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Sunday, September 29, 2013

So You Want to Be a Writer.

When someone asks me how to become a writer, my first response is: "Write." Many people talk about what they want to write but don't actually compose anything. The writers I know have to write. Whether this is a curse or blessing depends on how well the writing is going. There are moments in writers' lives, yes, even successful, best selling authors, when they wonder why they are spending so much time in this endeavor, or if anyone is interesting in reading it, or if it's good enough. If you have a passion for writing, you will continue despite disappointments and self doubt because you must. If you want to be a writer, you must also learn to rewrite. This is much easier if you have a friend or a writing group that is knowledgeable. Near my computer, I have a cartoon with a skeleton sitting at a desk. The caption reads: This is absolutely, positively, the last rewrite. The first draft of "Fall in Love with an Orange Tree or a Book" was rejected by an agent who said she didn't think I was addressing enough of the issues faced by illegal immigrants. A friend said my book was too "Anglo." Of course, I was disappointed, but I took the criticism and rewrote the book. I blush when I think how bad the first draft was and thrilled that after many rewrites I am proud of my book. Next blog: How to be a published writer.

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