This past week I've been talking about dreams and passions, what fuels them and how they naturally mature in us all. Now its time to discuss how to turn your dream into reality.
Professional writing is like an other business. You need to research, outline a strategy, and set-up a base of operations. Above all else you have to work hard everyday.
Research for a writer comes in many forms. You can read up on a particular subject matter, such as 'Serial Killers 'R Us' and 'Weapons of the Future' if you're writing a futuristic murder mystery. I have no idea if those two books actually exist, but you get the point. Books like these are at your local bookstore and library. The internet is very useful. Although you have to be careful. Not all sites are equal. Wikepedia is not the end-all-be-all. The best resource we have are eachother's work. Know your market. Know your genre. In other words read, read, and read some more.
The second step can sound a bit tricky, but its not. Do not mistake this with outlining your manuscript. Whichever way you are comfortable with writing (outline or no outline) is up to you. No, what I am talking about is a step-by-step strategy to success. I wouldn't make it as detailed as a business proposal. Simply designate short and long term goals. To elaborate my point here are a few examples: I will write, rewrite and sell three, short, dark scifi stories by year's end. This will inable me to apply for membership with SFWA. During that time I will create a blog, a website, attend workshops across the tristate area. The next year will be spent setting aside at least three hours every day working on my novel. Once complete I will seek out an agent...The list continues. The trick is to make it feasible for you and your lifestyle.
This last step can be very easy or very difficult. Like the business strategy it relies heavily on your way of life. Right now I am writing this in my living room. I save my heavy writing till I am at work. Its one of the perks of working a twelve hour overnight shift -plenty of downtime. No matter where you are comfortable writing go there, hide away (for the inital draft) and make it your own.
This last point actually brings me to a little personal side note: I'm moving. The best part about this new house is that I will have an office. Yippee!!! (happy dance) Trying to concentrate while four girls, my husband, and our cat, Skywalker, is grinding away my sanity. Over thre years of working this way is enough. Time to get serious.
Good luck to you. Research what you want to write. Formulate whatever scientific method works best for your career path. And remember stay comfy.