Serena Williams once stated that physical exercise and workouts were the biggest part of her training.
She even went further to state that after giving birth to her daughter, getting back on track in terms of her training was not as easy. Serena said that it reminded her of her days as an upcoming athlete, before anyone ever heard the name Serena Williams. She stated that constant practice was what made her the budding sportswoman she is today. She remembered this factor post child birth and it's what motivated her to get back in shape.
Just like most careers, practice is what created perfection. As much as you won't be aiming for perfection, being an author requires constant practice of certain traits and habits that I am going to walk you through. Be sure that at the end of this article you will have learnt skills and tips that will better your writing and help you become a more established author.
7 Tips on How to Become an Author
1. Ask Yourself "What Would Serena Do?"
Whenever Serena felt like she wasn't good enough, she would remind herself why she was doing it and what exactly she wanted to achieve.
You could remind yourself this by going through your work or notes to determine what you are trying to accomplish. Figure out the message you are trying to put across.
What is it that your readers want to read?
What do you want to tell your readers?
What is the best way to convey this message?
Once Serena Williams reminded herself her end goal, being the tennis champion and a role model to other sportsmen out there she worked towards achieving it. She put more effort in her workouts for she knew that was the key. Once she was in good shape, she put in time at the tennis court. She practiced and practiced and even after her coach cleared her to play, she still didn't feel like she was good enough and therefore continued practicing.
The same applies to writing. You get a stronger command of the language with every sentence you write so write, write and write! This helps with your awareness of cliches and with time fully terminates them from your writing. Frequent writing also helps with self-editing. It also helps with your articulation of stories and ideas.
2. Tell Your Personal Stories (No One Will Judge)
Problem with most authors is they are very self conscious, worried that if they made a book personal or shared an experience their readers or people close to them will judge them. That is far from the truth.
Honesty actually shows vulnerability and readers love that. They relate with you more when they see you are just a normal or twisted human being like they are. Of course this doesn't mean that you should make it super weird.
Your readers need you to share some essential truth from your life with them. Helps them relate with you better and in turn become more interested in your book. It is this show of honesty that might even prompt them to search for your other works.
3. Get Unstuck
As a new writer, I found it very difficult to do serious pieces. Even short stories were such a hassle. At times I'd start writing and not finish. Other times I'd find interesting topics to write on, fully research on them and not write even a single word.
The best way to get unstuck is to learn to be disciplined. For me it was sort of mandatory because I got a job as a journalist for a newspaper. I had to not only finish my writings, but also over a specific period of time. This was my job and so I had no choice but to shape up.
Editing was someone else's job so I stopped polishing my articles mid-writing. This gave me more focus on finishing the article rather than perfecting it. Countless of times my editor sent my work back to me in order to make certain changes. There are even other times where my articles were fully re-written by sub-editors. Listening to her criticism really helped me in polishing my work and as time went by I had less and less send backs.
What matters most is learning how to get rid of the writer's block and how to maintain a writing habit.
Everyone is different, so you have to find what is unique about you, what will help you get unstuck.
4. Maintain Professionalism
What does a professional author do?
● Writes daily. Doesn't wait for inspiration.
● Sets artificial deadlines. Be it for word count or for each chapter.
● Commits to set deadlines.
● Gives editor specific time frame for completion of draft.
Great footballers are taught pro football from the moment they are in mini-leagues as teenagers. This helps them conduct themselves as professionals adhering to the professional rules of the game.
In the same way for you to be an author, you must first act like a professional author.
5. Conquer Your Fear of Failure
You can be sure that not every draft you submit for editing will be a favorite for the editors. Not every book you publish will be adored by your readers. You have to accept that you'll not always win in this industry.
Writers have many failures to their names, even the well established ones. They have very many unpublished disasters on their computers and know more about failure than success. Let's just say it comes with the job.
By the time I was turning 30, there was so much I had planned with my career that I had not accomplished. On some days I felt restless and that charged me to go for it. On other days I felt depressed from my lack of progress.
Writing is a very personal career, and so you are bound to take every step, every decision you'll ever make or any career choices personally. You will fall so many times but don't let this keep you down.
6. Fall Forwards
The best way to deal with your failure is by turning it into a learning opportunity. Use the experience as a lesson to pull you closer to your goal and improve your craft instead of wallowing in sorrow.
There is no career with an easy journey, writing is not an exception. You will face rejection from some people, but that is just the journey towards becoming a better writer.
You should also learn to value feedback. There is no wrong feedback. It might not please you to hear someone say something negative about your work. You should however take it as positive criticism and use those harsh words as pointers on areas that need improvement. Learn whatever you can from their words and how they made you feel then write a better book.
7. Conquer Your Fear of Success
Though not common, there are writers who are afraid of becoming a success. In one of my writing workshops, an aspiring writer told me she wanted to write and for people from all over to read her work and take something from it. She however wasn't she whether she wanted to be at the center of a
There are so many questions writers ask themselves once they decide to publish a book.
Will they love it?
Will people treat you differently?
Will they judge you from your work?
And will this attention change you?
I'm sure you imagined quite a lot of answers, but what people think or do with your book shouldn't be a problem. Your problem should be how to get their attention in the first place, and keep it. It is however very natural to worry how those around you will react to your book. If you manage to succeed, you will
discover a new side that'll help both you as a person and your craft as a writer. By this time you will have established that it is impossible to please everyone. You should stick to your values and not let the success get into your head.
Practical Tips on Becoming an Author.
1. Make time to work on your book daily.
2. Write a book that would be interesting or attractive enough for you to read.
3. Learn from your mistakes.
4. Be honest and share personal experiences.
5. Don't give too much thought on what other people think about your book.
6. Set realistic dates and timelines to finish your drafts.
7. Learn that finishing a book is more important than perfecting it.
8. Work with professionals when tidying up or when creating a vision for your book.
9. Finish and start the next book.
So many writers share with their friends great story ideas for a book. Unfortunately most of these writers do not take time to turn their visions into reality.
Writing a book requires a lot of hard work and discipline. No matter how many tips you go through on becoming an author, these two factors are key.
When writing a book, there is always a gap between what you envision for your book and what comes out on the blank page. This gap can only be bridged through constant practice and self-knowledge.
Write more often.
Finish your book.
Congratulations, you are now an author.