How to become a writer
#1
Any of these questions you would like to discuss, I am very curious
I am a novice to the writing world, so this is my way of asking for help.
Hopefully answering some of these questions in this open space will help other aspiring writers on the site.
Thank you in advance if you take the time to respond. Cool

What do you think is important in the process of becoming a writer?
An education? What kind of degree? A degree at all? Any books?

What kind of experience do you feel is needed to write?

What kind of writing jobs have you had?
How did you get your first job?

How did you start out writing?

Can you remember the poem, story and/or film that helped you fall in love with writing?

If you have been published, what did it feel like to be published for the first time?

How do you feel an aspiring writer should go about becoming a writer?

"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" - Werner Karl Heisenber
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#2
(01-25-2013, 03:34 PM)Yelleryella123 Wrote:  What do you think is important in the process of becoming a writer?
An education? What kind of degree? A degree at all?


I studied writing at university and the most important thing I learned there is that writing is a craft that anyone can learn -- some with more aptitude than others, but it's not the mysterious muse-driven wonderment that plenty of writers will have you believe. Most of what I've learned about writing has come after uni, though. What I did learn while studying, which is invaluable, is that there is no substitute for keeping yourself well informed, reading as widely as possible and keeping an open mind.

What kind of experience do you feel is needed to write?
Every experience feeds your writing. The more you do and the more you pay attention to the world, the more you'll be able to draw on in your writing.


What kind of writing jobs have you had?
How did you get your first job?


I've written feature articles, scientific research papers, political speeches, policy and procedure manuals, business proposals... a fair bit I suppose! I've also worked as an editor for all kinds of writing -- mainly poetry, but plenty of different prose genres as well.

How did you start out writing?

It just seemed like a good idea at the time Smile

Can you remember the poem, story and/or film that helped you fall in love with writing?


Nothing specific, but my dad and I used to put a book of Banjo Paterson poems in front of the sink when we did the dishes and take turns in reciting a stanza each -- the meter sunk in and I never got rid of it!

If you have been published, what does it feel like to be published for the first time?

Temporarily terrific... and then you realise how little the world in general really seems to care. It does make you incredibly grateful to those people who take the time to let you know they've read and appreciated what you've written though.

How do you feel an aspiring writer should go about becoming a writer?

At the risk of quoting some slave labour-mongers... "just do it"! But be prepared to do a lot of work. It doesn't just happen and it can break your heart. Write, edit, revise, edit, revise, rewrite, drink, write some more. And always, always keep in mind that no matter how much you think you're writing for yourself, you must be aware of your audience and treat them with respect.
It could be worse
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#3
If that isn't great advice, I don't know what is. Thank you Leanne SmileBig Grin
"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" - Werner Karl Heisenber
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#4
Well, I'll give it a go.

(01-25-2013, 03:34 PM)Yelleryella123 Wrote:  Any of these questions you would like to discuss, I am very curious
I am a novice to the writing world, so this is my way of asking for help.
Hopefully answering some of these questions in this open space will help other aspiring writers on the site.
Thank you in advance if you take the time to respond. Cool

What do you think is important in the process of becoming a writer?
An education? What kind of degree? A degree at all? Any books?

For me, reading the types of work you want to write is one of the most important factors. Read for enjoyment and the feel of the language, and then read critically to determine how the writer executed the way they did. It's much easier to pick up technique from simply reading than from a classroom. After that, persistence is large factor. In some way, write everyday. I know it sounds basic but to master anything requires a great deal of practice, and you can't cram for it. I find that my poetry helps my fiction and my fiction helps my non-fiction. As far as degrees go, I think they're optional. They are good way to network with other writers, editors, and publishers. Not only those who hold the jobs now, but those who will one day hold those jobs. I always flirt with the idea of going back and getting one of those degrees, but it would mostly be for the fun of it all and the networking. I think whatever degrees you get or jobs you hold give you experience for writing. Everything shapes your perspective. One degree isn't more valuable than another. They aren't necessarily needed either. It's more about being aware of the life you live and just continuing to bring that authenticity into your practice of writing. Books: I've read some technique oriented books that have been helpful, and we could get into that more, but I'm more inclined to recommend reading great examples of the type of writing you want to do.

What kind of experience do you feel is needed to write?

Any experience as long as you actively pay attention to it can be fuel for writing.

What kind of writing jobs have you had?

None that are specifically writing jobs. Though I've been able to use my writing in all of them. It goes into my proposals, corporate newsletters, presentations. I've become one of the default editors in any company I've been in. I've restructured websites...all those kinds of things. My jobs have largely called something else, but writing is a versatile skill. In my day job, writing is mostly persuasive and non-fiction.

I've done some work on literary journals behind the scenes but it wasn't paid work.


How did you get your first job?

