by Linda Thorne
I may not be the biggest expert on this subject, but having gone through the process myself I have a little personal expertise. I made the decision in 2005 to become a fiction author. I’m an example of someone who should’ve or could’ve failed or given up, so my story may have some value to those who want to go this route, but are uncertain they can make it happen.
I was a late bloomer when I decided to write in 2005. My background didn’t hold out much hope for me either. My working career has been in human resources. A career in something like journalism would’ve better prepared me. I worked hard at getting a C in both English and creative writing classes in college. Next to math, which I’m not sure I ever passed, these two classes were my hardest. Why I suddenly decided to start writing would be a whole other post. If you’re interested, more information is given on my website in the biography section under How it Began at: http://www.lindathorne.com/bio/how-it-began/
Here are the steps to becoming a fiction author as I see them. Anything you choose to do will start out about the same. You must begin to act as if that’s who you are. In the case of being an author as opposed to a ballerina dancer or a tennis player, you’d:
- Read good fiction. I’ve heard it’s good to read bad fiction too, but that didn’t work for me. When I read bad work, I wrote bad work.
- Take classes and/or buy self-help books. Study the art of writing just like tennis players or ballerina wannabes would take classes and study their craft.
- Have your work critiqued. None of us are adequate at judging our own work. This may hold true for those wanting to be ballerinas or tennis players. You need outside opinions.
- Go to author events. Show up at writing conferences. It’s all part of the process to act like an author. Ballerinas go to ballet performances and tennis players attend tennis matches.
- Keep your ear to the ground on what you need to do to succeed. Luckily authors don’t need to buy tennis outfits or tutus, but they do need to follow the author crowd.
- Join local and national author organizations.
- Submit your work all over the place. Rejection can sometimes give you the biggest hint on how close you might be, especially when rejecters send you encouraging comments or suggestions.
- Don’t ever give up.
So, I’m not a famous author (yet) or have produced a significant amount of published material, but I set out to become an author and now I am. The steps are fairly simple especially if you add persistence to the mix.
Note: Friday August 19th, I'll be a panelist at Session 5 and also Session 7 at the Killer Nashville Writers Conference held at the Embassy Suites in Cool Springs, Tennessee. If you're attending the conference, hope you'll stop by one or both of my sessions.