***This is PART ONE of a five part series to uncover some myths about becoming a published author. Make sure to come back next week and find out more insider secrets about the writing industry!***
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around beginner writers about just what it takes to become a published author. If you are a new writer just starting out you might even think there is only one set formula guaranteeing your success at capturing the attention of a publisher.
You would be wrong.
Since 2010 I have dedicated my efforts to becoming a professional writer. It hasn't been easy and I've made my fair share of mistakes. Below you'll find the first common writing myth I uncovered along the way to publication.
MYTH #1...YOU HAVE TO HAVE A DEGREE IN WRITING
When I first decided to become more serious about my writing I actually thought I would have to go back to school and get a degree in writing before I could call myself a writer. I began looking at different colleges offering courses in writing and quickly realized I didn't have the money to pursue a degree. Then I checked out other workshops, seminars, conferences, and classes offered to help improve my writing skills...only to realize I couldn't afford them either. Did that mean I had to give up my dream of becoming published?
It just meant I had to become creative. The first thing I did was go the library and check out all the writing books they had. Then I went to local bookstores and added to my collection. Finally I trolled the Internet, researching different websites and blogs until I had a number of free or inexpensive resources at my fingertips. Finally I actually took the time to read and study what the experts were already showing me about what's necessary to become a serious writer.
The more I read, the more I began to understand and the stronger my stories became. I learned every story needs an engaging hook to begin with, a strong middle foundation to pull the audience along, and an unexpected ending to surprise, delight, or connect with the reader so it will leave them wanting more. I also learned no matter how good you think you are as a writer, there is always someone better. There will always be opportunities to learn something new and always others generous enough to share their writerly wisdom with you. Your job is to get out there and find them.
Here are just some of the books I have collected over the years...
Author 101: Best Selling Nonfiction by Rick Fristman & Robyn reedman Spizman
On Writing by Stephen King
The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen
20 Master Plots and How To Build Them by ronald B Tobias
The Writer's Book of Wisdom: 101 rules For Mastering Your Craft by Steven Taylor Goldsberry
You Can Write Children's Books by Tracey E Dils
Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Writing For Young Adults by Sherry Garland
What are some of the books or websites you have used in your writing career? Comment below and be sure to come back next week as I uncover another writing myth!