A person often says "I've wanted to be a writer myself, I just don't have the time," when you've shared with them that you, in fact, are a writer.
There is this misconception that writers have ALL THE TIME in the world. You, as a writer, know this is the farthest from the truth. Somehow we've just been given a gift of multi-tasking. However, that is not the topic I'm discussing today.
I'm discussing the next thing that said person would follow with, "How do you even begin to write a novel?" Now, as a newbie writer I was asking myself the same question. It was by change that I found Blue Willow Bookshop and attended SEVERAL book signings to find that the answer remained the same throughout all the authors.
You read, and then you write. Every one of them devoured books in the name of research. I took read each morsel for fun, but if I could read for fun AND call it research, wouldn't that be brilliant?
I picked up women's fiction, suspense, dystopian, adult, young adult, the works. Each piece I read was even more delectable then the last. I read until words spoke to me, characters started to form, a story erupted.
To gain more inspiration I read Stephen Kings, On Writing. He brought me more to life than ever... two things still resonate to this day.
One: Only you can decide when to truly call yourself a writer. Is it the day you put pen to paper, complete a novel, or become published? It's your call, after all, you're the one in the driver seat.
Two: First write for yourself, then write for the world.
I'm paraphrasing, but what I wrote is what I carry with me. I called myself a writer the day I finished a rough draft of my first novel. When I feel frustrated in a novel and realize I'm trying to keep up with the tides of publishing, I stop myself just to remind me that I'm not writing for me.
Question... what do you like to read? By chance is it the same thing you like to write? READING is the key to perfection. Opening up each page in your genre is what gets you to understand the inner workings of that said genre. Writing isn't easy... if it was, everyone would do it.
We are a special sadistic breed that simply cannot help harbor those feelings to be on the verge of insanity. We revel in it, love it when we're on a high, and loathe it when we're on a low. We don't give up just because a character had to be killed off, or because an agent told us that we should go back to the drawing board. No, we spent time perfecting our pieces and one persons opinion must be weighed on a scale.
Just remember... the beginning is to read, to devour, to simply get lost in the story.