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How can I start becoming a successful writer?

I am in high school and have discovered an unknown talent for writing creative-writing writing writer

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Subject: Career question for you

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5 answers

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Matthew’s Answer

The best thing that you can do for yourself is to keep on writing. Creative juices need nurtured, and if you fall out of the habit of developing your skills and ideas then it may take a while to get back into the groove.

I had a wonderfully creative phase for a couple of years and would often take notes aboit ideas, poem lines that I liked, doodles or diagrams - notes, you know? And I received feedback from others that it was strange behavior, and I took that to heart and grew self-conscious of the habit. Eventually I stopped.

That’s nonsense and I regret stopping the habit. It sort of cut off the creative energy and it took a long while to get back into that mindset.

I don’t have any professional advice for you except the usual “Stay organized”, maybe maintain a blog or a subreddit or a website with your work. Maybe seek out creative writing challenges or competitions? You could self-publish some stuff, if only to say that you did.

I recognize that this isn’t very firm advice. Really just wanted to encourage you to keep up with your content creation.

Thank you very much for the advice! It was helpful and it motivates me to keep pushing toward my goal. Thank you! Marquis J.

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Nancy’s Answer

Participate in opportunities to write for an audience — such as writing articles for your school newspaper, writing essays or short stories for writing contests, writing a letter to the editor of your local city’s newspaper about something you read in that newspaper (in print or online), writing a letter to the editor of a magazine you subscribe to (or that you read often even if you don’t subscribe to it) about an article in that magazine (such as to agree or disagree with an article). Many magazines and newspapers (in print and online) have a section where they publish letters /opinions from their readers.

Read, read, read. Read all sorts of things — fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, magazines, news sites, novels, short stories. Reading a variety of what professional writers have written can help you see what good and great writing looks like and may inspire you to write about a topic you might not have otherwise considered.

Some newspapers occasionally hold workshops for aspiring journalists and writers. Some libraries or communities groups hold youth writing events or classes (after school, on the weekend, or during school vacation weeks). I encourage you to seek these types of opportunities.

Also, start a writing portfolio. This is a collection of your best writing that you keep in one place (could be a folder on your computer, online, or a three-ring binder where you keep a printed copy of your work). As a student your portfolio could include your best essays and papers you wrote for classes at school. It could include articles you wrote for your school newspaper or for writing contests. When you apply for a writing job, often the employer will ask to see some writing samples. That’s when it’s good to have a portfolio!

Always do your best when you write. Review, revise, and proofread your work carefully before submitting it. Write as if everyone and anyone might read it.

Thank you Nancy! I appreciate the advice and will apply these steps into my goal. Marquis J.

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Tom’s Answer

I have to agree with Matthew and Nancy since they give great advice. The best advice I received was at a writer's conference on the Long Beach Peninsula years ago, and it's stuck with me for quite some time. It's simple, but useful, "Just write". See? Simple but useful. Don't worry about what others say, and if you plan on being published, make friends with the idea of rejection. Don't accept it, don't even like it, but get used to it, and learn how to push through it. When bogged down with criticisms, realize that some might be constructive and aimed at helping you, not just tearing you down. Speak to other writers, read as much as you can, and definitely don't lose the spark just because someone thinks your work is no good. Writing talent is great, but coupled with experience and education on how to get better it can lead you down a few interesting paths. Currently I'm a freelance writer and author with several books published and a Master's degree in Creative Writing from SNHU. You'll find advice from many writers along the way if you choose to take this path, and you'll find rejection as well. I've been writing on and off since around the 3rd grade, and what I can tell you is that it's not an easy path, so definitely don't expect to get lucky and become a professional writer overnight. Those that do are extremely lucky and have a much steeper hill to climb believe it or not. But go at your pace, learn what you can, and definitely stick with it if this is what you want. It's a hard road, but the rewards are worth it. Looking for writing sites online is a good start. Best of luck to you.
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Carole’s Answer

The way that I started writing was in high school junior to senior classes. I started reading some poetry and decided that I wanted to try and write some poems. It just so happened that my school put on a contest in anything that you wanted to write so I wrote my first ever poem and sure enough it was one of the better poems that was entered in the contest, and it was in our school newspaper. I was so excited about that and it lifted my spirits about writing some more. When I went to college I was an English major and was a able to get into some creative writing classes which taught me a lot. After college I decided I would start to write a poem every time I felt that event of some sort would make a great poem and started to sit down and write. It finally became something that I loved to do in my spare time. So for many years in my middle age I made a folder of my poetry of the event I witnessed for several years and developed a portfolio of poems. I looked into sending some poem to a publisher and they accepted what I had written and they wanted more from me so I was very busy on thinking of titles and the process of rhyming words which I liked to do and it was a wonderful challenge for me! I finally got the book that I wanted to do! It had family events, Nature, facing Life issues, Some unique poetry, the seasons, and Life pleasures etc! This was my dream come true and most of the poems had pictures of my life and pictures of friends and family, or pictures of in poetry to signify as to what the poem was about. I took writing as a challenge for me as something that I really like to do in my spare time especially. So if I could give you any suggestions it would be 1. Look at all the ways that writing is used and see which one is for you;@ 2.Take some classes in writing creative such as in magazine, ads, essays, poetry, newspapers; books for children or adults.3.Could be mysteries, drama, comedic. The ideas that you have write them down and research in what area you think is for you! Sometimes even contests can help you decide on what you would like to write about. I would also take an assessment like the SDS(self directed search to see what might interest you as a career!

Carole recommends the following next steps:

Take the SDS (it will give you a lot to think about for your career
Take classes on writing of all sorts
When you write something you like put it in a portfolio
Keep reading that will help you to write better
look for the writing jobs and either volunteer to blog or write ads; get some experience in different writing so you can see and feel the different way to write
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Fernando’s Answer

Write down any ideas you come up with and then create stories around them. A big part of creative writing is practicing your craft. As you continue to write and explore ideas you'll learn how to develop your narratives. A good place to start is by writing short stories, from there experiment with the various styles of writing such as prose, script writing and poetry just to name a few. Be sure to read from any genre or style you're interested in, this goes a long way of understanding the general format for those genres, but it also helps you further develop your own writing craft.

Feedback is a must, if you have a tutor, a friend or teacher that's willing to help you go for it. An outside perspective can help to pick up on flaws that you may end up looking over during revisions. My last bit of advice would be to indulge in any curiosity you might have with regards to story ideas. Be creative and don't be afraid to explore new ideas, another big part of creative writing is exploring and developing new ideas, and turning them into stories.