What Is & How To Be An Author?
Do you get a sudden urge to just pick up the pen and start writing? Is there a Dan Brown or a J.K Rowling inside you waiting to come out and just jolt down pages? And all these times you could do nothing about it. Although, you wanted you couldn’t. And the reason is evident: where do one start if he wants to pursue his career in writing? I mean there is no good career counseling platform available for this niche work. This blog will help you understand how to Choose a Career as an Author.
Stop worrying my friend! Sit down take a deep breath, for you have come to the right place. In the next 10-15 mins, you will get to learn all about becoming an author.
Firstly, let us try to understand what is an author? or rather Who is an author? Now I can quote Wikipedia but frankly, I don’t think the formal definition matters here. It’s the essence and passion you have for a writing a book, article, or document that makes you an author. I am writing this blog for my friends as a career counseling platform for becoming an author, doesn’t that make me the author itself?
Now let’s address the elephant in the room. How do I become an author or should I reframe it as how do I become a good and successful author? Well for starters there are lots of good creative writing courses in India.
Top five Institutions offering courses are-
Xavier Institute of Communications – Mumbai
British Council of India – Delhi, and Kolkata
Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning – Anywhere
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) – Anywhere
Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (SACAC) – New Delhi
These courses offer you good career counseling platform where you can enroll to hone your skills as an author. But these courses vary in terms of time duration and fees and in several other ways. Are these courses mandatory to be a successful writer? It depends on how comfortable you are. If you feel ready you can start writing.
If you have come this far I am assuming you are serious about becoming an author and so let me give you a structured format on how you should go about it.
- 1. Read. A lot.
You cannot start writing before knowing what are the expectations of your consumer and that is why you must walk in their shoes at least a thousand pages just to see what it’s like on the other side. Therefore, start with a genre which you like. So, if you have an interest in love stories you can begin with Jane Austen or if you like thriller then go with Dan Brown. Also, it will help one get an idea of how one should construct sentences and things like how to keep a reader gripped and when to end a paragraph.
Well, you can start with Edu4sure Career counseling blogs which guide you on how to write good works. One stone two mangoes I would say!
- 2. Write. Duh…!!
I need not tell you this. Write a lot then what you do? You rewrite it. Keep on repeating this until you get to a point where you feel satisfied. Write about anything you want or like. There is a famous adage “if there is something you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” And it’s true like I wanted to read an article which provides me with a good career counseling platform for writers but I couldn’t find any and so here I am. The gist of the example is that you can write about anything usually something you like so that you will be more comfortable with it.
- Work over my vocabulary
You tell me which sentence is better:
“We will ignore him and will not talk to him and we won’t deal anything related to him.”
“We will ostracize him”
Just look at the beauty of the word which captured the essence in a nutshell. Hence, you need to learn lots of these words to make your writing crisp and less digressing.
Also, look out for grammar. There is a big difference in “Carrier counseling platform” and “Career counseling platform.”
I would suggest 3 books for this-
Word Power Made Easy – Norman Lewis
High school English Grammar – Wren and Martin
Six weeks to a word of power- Wilfred Funk
- Start Small
Start small. It can even be a joke or a two-line story and then start writing more. Gradually you will start writing pages with great content and integrity. You cannot start thinking yourself to be George R.R Martin and even he took 15 years for his book. Look at our Edu4sure career counseling blogs. They are perfect for you to start. Notice the style of writing. Take a topic and start writing 800-1200 words about it. So, build a strong base and then move up.
- Theme and Genre
Find a niche which you want to write about. It can be a horror story a science fiction whatever you want. Make a generic theme around your content that will help you to stick with the story and not lose the plot. Like a Fiction usually has characters and to these characters, we can relate to and they keep us glued to the novel. A thriller Novel, when written with perfection, keeps us on the edge of every page. So, keep a central theme in mind around which your writing will revolve. Like Edu4sure is a career counseling platform for e-education. So, most of our blogs are around this theme itself. You should check them out to get a gist.
This is THE most important part of writing. Believe me, writing this career counseling blog took me just half an hour but six hours to research before. You should be thorough with the subject you are writing. You should know the A to Z about it. Why? Because of the more you know, the more genuine your content will be and the more it will engross the readers.
Dan Brown in his every novel starts with “All the facts, locations, organizations and artifacts mentioned in the novel are real and true.” Imagine reading this as the first line of the novel. Therefore, it automatically surges the interest level of users.
- First draft
Write your first draft and remember there is a rule in the author’s community. Always remember your first draft is going to be rubbish. In fact, the first couple of drafts will also most likely be rubbish. But don’t get discouraged. Since it happens to the best of the best.
Above all, keep on rewriting. Soon you will find that your drafts are getting better with more reruns. And a time will come where you will feel complacent with your work. It may come early, it may come late but never lose your persistence and patience.
- 9. Stay Motivated
Don’t give up or let me aptly rephrase it NEVER give up. Ideas not coming? No worries, sit back. Relax. Enjoy. Enjoy life. Live. Life is not all the page. You must have experiences to draw upon. For instance, you must enjoy the real-life characters that are your friends, family, strangers. Recharge yourself. Now write. Then edit. Then do it again.
- Constructive Criticism
Send your writing to small publishers like magazines and online articles publishing site.
Take feedback from people. You can even ask feedback on Edu4sure career counseling platform. Our team will love to give you good constructive feedback. But, what to do with all this feedback? Ignore the harsh criticism. Take back the positives and work on your writing to make it better.
Be persistent. You remember our motto “NEVER give up”. Keep trying. Just remember J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by many publishers including some of the big stalwarts of industries but now she is the first billionaire author.
Proofreading means carefully examining your text to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling. It is the penultimate step before you contact publishers so make sure everything is set up. As even a small mistake will leave a bad impression on publishers and they take these things seriously. You can use software to check spelling and a grammatical mistake but don’t do this process in a hurry. Take your own time and make sure not even a single mistake is there.
Finished your writing. Now, what? Now we will contact publishers and show them our content. Because publishers have an extensive network of production and distribution. If they like your work, they will take your writing and publish it across the region and give you big fat cheques also called royalties for each of your book sold. So How to contact these publishers? There are three ways you can do it.
- Self-Publishing: If you have enough resources financially and extensive distribution network then you can self-publish your book which means you will print it and make sure it reaches the market. Usually, people do not have such resources.
- Publishers: You can contact and send your content directly to established publishers. Here is a list of top five publishers of India
- Penguin books
- Random House
- National Book Trust
- Westland Press
- Agents: While the above two are quite difficult to get. Contacting agents is the most common way used. An agent is basically an intermediate between you and publishers. A good Agent has contacts across various publishing houses and helps in furnishing the content of your book. Therefore, hiring the right agent is very essential and that is why one must ask lots of questions before hiring.
- Maintain Online Presence
With the advent of digitalization and social media, It has given an opportunity to connect with so many people from a single platform. Therefore, you should start having a good online presence. Post small stories, joke, quotes. Interact with people of similar interests. Also, write blogs on sites like medium.com and read blogs of others to see their style of writing and getting new ideas with it.
Well this article is coming to an end but your journey of becoming a successful author is a circle, it never ends. I have tried to give you a basic career counseling on how to become an author. While I have tried to cover most of the points but you should go ahead and search for books and the internet more about it. Also, do read other blogs of Edu4sure you will get a good idea on how to start writing blogs and then move on to articles. Edu4sure is an online career counseling platform where you can read articles on e-education.
To end I would like to say “Don’t be swayed by Overnight success. Because overnight success is often the product of many years of semi-anonymous toil.”