creating your very own short story. You be in the driver’s seat and take the reader on a journey. It takes practise to create a concise piece of writing with a beginning, middle and end. A story with conflict and resolution that has to be achieved in a certain number of words is challenging, but it is fun too.

Once you have decided which age group to write for read as many children’s books as you can. The range is varied; from children’s picture books to young adults. Summon your inner child and let your imagination do the rest.

Writing a novel is a huge challenge, but a rewarding one. Here you have your main story and main character intertwined with stories inside your stories that bring the characters together. What genre are you particularly passionate about? This would be a good starting point for you. 

So, no matter what your writing project is, don’t think about it, JUST DO IT!


  1. I too used to stand and gaze in awe at all those books in the library (when I was allowed in there and wasn't banned of course)

    "Just do it" Excellent advice x

  2. Oh, I loved the library when growing up, and getting lost in all those stories! Great advice, Diane.

  3. Patsy - LOL
    Teresa - Mmmm curious as to why you were banned!
    Rosemary - I recently joined the library after not being a member for many years, it brought back some lovely memories.
    Thank you to you all for leaving a comment. You all got me smiling :-)

  4. Although I've always loved writing fiction, my first sales were a couple of articles I wrote as part of a writing course, and it gave me SUCH a boost. Having said that, I haven't written any since!

  5. Hello Karen - Thanks for leaving a comment. You did well getting articles published first up. It's that 'boost' you mentioned that inspires us to continue. Personally an acceptance of any kind motivates me to write and want to get published again. (I would say has that affect on all us writers.) How good is that feeling when a publisher says, 'Yes!'? The best!