So, you want to be an author, Part I

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Knowing it’s what you want to be is a good first step, but ask yourself, what does an author DO? That’s right…they write. A LOT. Writing is something that gets better the more you practice, so get busy.

Now, what are you going to write? If you have a journal or diary, that’s a good starting place. You can go on many sites and Facebook pages for writing prompts, and those are good as well. Write, write and then write some more. Correct errors as they arise, but the important thing is to just WRITE.

After you’ve been writing a bit, have someone read your writing. Yes, this part is intimidating. What if they don’t like it? But how are you going to become an author if no one is allowed to read it? Don’t let them tear your writing apart or judge you. You’re still new; your writing won’t be a work of art.

Ask  your reader one question. What are the 3-5 major errors I make?. Everyone makes them. James Patterson and Stephen King make errors, but, you see, writers, particularly new writers, tend to make the same errors… over and over. Maybe it’s thinking “a lot” is “alot”, or you’ve got this “thing” for commas and use many incorrectly.

Once those errors are pointed out, keep writing, but now watch for those errors. Wait until you’re done writing for the day and read through your writing specifically for those errors. Correcting common errors will do two things: you’ll pay less proofreader bills when the time comes, and you’ll end up feeling better about yourself. Maybe not instantly, but when you’re no longer making them constantly, you can give yourself a major pat on the back.

What if you have one or two words, even if they are “simple” words, that you spell wrong over and over? This is what I suggest: write the word over and over, correctly, until it starts feeling right. You’ve programmed your head to spell it wrong and now you’re changing the programming. It may take a while, but you can do it!

The ideas expressed here are strictly my ideas. You’ll find lots of people with other ideas for sure. The next entry will be on beginning the process of book writing itself.