How to Become a Writer

I decided I wanted to be a writer while I was in high school. It’s 33 years later, and here is my progress report.

Hardly a day has gone by that I don’t write something. Notes to the teacher at school don’t count, and neither do the memos where I work. I write something creative almost every day. Sometimes I’m working out the mechanics of a story. Sometimes I’m journaling to figure out how my brain works by, later on, reading what I wrote. For quite a while, blogging was my primary passion for writing.

I have written nine screen plays, three dozen short stories, a short novel, and four and a half novels. The most recent novel has been rewritten twice but it still just counts as a single novel. Nothing has been published commercially.

I have read dozens of books on how to write, or how to become a writer. In the coming months and years, I will summarize each of them. It is for my own benefit because explaining the things I learned my help me understand and synthesize what I learned. (I’m sure in one of them they recommend not using words like “synthesize”.)

I have read a few hundred works of fiction. That is both a joy and a frustration as more than once I’ve read something and wondered how it is I can’t do better. A few times I’ve been certain that I can do better.

I have attended classes and workshops on how to write better. This is the most interesting topic because the intensity of workshops and their cost make them peculiar. You must expect a great deal out of them in order to plop down cold, hard cash.

During many years I have dealt with numerous distractions and great piles of self-doubt. I feel confident at last, and I am nurturing hope for success. By sharing what I know, I hope to share hope and bolster my own.

The act of writing is its own reward, but still one seeks recognition if only to be able to practice the craft full time. I have always had a full time job (or was a full-time student) so I rarely have given my practice of writing its full due.

What I now understand is the most important thing is that seeking feedback on one’s writing is the only way to improve. As part of my on-going practice, I hope to expand my network of writerly colleagues and work together on story problems.

If you have a story problem you’d like to discuss, contact me at this website, or email me at