• Sarah Walker

The Year I Decided to Become a Writer

Everyone, at some point in their life, has a moment where they consider becoming a writer. You either read a fantastic book or get hit by a moment of inspiration that makes you think, I could write that! You quickly find yourself fantasizing about being a best-selling author or a screenwriter for a big production company. While you’re busy thinking about the dream, you can easily forget about the most important, most crucial detail about being a writer – you have to write something.

At this point, you hit writer’s block and start to question whether you should be a writer. If you’re in that predicament right now, then read my story about how I made that decision; for me, it was never a simple yes or no.

I still remember the day I had that flash of inspiration for a story. It was three months after I left my Research Master of Science course. I was furious at the time because of the circumstances by which I left. Officially, I left of my own volition, but only because they backed me into an unfair corner in breach of equality laws. That anger sparked the brilliant idea for an epic fantasy of good versus evil, where there were many grey areas of what constituted good. The idea was terrible, but that is where my story began (by the way, trust me when I say every author’s first story is awful).

When I thought about becoming a writer, my first reaction was a blush-worthy embarrassment – I was terrified of telling anyone I was seriously considering being a writer. Would they think I’d gone crazy? It’s not exactly an obvious leap from training to being a research physicist to being a fiction writer. It wasn’t just about the extreme shift in career – whether you write fiction or non-fiction, a piece of you is in that writing, a piece that other people will get to see. That’s scary.

How did I go from that’s scary to a new career path? I did my homework. I looked at everything from novel writing to screenwriting. I initially chose screenwriting, thinking it would be easier than writing a novel; I was so wrong, but that’s for another post. I read every book I could get my hands on with no income – the internet and library are fantastic resources. But none of that made me a writer.

How am I a writer now? Although learning the craft is very important, nothing beats practice. The whole time it was as simple as putting pen to paper. I’m sure many people will say it’s not that simple, but writing the first draft can’t be simpler. No one writes a brilliant first draft – that’s what editing is for – so be kind to yourself when writing that draft.

I think it’s important to include two last details:

  • Writing any project means anything from weeks to years of hard work, so make sure you are passionate about your project.

  • Grow as an author before you put anything out there – you only get one first impression.

I hope you have a fabulous writing journey!

Sarah Walker has been a writer for eleven years. She has written for three production companies, co-authored two fiction books, and written poetry books under the name Kerry Harte. She also publishes poetry under her real name on this blog. You can find Sarah’s books with the links below.

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