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:
LETTERS TO MAGAZINES
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.
POETRYPoetry 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!
SHORT STORIESWhat 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.
WRITING FOR CHILDRENOnce 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.
NOVELWriting 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!