Happy new year everyone! I hope your year is going well so far. Mine is already filling up with new projects, which is always a good thing.
Last year, I had the opportunity to talk with students and answered some of their questions about writing. Since we ran out of time, I thought I would answer their questions on the blog.
Every month or so, I’ll post answers to your questions here. Feel free to send me your questions!
Why do you love to write?
I thought I would have an easy answer prepared for this question but it’s not the case. After thinking about it long and hard, I came up with one best answer. I love to write because it’s a natural part of me. Yes, I went to school to improve my skills. Yes, I have to write for work. Yes, I too get frustrated when my writing isn’t that good. But ever since I can remember, I’ve always written stories. I made up worlds in my head and wrote them down on any surface I could find. They weren’t that good to begin with but they were fun to write. I love writing because this is part of my life – an organ I can’t cut off, otherwise I would die. Writing has always been a part of me and that will never change.
What’s the first thing I should do to become a writer?
Read. Every writer would tell you to read. Read a lot. Read in different formats – books, magazines, long form writing, news stories, feature stories etc. Read in different genres. Read different authors. The more you read, the more you will get the tools to be a good writer. Take your favourite book and read it again. The second time you read it, study the characters, study the settings, study the style. Then read it again and look at the plot, the conflicts, the resolution etc. We all learn from the writers that came before us. By studying their work, we learn how to improve ours.
What can I do to become a successful writer?
If I figure out the answer to this one based on my own experience, I’ll let you know. In all honesty (no fake humility here), I don’t consider myself a ‘successful writer’. I think I have a long way to go before I can compare myself to the other successful writers out there. What I am successful of is finishing more than one project. I am mighty proud of that given the schedule I have and the time one needs to finish a whole book. Based on what other writers say (the truly successful ones), I think it’s all about the discipline to write everyday and the willingness to learn and improve. Writing shouldn’t just be done when you feel like it. Whether your muse is next to you or having a holiday, you have to be disciplined enough to write.