5 Steps to Writer Success: Monday, May 25th

Here is my interpretation of the 5 crucial steps to becoming a writer.

All writers go through stages, (all artists, not just writers). In the beginning you suck, in the end you’re a pro; in between, a bunch of mysterious stuff happens.

The encouraging part is that everybody starts at the sucky beginning. You and I start at the beginning. Stephen King started at the beginning. Dean Koontz did too. J.K. Rowling sucked real bad in the beginning. J.R.R. Tolkien? – he was terrible.

The perhaps not so encouraging part is that few artists ever get past that beginning phase. The process is never easy and it’s never predictable. The beginning is too frought with insecurity and fear.

One of my favorite podcasters, James Altucher, says that Love + Persistance = Abundance. By which he means that if you love what you do, and you do it every day for a really, really, long time, then you’re bound to stumble into some happiness along the way.

Anyway, here’s my poor man’s version of the 5 steps needed to become a successful writer:

  1. Write shit.
  2. Write coherent shit.
  3. Beta Readers transform your scribblings into stories.
  4. Editors transform your stories into packable products.
  5. Experts repeat steps 1 – 4 for 10 or 15 years, or until the process becomes second nature. At some point you’ll have paved the golden road that leads from “Idea” to “Finished Product”, and you’ll be able to travel freely up and down that road, just as prettily as you like.

Each of the five steps is incredibly difficult to achieve.  And, like on the richter scale, a number 2 is exponentially higher than a number 1. The path to becoming a successful writer is not easy, but it has been done before. Actually it’s been done a thousand times over by artists all throughout the history of the world. And those artist back then didn’t have the option of self-publishing their stuff on the internet. You and I have an incredible advantage. If we’ve got the time and we’re feeling frisky, why can’t we make a go of it?

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