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  1. #11
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    College = win. It doesn't even have to be a contingency plan for if writing doesn't work out - it's just an incredible learning experience and not one you should pass up on if you're given the opportunity. You'll find ways to improve your writing in the college setting, whether it's under a professor or via the books in your University library. Sounds like you're really motivated, good luck! Hope to buy one of your books someday

  2. #12
    Junior Member Charmain's Avatar
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    I am INFP and I am a (wannabe) writer! The two seem to go together? Why can I just never be sure!!! I get so frustrated, because I'm always confused and doubting myself.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Timmy's Avatar
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    IMO, you are either a "writer" or you are not. I can write well, and enjoy turning out a good phrase, report or blog/thread post. But I am not a "writer"...I am not driven to write. I have ideas for two books, one fiction, but just can't find time to sit down and crank them out.

    The non-fiction book would be very easy, just sitting down and doing a bit of research, organizing it, then writing it up. But I haven't. The novel book is one I find interesting...in theory...but have basically written the opening paragraph.

    A "real" writer would have done those by now (given the time I've had to do them).

    On another note, if there are but two books I could recommend, they would be

    Stunk & White's Elements of Style

    William Zinsser's On Writing Well

    (neither of these are affiliate links, so no worry about crass commercialism, even though I am an avowed capitalist pig)

  4. #14
    Glycerine
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    Also, Spunk and Bite is good. It's like a modern spin to Elements of Style.

  5. #15
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    • Find a writer's group in your area. Writers Market might help you out. If Mary Higgins Clark needs a critique group so do the rest of us
    • Even the smallest conference in your area can give you a chance to talk with writers and editors and find out what it takes
    • Yes to college. Especially liberal arts. To transfer from nonfiction to fiction, Sue Monk Kidd went to (I think it was) Iowa Writers Workshop. You can learn a lot, even if the classes are a bit off from what you want to write
    • Write. Sounds obvious, but what lots of beginners don't realize is that ANY publishing credits add up toward credibiity. My first book had nothing to do with what I originally thought I'd write about but then I could say I'd written a book
    • Get somewhere where you can hang with writers. I volunteered to help write materials for a class at church. Not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but there were two published writers on that committee and pretty soon I was helping one of them with some crunch editing and...we've now written 9 books together. You just never know, but you have to show up...
    • Think magazines. They have a neverending need for copy, especially the smaller ones (as in, don't start with The New Yorker) and again you get credits on your resume.
    • Check your community ed offerings. I once took a 4-nite fiction class from a published author. Cost: $60 and I picked up some really solid ideas.


    About a third of my income is from writing, 2/3 from teh consulting that comes off it. I still want to write fiction, have half a children's book written, trade "notes" with my screenwriter nephew on those projects, and still think it might happen some day. I value my English major as forcing discipline on my writing habits....
    edcoaching

  6. #16
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Don't choose to write.
    Write because you have no choice.

  7. #17
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Learn NLP, general semantics (i.e. Korzybski) and linguistics in general, it will teach you tricks to make your writing more interesting to your audience. Also if your into writing fiction I heard studying Joseph Campbell is a good idea. I would also highly recommend Comedy Writing Secrets by Melvin Helitzer. Also do some traveling and living life (this means getting out of you zone of comfort).
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  8. #18
    Senior Member Timmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    Also, Spunk and Bite is good. It's like a modern spin to Elements of Style.
    I read up on it on Amazon, then checked a copy out at the local library. It's pretty good. As I've always told folks, and this books seems to support, is that you have to actually know the rules in order to work around them. As the book quotes Woody Allen on comedy "If it bends, it's funny. If it breaks, it's not."

  9. #19
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Oh jesus.....i can't think of a good axiom, idiom or maxim.

    Writer: one who writes.

    If you want to be a professional writer, good luck. Most professional writers don't even get published until 30 or so. A young prof. writer nowadays is 40yo. Keep that in mind but don't be discouraged....until you're 50. Suicide is okay if you're 50 or older and you can't get published.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  10. #20
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    All this advice is great. A lot of the time I do not think I am cut out to be a writer because I am afraid of writing...yet I am compelled to articulate my thoughts. I guess I'm afraid of that gap between what you envision and what actually comes out. I need to write more, methinks. I suppose honing a craft is about that very problem.

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