Six important advices for beginners
I am a writer – almost full time – for a few years now, so I can definitely teach some lessons by personal experience. Beforehand, let me tell you that If you really want to pursue this occupation, you have the following options: you can be a professional writer, and do this full time (which is hardest), or you can be an amateur writer, and do this part-time (which is easiest). Alternatively, you can start as an amateur writer, and, when you feel completely prepared, try to become professional.
However, there is also another option: to purse writing exclusively as a hobby. This option has the advantage that, by following it, you will not have any expectations concerning the results. Something that – as a professional writer – will eventually befall over you, at least on an occasional basis. Nevertheless, even if you want to be a professional writer, you cannot be too worried about results, at least in what relates to the repercussion of your work, because, as you might guess, most of the time, they would not achieve any relevance in the literary community whatsoever.
Being an amateur writer is more secure and downplayed, because going this way, you can have a main job – a full time job – by which means you earn a living, and then you write on your vacant time (mostly weekends and holydays). The bad part is that, if you want to pursue ambitious literary projects – like writing books, literary essays or philosophic articles – you will probably not have enough time to dedicate yourself into it. The good part is that, by earning a salary, you will have financial stability, so you will not starve to death (like some professional writers almost did, like Charles Bukowski). Like everything else in life, you will find advantages and disadvantages, wherever option you decide to follow.
The hardest way, though, is definitely going on to write full time. This is more risky, but can work too. On this way, you will probably not spend all the time writing what you want, but writing commercial stuff to earn a living. Of course, this will largely depend on luck and flexibility. You, being able to find somehow related work – that also reserves for you enough time to be a writer practically full time. Sometimes you will work for you, writing what you want (generally, without payment [logically, because you will not pay yourself to write]), and sometimes writing what people expect you to write (with a payment). Unless you don’t have that ambition, and are happy enough being an amateur writer, that wants to pursue the experience more as hobby. And this is also highly recommended, because you will be motivated by an amusement that will drive off any expectations concerning potential results, and will feel more free to write wherever you want to write. With the additional benefit that you will not depend on writing to earn a living. Nevertheless, even if you want to pursue writing as a hobby, you will have to absolutely love writing, and to be ardently passionate about the subjects you will write about. Primarily, writing cannot be a burden. When writing transforms itself into a burden, be sure it’s time to stop. At least, to give a time off. A sabbatical year, perhaps – like many famous writers have done, for whatever reasons, like writer’s block, as famous Jewish-American author Henry Roth, or exhaustion, like James Joyce, after he finished his masterpiece, the epic novel Ulysses – until you feel yourself inspired to write again.
So, here, I’ve selected six advices that I think are positive and necessary for someone who is willing to – or, at least, thinking about the possibility of – become a writer.
1 – Put all your love and enthusiasm into it
2 – Have a decent degree of knowledge about the things you are writing about
3 – Put all your soul, your sincerity and your energy, when you finally feel ready
4 – Describe things using your own point of view and your own vocabulary
5 – Practice, practice and practice again
6 – Coffee will probably become your best friend
And since we have arrived altogether to this point, let me give you a final – but totally free – advice, regardless of the way you want to pursue writing, whether it would be amateur, professional, or as a hobby: write always as if you’re writing for yourself, and for yourself only. Forget all expectations about it. It’s a magnificent form of freedom, that you can only enjoy at the fullest, if you dismantle all illusions concerning this activity.
So, what do you think about these six guidelines for aspiring writers? Are you feeling motivated? Of course, these steps are only the beginning. As you become an experienced writer, the rest of the challenges you will discover for yourself.