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To Be A Writer

by Elisa

It is my biggest dream to be a writer, to see my name printed on a hard cover book. I am young, with too many ideas in my head that need help getting on paper.

A lot of adult figures around me tell me that to be a writer is too far fetched. That I need a more stable and suitable profession to chase after.

Writing is my passion, I love art and I see writing as a way of expressing it. I have written a few short stories over the last year. I gave up on writing before; but was encouraged to not give up yet. For I have been writing since I learned how to make sentences.

I am currently working on a novel. Of course one of the many I have started, but this one is the only story I have devolved from start to finish. Sure it needs a lot of help but its a start.

I have asked people for advice on what to do about chasing after this dream. Where do I start?

I entered a story into a contest, an attempt to get just get going. But I feel like there are so many other writers out there with better material. What good does it do to enter contest after contest?

I would love your advice on anything I have talked about, opions and such of what I should do to kick start this dream of mine.

Even if I don't succeed I at least want to be able to look back at this experience in my life and say I tried.


Elisa, don't let anyone tell you that your dream is "too farfetched." If your dream is to become a writer, there is no reason why you should not become one.

Having said that, it's important to also understand that it takes years for most creative writers to earn much income, so having another career is important.

You might choose one that compliments your desire to write a novel. As a journalist, for example, you could hone your writing skills and also earn a living. Becoming a copywriter is another option.

Or you could do something entirely different that allows you to always have weekends and evenings free to write. A career as a dentist or a chiropractor would give you free time.

Conversely, the long hours required to work as a lawyer or medical doctor would make it difficult to have the time you need to also write.

As you begin college or university, you will have many elective courses, and you might begin by taking creative writing courses at that time. Through these courses, you will learn, receive feedback, and make writing contacts that will be useful later. You will also learn of contests and publication opportunities and may have your first story accepted for publication.

You can also ask that as gifts, friends and family give you books that teach creative writing technique, or that they pay for some time with a writing mentor, or pay for a critique of writing you have already finished.

The point is that you need to first learn the craft of writing, practice, and get feedback before you think much about publication and winning contests. That is how you give writing a fair shot.

If you're serious about writing as a career, then take the steps in the correct order: Learn, practice, get feedback, revise, and publish.

If you wished to be a professional photographer, it is unlikely that you would shoot a roll of film and immediately enter your photos in a contest. First you'd take photography courses to learn technique. Then you'd practice, then you might ask a professional for feedback and tips, and finally you'd enter the contest with some chance of winning. Writing requires the same steps.

Good luck! Don't let anyone talk you out of your dream, but do approach it realistically and take the steps necessary to make the dream a reality. If you do, and you persevere, you will see your name on the front of that hardcover book!

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