Monday, January 2, 2012

So ya wanna be a writer?

You think you want to be a writer?

Join the crowd.

You’ve got stories in your head.

How are others going to hear them if you leave them there?

You’re so busy.

Yep. We all are.

You don’t know where to start.

Start here. Start now

Start with a pen and paper or a computer keyboard. Then get those stories out of your head and onto the page.

Don’t think you have time?

Make time. Get up early or stay up late. Turn off the darned television. Keep a pen and paper with you so you can write when you’re waiting for a train or for a kid to get done with soccer practice or on your lunch hour.

Make writing a priority.

There’s only one way to become a writer – and that’s to write.

Watch for wisdom

In future blog posts, I’ll share words of wisdom from other writers, links to videos that have inspired me or given me direction, tell you about books for, by and about writers. Each and every book or magazine that I have read on writing has given me some morsel that has helped me on my journey.

But above all other things, the one thing that helped me the most was reading. I started early and never quit. As I read, I absorbed sentence structure, grammar and punctuation, phrasing and rhythm.

Read, read, read, read, read

So, if you’re not reading now, or you don’t read often, start. Start today.

  • Read newspapers – in print or online.
  • Spend the time in a waiting room reading magazines you normally don’t read, not playing Angry Birds on your smartphone.
  • Visit your library. You know, that place with all the rows and rows of books.
  • Get an ebook reader. You’d be surprised the number of volumes that are available free of charge, and you can download new releases for a fee on the day they hit the market.
  • If you’ve got kids or elderly family members in your home or nearby, read to them. It will expose you to things you wouldn’t read otherwise. Sharing their interests will not only broaden your horizon and theirs. It will also expose you to new material, new ideas, new writing styles.
Write often, write lots

But most of all, more than anything, to be a writer, you must write. You must write often. You must write lots.

Ray Bradbury says to write a thousand words a day -- and he practiced what he preached.

Do the same and you’re on the right path.

Don’t put a pen to paper and you’ve got only yourself to blame when ten years from now or twenty or thirty, you’re still saying to yourself, “I wanna be a writer.”

© Ann Tracy Mueller 2012

(Image via)


  1. Love the read read read, been doing lots of that. Love exploring & reading stuff I normally wouldn't. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Great post! You're so right about the reading bit. I've focused so much on "how to write" books that I hardly read for pleasure anymore! I'll have to remedy that:)