Writer's How-To: Take Baby Steps To Writing Success

Angela Booth

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If you're just starting on your writing journey you'll often feel overwhelmed. There's so much to learn. However, if you're prepared to take a small step at a time, you can develop a successful writing career – guaranteed.

After a lifetime's worth of writing, I can file these baby steps under the “wish I'd known when I started" category. They're vital. If you follow them, not only will you be successful at writing at some time in the future, you'll be successful right now.

=> One: Write every day Writers write. That's all. And they write every day, just like plumbers fix taps and electricians wire houses. Writers write.

It's a process. You can outline and plan your writing all you want, but at some stage, every day, you must sit down and write.

=> Two: Pay attention to what you love

You'll write best about what you love. So take note of the things you love. Make a list. Don't ever think that no one else is interested in what turns you on. Enthusiasm is contagious.

=> Three: It's the journey…

Beware of fantasies like: “When this is published", “when I get an agent", “when I hold my first book in my hand".

When your fantasies come true, and after the warm glow wears off, you won’t feel all that different (in fact, you won't feel any different) to the way you feel right now. (I hope I'm not trampling your favourite fantasy into dust. )

Take comfort from this: the joy is in the journey, in the writing. When your fantasy comes true, the glow will last for a short time. What lasts longer, is your memory of the pleasure the writing brought you, while you were writing.

So since the joy of writing is your takeaway, take that joy right now. It's yours already.

=> Four: Be courageous: submit your work

The final baby step is submitting your work. Consider yourself a success as soon as you've submitted your work. You don’t have any control over whether someone buys it, but you do have control over the submission process.

There's only one guarantee: if you keep writing and keep submitting, sooner or later you will sell your work.

What happens then? You repeat Steps One, Two, Three, and Four. See? It's just baby steps. Start stepping!

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