To Those Who Would Like to be Writers…
These days, it’s a tough game. In the 30’s, there were not so many people who fancied themselves as authors of novels and such, and so if you spent your time writing, you had to be fairly good at it in order to get into publication. It was more a case of many publishers, and not enough writers to go around.
These days, the situation is reversed: there are numbers of publishers, and so many people are writing that the publishers can take their pick of the best…there are those who won’t even publish an author unless that author is already known, which seems like a back-the-front way to do things: how do you get into publication if you’re not now published, and no publisher will publish you unless you’re published? In other words, how do you get the experience as a published writer if nobody will give you the experience? I mean, we aren’t all J K Rowlings, sitting there with a hot manuscript in our hands that’s just made for the big screen, are we?
I taught Creative Writing for years up in Bundaberg, and also in Bathurst, and the best advice i can give an aspiring writer is this: enrol in a Creative Writing course, be it at the local TAFE college or a university. Study under a professional writer, someone who has earned their living from writing for a reasonable amount of time, before you even attempt to put pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard.
You need to know how to tweak the words to make them say precisely what you intend them to say…describe things in the way you want the reader to see them. There is no other way.
I spent 27 years studying Creative Writing and Professional Writing at university level before attempting my first novel, and now it has paid off. But I believe without that training first, I would not have stood a chance.
So go out, find that course and that professional teacher, and get your head down. Write and study, study and write, and when you’re tired of it all, write some more.
That’s the only way, believe me. Don’t rely on just plain luck – most times, it won’t work.