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Just Because You Can Write Doesn't Make You A Writer

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It seems like everyone is doing it these days. Every way you look, people are cranking out novels or trying to get their poetry published. Being a "writer" seems to be everyone's favorite pastime. Yet, how many of these people actually know what they're doing? It's certainly a good thing to spend your time writing rather than zonked out in front of a screen. However, just because you can put pen to paper, or fingers to keypad, doesn't instantly make you a writer. For those of you who are dedicated, here are several things that are crucial for you to be successful in the world of paper, words, and thoughts.

The most important thing you'll need if you're really serious about pursuing a career in writing is dedication. Sadly, this is the one factor consistently lacking in most people aspiring to be the next J.R.R Tolkien. If I had a book written for each person I've met that's started a book and never finished, I would be the most productive writer in history. Starting a book is challenging and exciting, but figuring out how to continue it, how to make that plot twist turn out just right, or how to write ten more chapters in your self-help book, can be the hardest part of all. Stick to it and you'll develop a true writer's heart.

If you really want to be a good writer, you have to be an avid reader. Most writers naturally love reading. Often times though, once they start writing their own book, they become so engrossed in it they fail to continue reading. Don't give up reading. In fact, read more. If you're writing a book on baking, read other baking books and learn from them. If you're planning on writing a tale of adventure, read some best-selling books in that genre. Through reading, you can learn what did and didn't work without making the same mistakes.

One more thing that is of vital importance for all writers is the environment. If you are writing on a short-term basis, go somewhere fun like a coffee shop, or a log cabin to write. If you plan on doing this long term or as a living, you might consider finding somewhere cheaper to write that will still be inspirational. A library, park, or even your house can work well. The goal is to write, so ultimately, wherever you write best is where you should spend your time. For many published authors, this just happens to be the home.

The home has several advantages for a writer. For one thing, the writer doesn't have to worry about driving anywhere. For another thing, the home, if monitored right, can be a place free of distractions. If you really are serious about writing, set a part a separate room or desk that will become your writing corner. Only go there when you are going to write. This means no getting on your computer then checking email for "ideas." Get to work. The home truly is one of best places for writers to work on long-term. Because of this, it is important that all your work is properly protected, not only by backing it up often, but by making sure your computer, printer, and other technology is not stolen. One way you can do this is through a home security system. Losing your possessions is not as devastating as losing your hard work.
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