Not really applicable since it wasn't a "writing" job, but I suspect it has a some connection. I networked. I've gotten nearly every job by staying in contact with people, being active in different groups, and staying known. It's the same in most walks of life. People create a position and think we'd like someone like...[you] then they simply ask you.

How did you start out writing?

I was crappy roommate house, full of drug addicts, unplanned pregnancies, drama, drama, drama. One roommate was a writer (poet, plays, fiction). He asked me to give an opinion on one of his poems. It was so different that what I considered poetry from school. I decided to try writing one (it was awful but fun). I started reading more poetry, and writing poem after poem as a way to deal with the conflict of the house. I started submitting my work. It started being published. It started getting better. I read more. I transitioned to fiction. Since that time, its just something I've always done.

Can you remember the poem, story and/or film that helped you fall in love with writing?

Two poems: Sex Without Love by Sharon Olds and dreamlessly by Charles Bukowski. They just helped me see poetry in a different light.

If you have been published, what did it feel like to be published for the first time?

The first few things I sent got published. It felt great but it didn't prepare me for the level of rejection that would come. It did feel like a validation, and it was cool knowing that somewhere even if in a small way you were being read by someone.

How do you feel an aspiring writer should go about becoming a writer?

Commit to start writing and do it every day--that's really it
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#5
I don't have any good advice. But writing is important to me, so I'll write anyway.


What do you think is important in the process of becoming a writer?
An education? What kind of degree? A degree at all? Any books?

Read whatever you want, or need. If you're smart and sensitive, and you don't die too soon, then everything is going to educate you.





What kind of experience do you feel is needed to write?

Whatever you're willing to write about.


What kind of writing jobs have you had?

None. I was a wrestler. I was putting books on the shelf in bookstores. But mostly things that aren't practical for earning a living.

How did you get your first job?

I've never had a job with writing. The first thing I did when I was 17 was start wrestling, because I was good at beating the shit out of people, and letting them beat the shit out of me. But when I started to have problems with perception, I became too reckless, and simply started hurting people too bad. So I went on to something else.






How did you start out writing?


We had adventures in the woods, and throughout the countryside. We would all draw maps; and we heard noises and saw strange things. I would concentrate on those things, and draw pictures of them, and as I got older, I started to write about them. So we could convince ourselves that we saw them, and heard them. And they became real to us. That's the way myths and legends come to life. And I wrote long journals and books about these worlds we created.



Can you remember the poem, story and/or film that helped you fall in love with writing?

Like with all love, it started through feelings of desperation. Though horror and fantasy movies would set the tone for how we reacted to our atmosphere and environment. Like when you come out of a zombie movie around midnight, and walk over to the mall parking lot, or the WalMart parking lot: and it's not hard to imagine zombies staggering under those streetlights.



If you have been published, what did it feel like to be published for the first time?


I published one book. Then I was hated by my family for it. Then I self-published some things. And then have only had essays published online by some people I don't know: mostly religious stuff, or comedy stuff.


How do you feel an aspiring writer should go about becoming a writer?

Write whenever you what, whatever you want. If people hate it, it's just another experience, and another thing that will force you to learn more. Just keep learning and failing and succeeding and writing. The only sure way to fail completely is to quit. Whether you fail or succeed in the end, there's far worse things you could be doing with your life. Just look around.
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#6
What do you think is important in the process of becoming a writer?
An education? What kind of degree? A degree at all? Any books?


the writers’ and artists’ yearbook 2013 is a useful book, I suppose.
I have always thought a degree in English philology would be useful (I may even go back to university this year to study just that) – however, degrees and such in writing obviously help, if only to save time. But there are always exceptions, and possibly many exceptions (music, for example, would be a case where the number of exceptions negate the rule (or the exception becomes the rule, or what ever…)

What kind of experience do you feel is needed to write?

I suspect, as much as you can get.

What kind of writing jobs have you had?
How did you get your first job?


I haven’t had a writing ‘job’ as it were. That is, I have never ‘worked’ as a writer. However, I do occasionally write for philosophical journals, books and magazines. And how? Well, the first thing I wrote for a philosophy book I was actually approached. Someone was writing a book on teaching philosophy and I was asked to write an introduction (possibly for want of alternatives). Anyhow, sometimes it’s not what you know but… [oh dear, sorry]

How did you start out writing?

with a pen and paper [ba-dum]…

Can you remember the poem, story and/or film that helped you fall in love with writing?

I think I was about 12 or 13 maybe younger, I watched a film called ‘the fly’ (not the original, the other one with jeff goldblum) anyhow, I remember the word synthetic was used and for some strange unknow reason I just thought, ‘oh that’s a good word, how can I use it?’ so I wrote my first poem… (oh my, I think I can just about remember the first lines… something like… no no, too embarrassing.)
anyhow, I went out and bought a book of Dylan Thomas poems and came to ‘altarwise by owl-light’, and thought, ‘fuck, I want to do that’ (his poems are like these physical things, these fat, thick, heavy things [much like Bacons paintings are in art]…)


If you have been published, what did it feel like to be published for the first time?


the first time was a poem I wrote, I was about 16 or 17. I was really happy. I mean, really it gives you this little rush. Unfortunately when I actually received the finished book I was in bad shape, so it wasn’t the big moment I had hoped for.


