Sunday, July 04, 2010

Becoming a Successful Writer: What Steps to Follow?

I am writing this entry in response to a comment written by a reader of this Blog. Yesterday, Momen wrote to me “I am a fresh graduate. I want to express many feelings within me. I love writers so much especially novelists when I read their literary achievements I feel greatness. I wish to be a famous writer one day .I live for this aim, yet unfortunately, I have no real steps.
I hope all of you can understand what the question is that he or she wants to be a famous writer with great achievements but the steps are unclear to him or her. Well, I am not exactly a successful writer so, it is perhaps impossible for me to tell you the exact steps that you should follow to become a successful and famous writer. However, in this entry, I am going to discuss about some other writers who have seen amazing success. I am also going to discuss some points about becoming a successful writer.

What is success in writing?
Before anything, we should try to have a definition of a success in writing field. In our time, perhaps success is more or less related to money. For example, the writer of Harry Potter J. K. Rowling has become a billionaire. In the past, success was perhaps more related with feeling and emotion of readers. William Shakespeare is the best example. He was surely not one of the richest men in his time but people used to love his dramas.

William Shakespeare
Before going into the discussion, I like to talk about some famous and successful writers. At first, when we think of writing then the name of William Shakespeare automatically comes. If you take a look at his life then you will find that he came from a small place and he had his misfortune at early in life. He got married at the age of 18 with a woman who was eight years old and then suffering from further misfortune, was perhaps forced to run away to London.
In London, at first, he had to struggle a lot and he started working in the theatres. He worked very hard and then in the end became very successful in even owning a company. Shakespeare in his own life suffered a lot and had to fight for his own livelihood. Writing drama was bringing him money and the more money he could earn the better his life became. Of course, money did not come to him instantly or automatically. He had to spend days and nights to write dramas that have become unforgettable.

Charles Dickens
The next writer I am going to talk about is Charles Dickens. I am going to particularly talk about him because he is one of the very first writers who became successful in writing in newspapers and magazines. In his own life time, he saw immense success and popularity and wealth. However, his childhood was a very miserable one. Charles Dickens hardly had any opportunity to go to school but he made the best of every opportunity he got in his life.
Dickens started working in a warehouse at a very early age and one of the things that he always did was that he always tried to observe people. This quality helped him to become successful in writing. Wherever he went, he always observed ordinary people and he tried to put their stories in his writings. Thus, people felt very comfortable with his short stories and novels and they are still popular in England and everywhere.

Alex Haley
The third writer that I like to mention is Alex Haley. Whenever I feel frustrated about being a writer then I always read this easy of Alex Haley titled The Shadowland of Dreams. If you read it then you will surely notice that Haley struggled for several years before he could become a successful writer.
It was a very difficult life for him as he left everything and tried to become a fulltime author. He kept on trying and success came in the end. When success came it was big for him but it was surely a risky business.  

J.K. Rowling
The fourth and last author I like to talk about is J. K. Rowling who is popularly known as the writer of Harry Potter. Her own life was full of suffering. At a very young age, she suffered hardship. In fact, she got separated from her husband and while writing the first novel of Harry Potter, she had a child to look after and she often had to struggle for money. At first Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was sent to several publishing companies and they rejected. It took almost one year before the book got accepted and the rest is history. Of course, the rest is not history because even after the first book of Harry Potter was published she had to wait almost another one year to get good success.

No hard and Fast Rule
If you want to become a successful writer then the first thing you should remember is that there is no hard and fast rule about this matter. You have to try a lot of things and still in the end you may not get in the success that you are looking for. However, I can assure that if you really try then at least you will get mental satisfaction and happiness in life.

Mix and Observe
The one thing that I have learnt from both William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens is that if you want to be a writer then you should try not to just mix with ordinary people but to observe them carefully. Try to look at very small details of their lives. Try to know about them more about what they think, how they think, what they feel, how they feel- these kind of things. A writer must have good observation skill. If you can observe ordinary people and their lives deeply then only you can hope to put these things in your novel or stories.
Many people think that writing book is a very easy matter. You just need to sit and think some and write something and if you are lucky then you will become very successful. However, I can assure you that I have read at least biographies of 50 to 100 poets, writers, and dramatists. My background is English literature and I always love to read biographies of poets and writers and dramatists because my dream is to become a writer.

Work Daily
I have noticed that all most all of them were very hard working and serious. They were also very regular and often they had to write against deadlines. Take the examples of Dickens who always had to produce something outstanding for the newspapers and magazines and for the publishers. If he could not do it then you would not be able to earn money. It was as simple as that.
So, if you want to be a writer then practice writing daily. It is not that your first novel or short story is going to be a super hit and people are going to buy it everyday. The best thing that I would suggest to any aspiring writer is to open a blog. For example, this blog is a very good place to keep my writing. Well, sadly, this blog is not my main blog so I cannot give my time. Still it is a place to store my writings.

Dreaming vs Day Dreaming
One of the things that I always give value to life is to have a dream. Many people have laughed at me for this quality of mine as they think that it is day dreaming. However, I strongly disagree with them because having a dream doesn’t mean that you just dream and you do not do anything.
In fact, if you have a dream and if you believe in it and if you wanted desperately then you will surely try for it. I always wanted to be a writer and although I failed in freelance writing because living in a poor and third world country but I have become extremely successful in Blogging and I manage my livelihood with this. In fact, for the last four years, I have managed my life with the income from Blogging and I cannot think of any job that would bring this amount of money. So, there is no problem if you have a dream but believe in it and want it a lot. Dreaming does not mean that you just imagine about it and do not do it anything. Try to know the difference between a dream and a day dream.

One of the things that is required for success in any field is your attitude. Never think of a short cut in life in anything. If you look at Dickens or Shakespeare or Alex Haley then you will notice that it took them years of writing before they became successful.
The same goes for J. K. Rowling of the author of Harry Potter. She started writing from childhood and it took many years for her to become a billionaire. Thus, you must have a positive attitude and you must have a hard working mentality. If you are one of the persons that you think that working hard is slavery or you are getting cheated because you are have to work a lot, then you will never become successful in writing.

Read on Writing
It is always important to read a lot about book on writing. Visit your local library and I am sure that you will find books about writing craft. It is not that you have to follow all the rules told in these writing books. What you need to do is to read as many books on writing as possible and try to get some skills in yourself. Take this matter seriously because it will be very helpful for your whole life.
I hope that the things have discusses will give some of you some good for thought. If you have any idea please write in the comment section. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:49 PM

    I lost my job and income and would like more sales growth for all of my books at and also my poetry blog at thank you and have a bless day.