An Open Letter to New Writers Who Want to Succeed

Image by expresswriters from Pixabay

Dear New Writer,

Successful writers have two things in common. They write, and they write a lot. So if you want to be a writer, you need to follow their example.

Being new to writing, you have a lot to learn. The first lesson is learning to write good content. The second is you must develop faithful readers. And the third thing is understanding that you won’t make hundreds of dollars because you are a newcomer with no followers.

Write every day to perfect your skills

The most important lesson any new writer needs to learn is to write a lot. You’ve probably read that publishing an article or two a week is enough. It isn’t nearly enough. Writing is a practiced skill, so the more you write, the better writer you’ll become.

Use online writing tools to save time

Editing your stories is faster and more accurate if you use online tools. For grammar people use Grammarly. I prefer PowerWritingAid to check my writing and get suggestions. Another tool is adverbless to remove pesky adverbs.

When writing be yourself and avoid emulating other writers

If you copy other writers, you won’t develop your own voice. Call it the “it” factor or “standing out from the crowd”. You want people to follow you, so you need a unique voice of your own. The more you write, the more you’ll develop your unique writing style.

Write a profile that tells people about you

As a new writer, you don’t have a fan base. So you have to tell your readers about you. And don’t just give a written description of yourself; give them a photo of yourself to complete the profile. Even established, well known, writers use a profile and photo to tell people about themselves.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Find followers to build your fan base

Submitting your articles to publications puts what you’ve written before many people. But there is a review process where your story undergoes a review by an editor prior to publication. This process takes from a few hours to several weeks. In the meantime, your article is in limbo. All you can do is wait to hear from the publication, and there is no guarantee they will publish your story. If they reject your article, you must submit to another publisher, and the timer resets.

Another option is to self publish in your own publication. This method gets your story published as soon as you hit the publish button. Long term, having your own publication will help you have loyal and regular readers. But your potential readership is small when you first start.

Final thoughts

If you want to succeed as a writer, write and publish often. It isn’t too difficult to publish every day. By writing and publishing a lot of content, your writing will improve. Using online tools will speed up your editing and tighten your writing. And having a profile will introduce you as a person to your readers. By writing and publishing consistently, you’ll find your fan base of readers who will love what you write and follow you.

Published in The Ascent, The Writing Cooperative, Illumination-curated, Writers’ Blokke.

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