Becoming a Writer
Episode #1 of the course How to write best-selling, award-winning fiction by K.C. Finn
Welcome to the course!
I’m K.C. Finn, multi-award-winning and best-selling author of young adult, fantasy, and horror fiction. In these highly competitive genres, I’ve had great success as an independent and small press published author, and I’m here to share some secrets with you to make your journey a lot easier than mine was!
Over the next ten sessions, you’ll explore valuable strategies that you can implement into your writing to ensure that it’s the best quality it can be, while also learning hard-earned marketing tips that it’s taken me years to amass. Not only will you be able to produce higher-quality fiction that brings in those all-important book awards, but you’ll know how to sell your image as an author and create a following who adore the stories you tell.
So onto the first lesson. Today, we’ll explore the concept of what a writer is and how to truly become one. You’ll learn good habits for producing huge quantities of high-quality fiction—just the stuff to create your new best-seller.
There are people who write, and then there are writers. It’s all well and good to say, “Oh, I’d love to write a book,” and pretty much everyone on the planet says that at some point. That doesn’t mean we all have the drive to actually do it and commit to doing it well. The fact that you’re here, right now, committing to this course means that you’ve taken a very important step in the right direction. Very well done to you! A true writer is someone who tells stories, even when there’s no pen or paper (or keyboard) in sight. An unchained imagination matched with regular discipline to harness those ideas into a real form—this is the magic combination that produces results (and a profitable career, of course), so let’s look at how this balance can be achieved.
Writing regularly produces high volumes of words. We all know the great mantra about editing, the idea of sculpting down to discover something beautiful within the giant block of marble that we have unearthed. The more words you have to play with, the better the creation you can make with them, and in turn the higher quality your work will become. I’ve found that by writing regularly—every day if I can manage it—not only do I have plenty of material to work with to produce my books quickly, but I also have to edit less in the long run as I hone my skills and improve them every single time I write.
From a marketing perspective, I’ve learned that independent writers make their regular income by producing a continuous stream of new books. Indie authors are not so removed from their fans as the likes of J.K. Rowling, and therefore, fans like to feel that they know an author personally and can “follow” their journey. Each new book reveals a new piece of that journey, developing a loyal following who love that author as much as they love their books. So writing every day not only allows you to become a truly committed writer, it will also enable you to produce the volume of work that you need to sell in order to make a living in this vastly competitive sphere.
Now It’s Your Turn
Your task for today is simple: write something. Your task for the rest of your career as a writer, however, is much trickier: write something every day.
It doesn’t have to be the thing you’re working on for it to count as truly writing. Every idea we explore, whether it’s a brief drabble that never gets continued or a tiny character description that develops into a whole novel, teaches us something about our own writing. You learn a new way of phrasing, a new way of seeing or describing something, a new personality trait that you didn’t know was waiting to be developed on the page. Freeing your inner writer is the first step to productive everyday writing, and keeping up with the discipline, even just for five minutes a day, will hone your personal style into a strong narrative voice that readers can fall in love with.
So go ahead. Write something right now and be proud of that first step toward becoming a true writer.
Tomorrow, we’ll be looking at our first marketing technique—author platforms, an essential step in branding yourself as a serious writer looking to make their mark on the market.
Until then, happy writing!
To get more inspiration for your writing, try the simple and effective tasks from The Five Minute Writer by Margret Geraghty.
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