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Just Because You Can Write Doesn’t Make You A Writer

By Erin Walker

It seems like everyone is trying it these days. Every direction you look, people are cranking out novels or trying to get their life story published. Being a “writer” seems to be everyone’s new favorite pastime. Yet, how many of these people actually know what they’re doing? It’s a great thing to spend your time writing rather than zonked out in front of a screen. However, just because you can put pen to paper, or fingers to keypad, doesn’t make you a writer. For those of you who are dedicated, here are several things that are crucial for success in the world of paper, words, and thoughts.

The most important thing you’ll need if you’re really serious about pursuing a career in writing is dedication. Sadly, this is the one factor consistently lacking in most people aspiring to be the next J.R.R Tolkien. If I had a book written for each person I’ve met that’s started a book and never finished, I would be the most productive writer in history. Starting a book is challenging and exciting, but figuring out how to continue it, how to make that plot twist turn out just right, or how to write ten more chapters in your self-help book, can be the hardest part of all. Stick to it and you’ll develop a true writer’s heart.

If you really want to be a good writer, you have to be an avid reader. Most writers naturally love reading. Often times though, once they start writing their own book, they become so engrossed in it they fail to continue reading. Don’t give up reading. In fact, read more. If you’re writing a book on baking, read other baking books and learn from them. If you’re planning on writing a tale of adventure, read some best-selling books in that genre. Through reading, you can learn what did and didn’t work without making the same mistakes.

One more thing that is key for all writers is the environment. If you will only be writing for a little while or as a pastime, go somewhere fun like a coffee shop, or a log cabin to write. If you plan on doing this long term or as a living, you might want to find somewhere cheaper to write that will still be inspiring. A park, library, or even your house can work well. Wherever you go the goal is to write, thus, wherever you write best is where you should go. For many published authors, this just happens to be their home.

The home has a number of advantages as a writing location. For one thing, the writer doesn’t have to worry about driving anywhere or spending money. For another thing, the home can be a place free of distractions. If you really want to be a writer, set apart a separate room or desk that will become your writing corner. Only go there when you plan on writing. This means no getting on your computer and checking facebook for “ideas.” Get to work. The home truly is one of best places for writers to work on a continual basis. Because of this, it is crucial that all your work is properly protected, not only by backing it up often, but by making sure your computer, printer, and other technology is not stolen. One way you can do this is by installing a home security system. While it may not matter too much if you lose your possessions, losing what you’ve written is devastating.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Walker, Erin "Just Because You Can Write Doesn’t Make You A Writer." Just Because You Can Write Doesn’t Make You A Writer. 7 Jul. 2010. 29 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Walker, E (2010, July 7). Just Because You Can Write Doesn’t Make You A Writer. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Walker, Erin "Just Because You Can Write Doesn’t Make You A Writer"

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