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It doesn’t matter what age you are, one important item on the list of most people’s dream occupation, is that of becoming a writer. And I am not talking just about adults, as children love to write as well. I should know as I have published several young writers' books for them.

The reason why people want to write is in many cases easy to answer, and yet often I come across someone who doesn’t have a reason other than they have a story that must be put down on paper.

There appears to be something that is mystical, even esoteric about the craft. But, no matter if it is a burning desire or a flight of fancy, when it comes to writing you need courage.

Why? Perhaps because being a writer has people believing there is a fantasized notion of creating unique masterpieces. Of being able to work to suit one's desire — meaning no boss or supervisor — and maybe having the freedom to just stop and take the day off whenever the mood strikes. Oh, how I wish this were all true.

While writing is a noble and rewarding endeavour, unfortunately, many may not have the calling for the craft. Or the patience.

I can assure you it will take more than the simple desire to just sit down and put your thoughts out to the world. For a start, it takes a great deal of courage. You should know that a writer is on a journey — quite often without a road map or a compass. This can sometimes lead them, to express unpopular opinions, or ask unanswerable questions.  Both of which can well result in them receiving ridicule, insults, and even undeserved criticism.

And, in some cases, an article or post that is classed as controversial can be equivalent to the throwing down of the gauntlet - a challenge.

So, How Can You Tell if You Are Cut Out to Be a Professional Writer?

Firstly you need to discover if there are any clues that will help you distinguish if a muse is urging you to put pen to paper, or if is it just a flight of fancy that is leading you to ask if you are prepared to quit your day job.

Before I suggest the clues let me give you one fact you should be aware of that is very important when it comes to becoming a writer.  In the main, the majority of writers will not earn more than £10,000 per year. Fact.

With that in mind let’s look at some clues that might just help answer the question. “I could be a writer if only…”

a) You are exceedingly Enthusiastic About Writing – by this, I mean your excitement levels about creating something unique and captivating, is so out there for all your friends and family to see that they roll their eyes.

b) You find yourself waking at Night With Ideas for Storylines

I will tell you this more than anything dictates your writing enthusiasm. If words are disturbing your dreams, and are keeping you awake while you structure the outline or plot in your head then you should write. And if you are like me, you are talking to characters and living your stories in your head. Then yes you should write.

c) This is why You should always keep a Pad and Pen by Your Bedside

Keeping a notepad and pen handy to jot down all those juicy bits of the story you have outlined in your head while in bed, will mean there’s no chance the details can disappear into the shadows of a hazy dream. I also recommend carrying one in your handbag or pocket etc. You will be surprised how often something you observe will come in handy for your writing.

d) Are you often Pausing Mid-Sentence while talking just to Make a Note

Have you ever had that experience where something important pops up and you know that unless you write it down you will forget it? Well, that’s a good sign. Although, your friends might think you are perhaps being a little dismissive of social courtesies because it's more important that get the thought down on paper. Oops.

e) You can mute your phone to give time to Write

It takes a great deal of effort to wean oneself from the call of your phone, especially when writing.  If you have discovered how distracting external noise is to a mind with a mission then you have to block it out. I have learnt over the years that I can, in fact, have the TV on and not hear it while writing. It fascinates my husband that I have this ability. I tell him that turning off screaming/shouting lids helps. Hahaha

f) Despite the urge You must never, ever Publish a First Draft of any writing

The whole point of “first drafts” is to create a real starting point. The start of the publishing process. You see writing comes in stages. There are many “firsts” in life, but with writing, there are unique ones. 1) Ideas/Storyline  2) Creating characters/scenes/plots  3) Writing the story  4)  First draft read/edit  5) Re-Writes  6) Professional edit/Proofreading  7) Beta Readers  8) Submission  9)  Publishing

g) Question Everything

As writers, we are always having to re-evaluate our work, even once it appears to be in its final form on the page. However, you should consider a work-in-progress as an “additional  brainstorming session.” Doing this will give our minds the permission it needs to read it thoroughly so we can re-work through any nuances.

h) Don’t Edit and throw Away

Often your initial writing concept will evolve into several pieces of work. This comes from the initial “download” of your thoughts and ideas. Plus the many different aspects and perspectives that you are pouring onto the page. Remember, it’s important that you keep it all — and I mean everything.

Also,  once you’ve made the final cuts, don’t forget to save all the unused material in a file/. Perhaps you could title it - “More good ideas for another time.”

This is why my laptop has numerous versions of the same book all due to the amendments made at various stages. Plus a file with paragraphs of writing that I have deleted from the piece to be used elsewhere in other work.

i) Remember to Review Your Work for the Last Time

We writers are devils when it comes to reviewing and editing our work. Sometimes we edit up to five, six, and even seven times. And while that number of times is probably too many still, if it eases your apprehension, over whether the piece is “good enough,” well do it.

However, I will say that you may find even after you have submitted it you may still find there are some edits you wished you had done. And if going for a traditional publisher there may be some that they want to do, even against your wishes. In the latter case that is down to you.

j). Finally You Publish

There is a surge of excitement and, better still that feeling of accomplishment at having shared your work with the world! And I can assure you it is a wonderful feeling.

To conclude the aim of this video is not to stop you from writing but to ask you to question yourself as to whether or not you have the following – the desire, ability, determination, stamina, and above all the courage to become a writer. If you have then welcome to my world.

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