Want To Be A Writer? Tell Your Story
Everyone has a story to tell. Tell yours. That is the best advice anyone can give on the topic of becoming a writer.
On the journey there will come much advice about the mastery of the craft. It is all worthy as is industry based council such as to allow editors and designers to do their jobs and compliment your work. But in all this there is only one truly vital piece of inspiration is simple motivation. Tell your story.
It is easy to be swept aside by the limitations of ones education or lack of expertise in language or form. Don’t let that stop you. Do not let the goal be obscured by what can appear to be a daunting process. Put your word and your ideas on that page.
To understand that advice, it is first necessary to understand the function and purpose of language as well as it’s continuing evolution.
Language is not more than a collectively agreed upon set of terms and rules for the use of these terms to facilitate the flow of ideas and the sharing of information. It evolves technologically, geographically and in the modern era, in conjunction with the acceptance of governance (through educational institutions).
The mastery of language is nearly impossible. The English language, and in particular that used in North America, change almost fluidly. Governed use of English also has no set standard. The Modern Language Association, or M.L.A., is responsible for monitoring or promoting changes to this language at the academic level. This is the governed English most learn in college. The APA Style, or that advanced by the American Psychological Association more specifically deals with the proper citation of learned or referenced materials to avoid plagiarism, while yet another, the AP or Associated Press governs the use of language parameters for general consumption through modern media such as newspapers, magazines or broadcasters. Even with these commonly accepted authorities, still Ivy League colleges and others have created their own very specific standards for the use of language in writing. There is a Harvard style, an Oxford style and an assortment of other state university manuals of writing rules and styles. All of these organizations governing language publish standards on a routine, sometimes annual basis, as language evolves.
As a creative writer, what does this mean to you? Nothing. These standards are set as a base line to set a communally agreed upon set of terms and uses from which o start. It has not been unusual for writers adapt these rules, change them or disregard them as their individual writing demands. While learning your craft, it is beneficial to learn about these rules and to learn what your readers are learning, so that you can hone your skills to grow your readership and expand your reach. But, not understanding all of the rules is not a reason not to start. Tell your story.
Once you have set pen to paper, trust an editor with your work. Good “line” editors have the expertise and experience to assist you in meeting the most universally requisite standards to communicate your ideas to your readers. Do not get lost in the never-ending search for the perfect placement of your commas or the idyllic use of a semicolon. Let those with the most expertise assist you. If you are self-publishing and can’t afford an expert line editor, share your work. Let family and friends read what you have written, particularly those who read a lot. While they may have not quantifiable expertise in language, their routine exposure to literature means that they have a well-informed opinion about the most common, and thusly communally accepted uses of writing rules. They can help you to learn and continue to learn your craft. Most importantly they can help you to build the confidence to tell your story!
If you have a passion for writing or an idea for a terrific story, the most important step is the first step. Tell your story! The rest in this modern era is something you can learn. You can grow and expand. But it all starts with the first step. If you are a storyteller, that step is simple: tell your story.