How do you feel an aspiring writer should go about becoming a writer?

Keep writing, get good. I don’t know.
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#7
To add to what everyone else has said, I'd say read very often. It'll help you get an ear for words and a head for story.
Won't be seeing you through the field of tears I left behind
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#8
(01-25-2013, 03:34 PM)Yelleryella123 Wrote:  
What do you think is important in the process of becoming a writer?
An education? What kind of degree? A degree at all? Any books?

What kind of experience do you feel is needed to write?


Well, a decent command in the language you're writing in is definitely important. The rest will be from experience and the books you read. The more you read, and the more you write, the better you get. What's important, however, is introspection in my opinion. There's no point reading and writing blindly. Thinking over the things you read and write is important as well. Any sort of life experiences and thoughts you have will help you write as well. So, well, you need life experience to write.


What kind of writing jobs have you had?
How did you get your first job?


I have no writing jobs. Unless you consider doing people's homework for money as a job. It's easy money, so I did it.

How did you start out writing?

I have always been an avid reader. So, it was only a matter of time before I developed the desire to create. It happened when I was 14. Like any healthy teenage boys, I was enamoured by the idea of sex. So I read up a lot about it, visited forums and even read a few romance novels (I hardly ever touch those). Then, I wrote a bunch of erotic short stories. That's how I started. Probably not a good idea to admit that here though.

Can you remember the poem, story and/or film that helped you fall in love with writing?

Well, with writing, it's this poem I scribbled on a wall in school when I was 17. I was feeling really depressed for reasons too personal to state here, so I sat in my secret corner. I just needed to express myself somehow, so I took out a pencil, and started writing a poem. I wrote quite a lot even before that moment, but the feeling I got from writing that poem, the feeling of being able to express myself properly for once, trapped me forever. From then on, writing became an integral part of me.

If you have been published, what did it feel like to be published for the first time?

Never published, but I really wish to though. Like, REALLY REALLY wish to.

How do you feel an aspiring writer should go about becoming a writer?

With passion and conviction. Passion because without love for the craft one can never do it for long. Conviction because it's not an easy path from what I can tell. Never give up is the mantra. Humility is also important, because harsh and honest criticism is the fastest way to improve.
Back!
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#9
(01-25-2013, 03:34 PM)Yelleryella123 Wrote:  Any of these questions you would like to discuss, I am very curious
I am a novice to the writing world, so this is my way of asking for help.
Hopefully answering some of these questions in this open space will help other aspiring writers on the site.
Thank you in advance if you take the time to respond. Cool
Quote:What do you think is important in the process of becoming a writer?
An education? What kind of degree? A degree at all? Any books?
the ability to put experiences and imagination into words, with poetry the ability to do the same in a more profound, funny, brief, or satirical way, using a choice of poetic devices that poets use.

Quote:What kind of experience do you feel is needed to write?
you don't need them but all experiences help, so as many as possible.

Quote:What kind of writing jobs have you had?
How did you get your first job?
none, i'm a shite writer Big Grin

Quote:How did you start out writing?
when i was very young, i lived on the streets, seldom if ever went to school. taught myself to read and write from newspapers and old books, i just loved that words could take me places nothing else could, i remember reading jules verne's 20, 000 leagues and after crying with excitement.

Quote:Can you remember the poem, story and/or film that helped you fall in love with writing?
i never fell in love with writing as much as i fell in love with words. for me they were a tool to survive. besides jules verne, i loved the daily mirror and any atlas i could read.

Quote:If you have been published, what did it feel like to be published for the first time?
twice in a mag but the mag was shite and so was the two poems that got published. i felt good for all of two minutes. then i read some of the other poems that were in the mag and they were shittier than mine Big Grin (it wasn't what you'd call an elite mag, though ron silliman had a couple published in it )

Quote:How do you feel an aspiring writer should go about becoming a writer?
write a lot, read a lot more than you write but read with a critical eye. join a forum like this and take heed of the good feedback while discarding the silly or bad feedback.
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#10
I love love love how everyone has their own story, their own take on writing and their own unique connection and relationship with the craft.
When I started this thread I didn't anticipate how much I would enjoy reading the responses! Thank you so much!




(Billy, I don't think you are a shit writer)
"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" - Werner Karl Heisenber
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#11
i suppose i'm round the average mark but i'm okay about it, i live vicariously through experienced and not so experienced poets that dwell in our site Smile (thanks xx)
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