Monday, December 5, 2011

Writing is a Skill

There is no easy way to get from one point to the other in the profession of writing. As a novice writer I began my journey early in life. In my early years I wrote in a diary/journal daily. Some may ask why this is important. Well for one basic reason: to be an efficient writer you must write every day. Writing everyday helps to prepare you for the profession of writing, whether it be as an author, grant writer, or poet. To be perfectly honest, it helps you in most professions from business to medicine.

So how do you make writing a skill? You learn the craft of writing. Basic English classes, such as those you were required to take in high school, are always a good start. Even the English classes most people have to take in college, well most four year colleges, are essential in helping you hone in on your skills. Still though, there are some who even major in English or Creative Writing to solidify their expertise. Now, I am not saying that you must stop what you are doing to go and get a degree. No, that is not really a viable option for most of us, however gaining experience as a writer without a degree is pretty simple to do. You can take online courses in creative or business writing for under $150.00 in order to brush up on this skill. Or you can do my favorite option which is free, go to the local library and check out books on creative or business writing. 

In order to make writing a skill, I would simply start by keeping a writing journal. This is where you come up with your own ideas and subjects to write about. Keeping a personal journal is good, but a writing journal helps you create material that may one day be published (i.e. your first idea for a book or subject for an article).  In this journal write what comes easy to you at first and then begin writing about things that are more difficult. For example, you could write about an argument for or against abortion to begin with then delve into a short story about it.  Writing an argument about a subject gets the creative juices flowing easily and can help you when you finally want to begin a short story later.
As your writing journal gets full begin putting those words in documents that can be easily edited in a word processing tool of choice. As you see your words in print you will begin to start to want to write even more. This helps tremendously with your own self confidence as a writer.  Before you know it, you will have material that can be actually get published.

Again, I cannot reiterate it enough. Writing is a skill and if you focus enough of your time perfecting this skill you can make a living out of it. I started writing my first novel when I was twenty-seven. This was after gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the Ohio State University and working towards a Masters in Social Work degree from Howard University.  I turned to my first love of writing out of necessity after being deemed totally disabled.  It is funny though, because all of my professors always praised me about my writing skills and it never even dawned on me that I should write professionally.   With this skill I have become a self-published author.  Still though, it was not easy.

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