How to Become a Writer

April 15, 2010 — 3 Comments

First, do not try to be something, anything, else.

A writer is the only thing you are allowed to try to be during this time.

To become is to come into being, and that is what you will do: come into being a writer.

This is not about how to become an author
or a published writer
or a better writer
or a well-paid one.

It’s certainly not about how to become a writer extraordinaire
a freelance writer
TV comedy writer
or a famous writer before you’re dead
or magazine writer
travel writer
writer for hire
award-winning writer
an expert writer in any field
technical writer
or even a short story writer
novelist or poet.

This is not about craft or forms or habits or

Or shortcuts or easy steps or narrative devices to keep the reader hanging at the end of a

It’s not about schmoozing and selling
or networking
although some of these things watch from the sidelines
and call to you and sometimes you
should turn and wave.

This is about how to become — to come into being as — a writer.

About how to develop your voice
hone your style —
and also cast your vision
articulate your aesthetic

and create —

3 responses to How to Become a Writer


    Thank you. I have copied your questions and will answer them. There is one book that comes to mind that I’ve read several times.

    I have read Penmarric three times and I want to read it again. There is something about this book that fascinates me. Shogun is another book I’d like to read again.

    All the best,




    Thanks so much for your comment. I hope the questions help you reflect on the kind of writing you want to do (or are doing!).

    The first advice anyone will hear about writing is: 1. read, 2. write. I totally agree with that. But my list of questions and other sorts of activities that I’ll post will (hopefully) provide more focus and encourage more reflection as they go.

    Reading and writing are exactly what we writers need to do, but we have to read and write actively, with an eye on our goals.

    Good luck! Let me know if you find anything particularly helpful…or unhelpful.


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  1. Happy Ides of March! Happy 2nd anniversary to the blog! « ph.d. in creative writing - March 15, 2012

    […] How to Become a Writer […]

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