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  1. #1
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    Default Any writers here? Help?!

    I want to make writing my career so badly. I have always had a natural apptitude for it as well. There were two instances where I was accused of plagarizing/ having my mom right for me. The first time was in middle school when we had to write a short story (They called my mom in to school to question her!) The second time was in high school and was an essay that was apparently too erudite (pssh please) for my grade level according to my teacher.

    Right now, I'm applying to college (I took a year off)... and I've been thinking about majoring in Religious studies/English/Anthropology... but I don't even know ...I just want to have some sort of degree to back me up even though I really feel like skipping it (I do really want to college experience though...otherwise I will become way too much of a hermit and have zero friends...I guess I should have at least one so I don't go completely loony)

    If there are any people here making a living from writing or have any general advice it would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    See Right Through Me Bubbles's Avatar
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    What kind of writing?

    For publishing, The Writer's Market is your Bible. Look it up as a reference book in any library, skim it, it lists publishers and magazines and what they require and look for in submissions.

    Writer's Digest is a majorly helpful magazine you can subscribe to. I save all my copies because they all have such helpful advice on so many aspects of writing.

    Write daily. Hone your skills. Hell, join a writing group. Major progress can come from that.

    Visit Writer's Conferences. There's bound to be some in your area, and they're goldmines.

    Research what it is you want to do. Look at how tons of other people just like you made their way. Read enough stories you'll find a pattern.

    (Writing/Psychology Major on her way to being a novelist, at your service. )
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Timmy's Avatar
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    I interviewed for my dream job in January. With my background and experience, reading the job description was like they wrote it with me in mind. Word is I am the only candidate.

    But...so far...delayed. Not a "no", but some acquisitions have caused some...rearranging, so TPTB have put the position on hold.

    Ruined, no, destroyed my best pair of wingtips in the process (leather shoes that have spent their life in Arizona don't do well in a Minnesota winter...). I really liked those shoes...as far as dress shows go.

  4. #4
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    observe people, observe things, warp things, make things weird. edit edit edit.

    above all, keep things interesting, keep your own interest.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Happyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    If there are any people here making a living from writing or have any general advice it would be greatly appreciated!
    Hey, I'm a writer. I do it for a living. I'll drop some advice, hopefully useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    I want to make writing my career so badly.

    I have always had a natural apptitude for it as well. There were two instances where I was accused of plagarizing/ having my mom right for me. The first time was in middle school when we had to write a short story (They called my mom in to school to question her!) The second time was in high school and was an essay that was apparently too erudite (pssh please) for my grade level according to my teacher.
    I think the WANTING, the DESIRE to be a writer is the most important. I mean, probably 2-5% people have enough linguistic-talent to become writers, but it takes crazy drive and discipline to actually do this. The risk, the opportunity cost are great, writing takes shitload of time. I think it's so easy to just do anything else, find a job etc (check first post in my blog, my way to writing was LONG) you really need crazy internal drive to do this. You feel like you MUST become a writer - you need to find or express yourself, you need fame.. I don't know. It really has to be something strong - because it's a crazy choice in these days (go to Paris Review page and see interview with J.P. Donleavy - that's some serious drive! H.Miller will do also).

    Also you need - if you don't want to just write genre - some serious sensitivity, something to write about - you have to be passionate about something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    Right now, I'm applying to college (I took a year off)... and I've been thinking about majoring in Religious studies/English/Anthropology... but I don't even know ...I just want to have some sort of degree to back me up even though I really feel like skipping it (I do really want to college experience though...otherwise I will become way too much of a hermit and have zero friends...I guess I should have at least one so I don't go completely loony)
    I don't know what to tell you. I went to college, because I didn't think I can make living out of writing. On the plus side: I had amazing amount of time to read and I read something like 60-80 novels a year. On the minus side: I wrote very little or nothing. But you probably could do this. I think college is a good idea. Just don't loose the main goal. Keep it in front of your eyes ALL THE TIME.

    Oh, and that's a very good book about writing novels:
    Novel Writing - Bob Mayer - Fiction Writers Toolkit
    This book is mainly practical advice, something I needed very much.

    The only advice: Write A LOT.
    And... Good luck!!
    "Act as though it was impossible to fail."
    Dorothea Brande

    I started a real blog!

  6. #6
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    A lot depends on what kind of writing you want to do. I've fallen into freelance writing and it's making me fairly good money, when I can find work. It's not glamorous or extremely fulfilling, though it's fun at times. I figure if nothing else I'm getting practice at producing writing consistently, which is something I have trouble doing for my own self-directed writing.

    If you decide to go the freelance route to begin with (or end with! there's no shame in it), a degree will really help you get your foot in the door. I don't think most companies would look twice at my resume if it didn't have a degree on it. And, I'll be honest, I learned a lot about effective writing from my professors.

    Good luck!
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  7. #7
    brainheart
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    I've been working on the same novel for the last couple of years. I had a useless major in college (film studies); I viewed college as a learning experience vs a place to get practical skills. Not sure that that's the best plan these days. There is no way I could get a job that would fulfill my intellectual desires unless I were to go back to grad school, but even then the possibility is... dim. Thank God I have a sugar daddy!

    My advice would be to major in something that you can tolerate that will make you a living. Take writing/English classes as electives and view writing as a hobby or a passion, not as a way to make money. That way you will have the freedom to write what you want and you will also not be living in the gutter. But yes, writing has to be a priority, and it has to be something you have to do, not merely something you enjoy. Otherwise you won't have the commitment to continue.

  8. #8
    Oberon
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    If you want to succeed in this and you have even a modicum of talent, as you say you do, there is one thing that will make you succeed if you have it, or fail if you don't: Work Ethic.

    Stephen King wrote that his "writing fairy" ...the mythical fairy godmother who dumps flashes of brilliant inspiration on a writer's head... is an imaginary guy in his 50s, stocky, in coveralls and sporting a salt-and-pepper crew cut. King's muse is a working man, the guy who packs a lunch and stays at it all day. This is the sort of shop foreman who may tolerate fools, but has no patience for the lazy. The difference between an amateur and a pro is what happens when you don't feel inspired. The pro has learned to dig down and gut it out, and work at it until the draft is presentable. King should know... he started out with a pretty good talent. Not brilliance, just a pretty good talent. The rest of his story is written in sweat, and the man has earned every dollar he's made.

    Make the time, force yourself to do it, put in several hours a day, and stay disciplined. Maintain this, and you will be fully employed as a writer within a few years.

    Lots of people want to be writers. Not all that many of them want to put in the hours.

  9. #9
    See Right Through Me Bubbles's Avatar
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    Lots of people want to be writers. Not all that many of them want to put in the hours.
    Smart man.
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  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    I want to make writing my career so badly.
    So don't write the words, let the words write you.

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