How To Be A Writer

cartoon owl reading a book illustrating article about becoming a writerAre you thinking of becoming a writer? There is lots of help for you here but first let’s think about what being a writer means.

Lots of people love the idea of becoming a writer, so why is it that so few actually do? The problem most beginning writers face is not knowing where to begin.

The answer is that you can only begin when you begin. Thinking about it doesn’t count. What you need to do is start now. If you don’t have a clue what to write about yet, that’s fine.

Many writers start without a particular project in mind. In fact that could be a good thing. It means that you will free to start without feeling pressure to write that big story.


The best place to start is with writing exercises. These give you valuable experience, unlock your ideas and promote good writing habits.

Learning good writing habits is vital. If you are to bring your project to completion then you will need to start writing regularly.

To do this make appointments for your writing in your diary and keep them.  Short, half hour writing sessions are better than one big exhausting and long session – every now and again.

Exhaustion isn’t motivating, but leaving your writing session feeling fresh and eager to carry on will fire your enthusiasm. Scheduling your time to make room for your writing will ensure you do this.


Any writer who has been published will tell you stories about friends and family members who casually mention that they could have written a book too – if only they had the time.

The implication is that they could have written a book if they chose, but had better things to do! Like I said above, everybody wants to have written – not so many want to write.

So do writers get extra time? No – we’re all on twenty-four hour days but it is up to us how we use those hours.

Maeve Binchy, who when she was alive, was one of the highest earning writers, started her career by getting up an hour earlier to write.

She did this in addition to holding down her full-time job. Even if you’re not a morning person you can still swap a single hour of television, or reading for an hour of writing – couldn’t you?


Nobody in their right mind would offer their services as a concert pianist if they just read a book about playing the piano and never actually sat down to play. We all know it takes practice and time.

If you wait for inspiration that’s all you will do – wait.  While you are waiting, others are busy writing.


There are lots of ways to get started and I have lots of ways to inspire you and help you.

Start by visiting any of the following pages. These contain different writing activities and exercises designed to get you writing straight away.


The best place to start is with exercises and you can begin with any of them. I also recommend starting by learning how to use the power of your imagination.


Very often we go through life with our minds closed to certain things. For example – you might dislike historical drama or fiction without ever having really thought about why this is.

It may be simply that you once saw a bad historical film, or were forced to read a certain book that you simply didn’t like. A great way to open your mind is to do things you haven’t done before.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go hang-gliding or shark fishing (unless you really want to) there are lots of easier ways to stretch your imagination and I have lots of tried and tested suggestions on my creative writing activities post.


Some people swear by journal writing and this can be a useful tool to help stimulate and organize your ideas. There are many ways to do this – from scribbling your thoughts on waking to collecting random images.

If these work for you then keep on doing it. However, if you would like to try a more practical approach then try my easy to follow guidelines on journal writing for the creative writer.

If you still think there’s some big mystery or secret to creativity – there’s more practical information about how to be creative here.

Whatever you do, just remember – it’s all about the writing.

Best of luck


owl with daffodils illustrating an article about becoming a writer


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6 Responses to How To Be A Writer

  1. James February 5, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Thanks for the tips Grace…….here i go!!!!

    • Grace February 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

      You are welcome – best of luck!

  2. Ruchama October 23, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    I’ve been wanting for a while to try my hand at creative writing, however I am afraid it will become just another endeavor which I start but never complete. I decided if I make a comment perhaps it would solidify my resolve; by letting someone else know, “Hey, I’m getting ready to start something new and I’d really like to stick with it to it’s conclusion,” maybe I will feel contractually obligated to be consistent for once. At any rate, if I don’t do anything else I’ve at least made a comment that took five minutes to author.
    This site looks like an excellent place to begin at the beginning! Wish me luck!

    • Grace October 23, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      Hi Ruchama,
      Well, what a great idea to get yourself started. You are now contractually obligated to be consistent and I hope it works for you. I recommend making appointments with yourself to get started. Try short but regular bursts of writing. Experiment with different times of day that suit you.
      I hope you come back and let me know how you are getting on.
      The very best of luck to you,

  3. Siddhartha November 19, 2014 at 6:24 am #

    Hi Grace, I have been writing for a couple of years and i think i have reached a point where i can notice significant changes in my writhing that i couldn’t a few years ago. When i was in school i used to be more persistent but when i went to college it suddenly dropped and i began to loose focus.

    What’s interesting is that despite everything i have always continued to express my thoughts and that particular feeling that kept me going somehow i think accounts for my passion which is why i never got rid of it like i did with many other endeavors.

    I have come across numerous creative writing websites but i have never felt the urge to look into them like i am right now. I will definitely follow your tips and will let you know about it.

    • Grace November 19, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      HI Siddhartha, it’s great to hear from you. I think a lot of people lose focus during their college years but of course academic work takes up a lot of time and there is only so much we can do. I am glad you are noticing changes and it’s great that you are returning to creative work. I wish you the very best of luck with it.

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