Jun 23, 2021 08:39 AM EDT
Dr. Suhyun An Shares the Six Steps to Becoming an Author
Many people have the ambition to become an author, but it is a complex undertaking. From outlining the basics of your book to filling in the details, being an author can be strenuous. The result of seeing your book in print is incredibly rewarding, and many people who have become authors go on to receive financial rewards.
Dr. Suhyun An explains the steps you need to take to become an author, outlining some of the processes you can follow to achieve an interested following.
1. Educate Yourself
If you are interested in becoming an author, one of the first steps you will need to take is self-education. Generally, it is recommended that anyone who wants to write a book first receives a high school diploma. A college degree is optional, but it may be helpful for detailed knowledge of your topic area and the complexities of writing a professional-level book.
Having a college degree means that you are accustomed to rigorous academic work, and it can be excellent preparation for the struggles of writing a book. If you cannot attend college, consider taking an adult education class in creative or Nonfiction Writing.
2. Become an Avid Reader
People who write successful books have one thing in common: they all love to read. Writers who do not read regularly are missing out on the added polish and sophistication that their work would have otherwise.
When you read widely in your chosen field, you will have a depth of knowledge in your subject that can be immensely helpful. It will give you added credibility, and it will also give you the confidence you need to write down your ideas.
3. Learn the Skills You Need
Becoming a successful author requires exceptional writing skills. You will need to understand how to craft a story that will engage your readers, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction. You will need research skills to discover the fine points of the topic you are covering. You should have excellent observation skills. Finally, you need to have a sense of grit in putting your story out there. Writing is an uphill battle, and anyone who does not have the dedication required will probably give up before they finish their book.
4. Improving Your Writing
Before you embark on your book project, you will need to sharpen your writing skills. While most authors use an editor to put a fine polish on their work when they are finished, editors will not accept manuscripts full of unnecessary spelling and grammar errors.
When you are considering the fundamentals of writing, you will need to express your ideas clearly. You will need to be organized and present your story in a readily understandable fashion.
It is crucial to have a clear point of view when writing a book. Without it, your writing will be unfocused, and your readers will not have a way to identify with your story.
Finally, excellent grammar and punctuation are a must. If these are weaknesses for you, you should spend time honing your skills. A paid proofreader will help you to some extent, but many professionals do not want to work on manuscripts with too many errors.
5. Creating a Positive Mindset
While many people emphasize the struggle of writing a book, it is important to keep a positive attitude toward your work. Self-doubt seems to be one of the required elements of being a writer, but it doesn't have to be. It is normal to feel inadequate, but the best characteristic of successful writers is that they push on despite difficulties.
6. Writing Your Book
After all of your planning and preparation are complete, it is time to sit down and put pen to paper. Too many people reach this step and are too intimidated to continue. If you can exhibit grit and determination, you will be much more likely to finish the book and become a successful author.
Most authors find it helpful to completely outline their book before they start writing. Having an outline can guide you if you begin to feel lost.
Set up a daily habit of writing and give yourself a word count that you want to achieve by the end of the day. Take short breaks to avoid burnout. Set a deadline for yourself.
One cautionary tale that many authors could share is that you should never try to edit your book while you are writing it. Editing what you have already written will bog you down, and you will be consumed with self-doubt.
Helpful Books on Writing
If you are just getting started on your journey toward becoming an author, you may be looking for guides to the process. One of the best books about writing is On Writing by the famous author Stephen King. The book provides anecdotes about his own writing process and gives detailed explanations of why certain types of writing are best.
Another good book to consider is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. This book helps to break down the writing process and walk you through each step. It includes many helpful writing prompts that can assist you in developing your ideas.
Becoming an Author
If you can follow the steps in this article, you will be well on your way to a career as an author. Your success depends on your perseverance and determination. Remember that most people who set out to write a book never finish, and if you manage to complete your manuscript, you are several steps ahead in the game.
Dr. Suhyun An is an experienced author, and she believes that anyone can write a book if they have the determination to do so.
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