We have all heard people say that anyone can become a writer and that anyone can write a book. However, like most things that sound too good to be true, these statements, too, exist with the tag of 'Terms and Conditions applied'.
On the superficial aspect, the most basic necessities that are required to become a writer are the writing tools - a pen and paper, diary, notebook, laptop, phone, or anything else that suits you.
Well, then what is the great deal? Almost everyone has access to, at least, one of these writing tools. This means that everyone can become a writer, right?
Not really. Far from it, to be honest.
As mentioned earlier, these were the superficial requirements. Writing is the deepest ocean of all the hidden and secret aspects that truly define a writer. The surface of this vast ocean is glazed with hundreds of shining illusions that attract people from all around. These illusions fool many people into wanting to become a writer.
Once these people take the first step into the world of words, the illusions begin fading away one by one. Soon, they stand looking at the dark, dreary and oblivious ocean that the world of writing truly is. This is also one of the main reasons why most people who decide that they want to be writers never finish their first book.
Let us take a look at what it takes to be a writer; what the deep, dark ocean is all about.
Talent - This can wear out even before the main journey begins. Talent is not a requirement to become a writer. Most writers who are successful are not born with an inborn talent for writing. However, most people who do have this inborn talent never make it as a writer. The next point will help you understand why.
Hard work - Writing is an art. It can and needs to be developed constantly. It is a skill that needs to be sharpened everyday. A writer needs to have read hundreds of books before they can attempt to write their own. When no one is reading your work, when no one even knows you are writing, when there is no assurance of success, you still have to write.
The biggest myth surrounding writers is that they are driven by inspiration. Absolutely not. They are driven by discipline.
You need to be disciplined about your writing. Every day, no matter what happens, you have to sit down and write. This is the only way to finish writing your book.
Passion - Inspiration plays only a tiny role in shaping you as a writer. The true warrior that will help you get the title of a writer is passion. Momentary passion, again, is of no use. Your love and passion for words should be so deeply etched into your heart that it insulates you against all downfalls and downpours. It is this passion that forces you to sit and write everyday.
Love - Another aspect of passion is the love for writing. Unless you love what you do, you will find it emotionally and physically draining to do it. Writing demands blood, sweat and tears. Your love for words will help you sail through all writer's blocks and dead ends. If you cannot imagine your life without writing, then you are destined to be a writer.
Loneliness - Being a writer is a lonely job, especially if you are writing a book. You should be at peace with the fact that you will spend hours and weeks all alone, as you write. Your best acquaintances will be the characters in your head and the silence that surrounds you.
Patience - Writing a book takes time. Getting it published takes longer. Finding success, apart from a few exceptions, takes even longer.
Patience defines a writer. At every step, you will have to be patient and smile. Even if you are on the verge of giving up, your patience should bring you right back on track. In the world of writing, good things come to those who are patient.
Perseverance - The most important and the hardest part about being a writer is being perseverant. You will be faced with unexpected challenges, heartbreaks, rejections, doubts and uncertainty. But you have to keep writing and moving forward. You will not see any results right away, whether pertaining to a publishing deal or in matters of book sales. Everything in the writing world takes time. Being perseverant is the key.
Brave heart - Rejections are a part of being a writer. The hurt stings sharp and the grief swallows your entire heart. You will begin to doubt your self worth and question your decisions of becoming a writer. However, you have to shrug off these heavy thoughts and try again.
Criticism from readers is another aspect that requires you to have a brave heart. Some reviews will be constructive criticism which will help you improve, but some will be plain negative.
Negative reviews are just a reality check that your book is not everyone's cup of tea. These reviews are fine, as long as you do not let them pull you down. There is no doubt that they will stab your heart like daggers, but you should be brave and carry yourself through them.
Educational qualifications - Not all writers have degrees in creative writing and literature. Not all writers have taken writing courses. You do not compulsorily need such a degree to become a writer. It is just a personal preference. If you have finished your schooling, it is quite sufficient. However, this is only because when you write a book, you will be expected to research, learn and understand everything about the topic you are writing on. In these days of the internet, anyone can access any information.
These are a few points that clearly outline what it takes to be a writer. So you see, anyone can become a writer, as long as all the terms and conditions are met.
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The above article was written by Kulsum - Bestselling author of The Bleeding Wounds Series on Amazon Kindle. Her debut novel Love of a Stranger is globally published.