You’re a blogger. Or a closet poet. You write for yourself or your friends or the world wide web. You say to yourself, “I want to be a writer.” Here is how to start, plus when do you get to call yourself a writer?
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I have been writing for fun since I was seven years old. That’s the age I wrote my first poem. I have won or placed in a few poetry contests over the years and have had several of my poems published in journals or books. One of my poems was even made into a poster and driven around a city bus for a year as part of an urban poetry initiative.
I have freelanced for local newspapers, I wrote when I was employed as a communications coordinator, and now write for this blog.
Who is a writer?
Maybe this sounds like a lot of writing but it comes with a ‘but’. Actually two. I haven’t published my own book (yet). I have degrees in biology and computer science but not in creative writing.
With those two caveats, for the longest time I wouldn’t call myself a writer. I didn’t feel legitimate enough to call myself a writer.
A few short months ago the thought kept crossing my mind “I want to be a writer”.
This tentative thought became more persistent and it made me reflect on what I think it means to be a writer.
Types of writers
Do you need to have your name in print to be able to call yourself a writer? I used to think so but now my definition of who is a writer has broadened.
All of these people can be writers:
- a student writing an essay or research paper
- someone who puts extra creative flair into writing their resume and cover letter
- a person who writes poetry but only shares it with their close friends
- a woman who writes copy for a computer software company
- a man who has been working for years on a novel but hasn’t shown it to anyone yet
- and yes, bloggers
Your secret dream: I want to be a writer
Here is what I think now.
You are a writer because you write.
You are a writer because you have stories in you that you feel compelled to get out.
In whatever form it takes, in whatever frequency, writing feels utterly essential to your life.
An idea interrupts your slumber, forcing you to write it before you can fall back asleep.
Reading other books gives you ideas for your own writing. You play with your kids and are filled with ideas to write. You walk down any ordinary street and are struck with tiny fragments of ideas that will make their way into your writing.
Writing is part of who you are.
That makes you a writer.
Not whether or not you are published. Not your English or Creative Writing degrees or lack thereof.
Writing is in your blood, and so you are a writer. It’s okay to call yourself that.
The #1 tool you need for your writing
One of the most useful tools for writing is Grammarly. This is essential for anyone who writes: bloggers, students, freelance writers, closet writers. Whether you are writing a resume or pitching a brand, you want to make sure your grammar and spelling and punctuation are professional. It’s free too!
Here are some ways that Grammarly can help:
- eliminates grammar mistakes
- checks for plagiarism
- improve word choice and style
We can all use a fresh pair of eyes to look over our work before we send it off into the world. This is exactly what Grammarly is great for and I recommend it for all writers. If you write emails, if you post on Facebook, you need Grammarly.
Quotes about writing
For inspiration to help you feel more comfortable moving from “I want to be a writer” to “I am a writer” here are quotes about writing from some of the best writers of past and present.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
“The life of a writer is absolute hell compared to the life of a businessman. The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him…A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Freelance writing jobs for beginners
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In this book, you will be walked through one of the easiest ways to get started as a freelance writer by a full-time freelance writer. This is a no-fluff, actionable book that will show you exactly how to get freelance writing jobs for beginners. It’s a must-have book if you want to to become a freelance writer!
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Have you ever thought “I want to be a writer”. Can you take a first step today?