I Want To Be A Writer – What Do I Do Now?


I met the nineteen year old son of a friend of mine the other day. He’s at Uni, studying something or other, it doesn’t seem important. We exchanged the usual banter, slapped each other on the back, told a joke or two, then he completely threw me by saying…… “Steve, I’ve decided I want to be a writer. You know about these things, what do I do now? Screenplays? Books?”

He’s a bright lad, mature for his age, creative, and has a fantastic sense of humour. His strong points, and everybody comments on this, are his charm and engaging personality.  In other words he is good with people.

His interests appear to be the usual teenage fare…music, falling in and out of love, photography, acting, older women, French girls, Chinese girls…..well that will do for starters. Actually, as I’m typing this I wish I had replied “Forget writing. Politics for you my boy!” But I didn’t.

So what did I say? Well, just one word….”Write”.

I think he was disappointed. I imagine he was expecting something profound. Actually, cancel that last statement, he knows me fairly well by now and ‘being profound’ is not my strong point. You will have gathered that.

No doubt our paths will cross again in a couple of months or so……so, I need to come up with some really good advice. Something profound. Something practical. Something that will sound attractive to the teenage mind and give him inspiration. Something that will make him money.

Or do I simply say “Forget it”?

It’s not easy. So, I’m asking for your help please. Any thoughts on the subject?

Oh, and this is not simply a ‘tease’ to get you to comment on my posts, to build up my ‘stats’ and boost my ‘ego’……well, not totally….I value your opinion. Mind you, come to think of it, I could get a book out of it…an eBook…what would it be called?

How about “Incredibly Important Words of Advice You Need To Read Right Now If You’re Foolish Enough To Want To Be A Writer” Perfect. Any contributions?

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About writegoodbooks

I help new writers become published authors through self-publishing. I also offer writers the chance to have their work converted into Kindle eBooks and publish them on the Amazon Kindle store.

15 responses to “I Want To Be A Writer – What Do I Do Now?”

  1. writeonthebeach says :

    Actually I think you’ve given the best advice. Perhaps he should start a blog and just write and see how he gets on. If he’s at Uni, are there any creative writing classes he could try. I know there are different views about their value but again it gives the discipline of writing. It poses the question i raised in one of my blogs – are writers born or made?

  2. writegoodbooks says :

    Congratulations on becoming the first contributor to the much-publicised new book “Incredibly Important Words of Advice You Need To Read Right Now If You’re Foolish Enough To Want To Be A Writer”.

    I wish there was a badge or something I could hand out, but I’m badgeless at the moment. How about “Thankyou”?

    Good advice too. Sensible. And the question ‘Are writers born or made’? Profound.

    P.S. Sheila’s blog is well worth checking out if you haven’t already seen it….excellent content, well written and entertaining, informative and fun. Highly Recommended. 5 stars.
    writeonthebeach.wordpress.com

  3. MishaBurnett says :

    The advice that I routinely give to anyone who wants a career in the arts–painting, music, writing, what have you–is to invest in your day job. Assuming that you’re not among the idle rich, you had best plan on working full time at a day job to support your art–probably for years.

    Learn a skill that pays well enough that you can afford the tools of your trade, time off to practice it, and the resources to promote it. If you want to be a writer, don’t take classes in creative writing, take classes in HVAC repair, or accounting, or nursing.

    Once you have a job that supports you at a comfortable level, you can always go back and take the art classes you want. But if you have an MFA and are working two minimum wage jobs to try to payback the loans, you’re not going to have much time to get any writing done.

  4. Hamish Downie says :

    Try everything. Every genre. You don’t know what you’ll be good at until you take a risk and try.

    True story. I thought that I was going to write comedy or animation because that’s what I love. What I write best is horror and war drama. I wouldn’t have known that if I weren’t pushed into it by my creative partner who saw something in me that I didn’t.

    • writegoodbooks says :

      Hope the writing career goes well for you and you achieve the success you’re after…and I thank you once again for your time and considered opinion. Much appreciated

      • Hamish Downie says :

        Thanks. I’m really enjoying the process. They say it takes 10 years… and they are not joking! 10 years to get your first break… hopefully by this time next year something big will happen! Thank you for writing the blog!

    • writegoodbooks says :

      I intend to give credit to every writer who takes the time to contribute some advice to the book. I will certainly add this credit and also a link to your blog….

    • writegoodbooks says :

      Interesting that in one of your later replies you say ‘I think you are onto something with this idea of yours’….

      I thought it offered a fantastic opportunity for writers to join in and submit a piece of advice for the ‘book’. But apart from four of us, no one did. Perhaps they thought I was joking…..(it does happen) Perhaps I should have explained a little further?

      I can definitely see the ‘idea’ working. A joint book featuring any writer who submits a piece of advice. I would publish the book and make it available online as an eBook. Every contributor shares in the royalties…but they have to agree to promote it too..

      Let’s say 50 writers submit various pieces of advice, no limit to the number of advice posts……it goes onto Kindle at £2. All 50 writers get an equal share of the royalties as I say….it would only be pence but it would work….particularly if you think that 50 writers would be promoting the book.

      It’s sort of like a Writer’s Co-op but without any kind of agenda…..just a fun project. None of the 50 writers would become overnight millionaires but imagine the ‘pulling power’ of 50 authors promoting and punting the book.

      Or is it just me being incredibly optimistic?

      Maybe other writers, visitors to the blog, who see this will send some advice for wannabe full time writers? I just thought I would share this with you as you seem a go-getting kinda guy…..

      • Hamish Downie says :

        Perhaps they don’t feel that they are successful enough to write in and offer advice? Which is silly, because everyone’s opinion counts.

        I’ve got a bit of an advantage over them in that respect in that this is the second time I’ve had a crack at a job in which “many are called, yet few chosen”. I used to be a Drag Queen, and while I achieved many things, I never enjoyed any of my success because I was always focused on the next thing… the next rung on the ladder to success. This time, I’m taking time to “smell the roses” and I can say that I’m enjoying the process a lot more this time.

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