So You Want to Be a Writer?
I began writing when I was about 6. I wasn’t particularly good, and my teachers seemed underwhelmed by my talent. But I loved writing, so I persevered. I entered competitions, wrote little short stories. Got nowhere. Then I stopped.
I trained to be a physical therapist – who needs to be a writer, anyway? – and began travelling the world. Much more exciting than getting rejection after rejection.
It was only when I became ill that I thought: what do I most want to do in the world. And the answer was: I want to write. So, the best writing advice I’ve ever had is the advice I told myself: if you really want to be a writer, then you have to write.
Which is what I did.
About thirteen years ago I began a novella. I liked it, but no-one else did, so I got a lot of rejections. I kept writing. I wrote a couple of short stories, began another novel. Again: rejections. I did a couple of night school courses on writing. Crickets!
I volunteered to work on a trade magazine. I kept writing, and studied for a Certificate of Creative writing. And then, finally, a short story of mine was accepted! I was so excited!
Fast forward ten years: Now, I write pretty much every day. This includes blogging, journaling, creative first drafts, this interview. The words add up.
Embrace the Fear
I’ve written six books. I’ve won three awards and have been shortlisted for a few more. I’ve had emails from folk all around the world who tell me my words have touched them.
Despite all this, I still feel as though I’m not very good. But I keep writing.
So, the best advice to any writer is: keep writing.