For those who are just embarking on this passionate journey to become an author, creating the HABIT of writing begins with a little discipline and loads of commitment. I learned it the hard way, sometimes procrastinating, sometimes unsure of my ability to put my thoughts into words. But over the pandemic months, there is one thing I certainly discovered—if you want it, you get it.
Here are 10 IMPORTANT steps that I followed on how to become an author:
1. Never say no to opportunities
There are two kinds of people—one who know what they want and two those who discover as they go along. If you belong to the first category, you know what you want to write about, and you will begin with it, but if you belong to the second category, it is even better. When you are in the second category, you are more open to experimenting with different kinds of writing—blogs, poetry, white papers, digital content, books, and more. Never say no to an opportunity, even if it is out of your comfort zone. Accept different assignments and learn from each.
2. Set a goal
Once you have decided you want to become an author, you have to set a couple of goals to give you a long-term vision with short-term motivation. The set goals must focus on your acquisition of knowledge to develop a skill-set to write the book. Nothing is achieved better without setting individual goals. So, once you have the goal in mind, believe in it and chase it till you accomplish what you started. Goals carve a path you only need to tread upon it. Ensure your goals are doable and stick to them till the end.
3. Keep it Simple
Not everyone is a Sashi Tharoor. Of course, time and again, this politician has proven, he has a vocabulary way beyond average. Do not let it deter you. Writing is not only about the language but about a tone, a style, an expression that connects with your readers. What you write can be simple, as long it is interesting for the audience. Sometimes it is good to keep aside a chapter and read it fresh the next day. Start simple, and later build on it. Today there are grammar checkers and plagiarism check tools to take your writing forward.
4. Set a daily habit in writing
It can take anywhere between 18 to 254 days for a person to form a habit. Thereby, it is imperative that you dedicate some assigned time to write every day. Few random scribbles on a diary do not qualify if you want to take up writing as a profession. You need to follow a regime and dedicate an hour or two at least to writing. Whatever topic you choose to write on, when you put down your thoughts on paper, they become words. Make writing a day-to-day exercise.
5. Effective scheduling
Scheduling your writing ensures that you will always begin without exception. When you strategically set aside time for writing, it helps to focus 100% on the task. Effective scheduling also ensures you do not move on to something else until the said task on hand is complete. It is best to set aside a fixed time of the day to start writing. Whatever time suits you from early morning to late evening is good. Time management in writing is essential! Remember, if you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you will never get it done.
6. Put observations on paper
Putting down your observation or note-taking is a good habit when you begin writing. When you have observed something or listened to someone, taking notes helps you record what caught your attention. Note whatever you like and then develop on it. You may find a blog title, may notice a trend, have useful feedback or material to incorporate in your book. Have an open mind. It is your first step to write a best-selling book in India 2021 or even be known as one of the top 10 authors of a bestseller.
7. Google, Google, Google
If in doubt, Google. Today, so many of us reach out to Google instead of a library, dictionary, or even an encyclopaedia. Why not when information is available at a click. So, use the information to do your research and to learn from Google. Don’t just copy and paste because that is a sure way to kill your creative juices and ensure you will never be among the famous Indian writers or ever rank among the best writers today who has written one of the best books to read.
8. Find your believer
While there are plenty of naysayers who say it cannot be done, there will always be at least one believer in you. Find that somebody who has a positive attitude, believes in you, and gives you an honest opinion about your writing. It is good to get your constant dose of positivity and motivation from such a person to continue to write. Yes, writer’s block is real but remember it is only temporary. Do not be disheartened, if on some days you are not able to write. There is always be a next day to start over. Talk it over with the person you trust to resume your writing without wasting too many days. It’s determination over feeling disheartened.
9. Be accountable
As mentioned earlier, writing warrants discipline. What follows discipline is accountability. From the first day that you decide you want to write, maintain a log of your writing. For example, if you had decided to write one blog a day, check if at the end of the month if you have 28/29/30/31 blogs. Then be accountable for what is in each of the blogs. Also, share your writing on various platforms to have public accountability. From regular posts to informative content, deliver what the audience wants. The feedback from these platforms will also help you to understand how to improve your writing
10. Finish what you started
From the onset, be sure about one thing. It means despite the difficulties you face, finish the project that you have undertaken. Often writers themselves feel discouraged or disillusioned and give up on their skill. Who said it is going to be easy? Learn to keep toiling until you are satisfied with the final result. There will always be room for improvement and book 2,3,4 and more. But you have already made a super start to become a best-selling author by completing your first book.
11. Find a publisher willing to read and publish your work
Ask around, Google, and shortlist a couple of publishers. Check out the packages they offer, the scope of work, and the price. Then decide on the one that fits your requirement. Self-publishing is no longer an arduous task.
When your book is published or even before that, set up a marketing plan to include traditional and digital marketing. After that, get ready to become the author of a bestseller. Voila, ten easy steps and you too can become a best-selling author.
My grandfather inspired me to tell stories. I would never have imagined in a million years that someday I would tell a story as I write a book. But as they say, there is always a first time. I realized 25% imagination + 25% expression + 25% knowledge + 25% dedication = 100% successful writer.
I started writing way back in college but brushed it off. Only about a few months, when I began to dabble in poetry and short stories on Facebook, I received not just likes from people but many calls to say they had no idea that I had a way with words. Well, I gathered the talent was still there, and time to bring it to the fore. A little nudge from friends, some professional courses, and I decided to become a content writer. A pass-time progressed into a passion and purpose.
Since then, every day as I write, it is new learning. My thoughts evolve into my writing style—simple, straightforward, emotional, and fun. I have no specific specialization, preference, nor any genre as I remain the perpetual learner. It is about feeling fulfilled as you share your thoughts with millions out there.
Now that I told you how to be a writer and become an author, go for it. But before that, do read—Life, I want to look at you another way.
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