How many people have a manuscript hidden in a drawer or an idea firmly embedded in their head that has never been enacted? Are you someone who has always wanted to become a published author but has not had the courage to develop your dream? What do you think you might need to do to make that dream come true?
Today, in an era of a multiplicity of publishing platforms, there are more opportunities than ever to put your ideas out there! In fact, the plethora of choices can be a confronting notion in itself. Where does one begin?
You may start by going to a writing workshop. You may continue by engaging in a writers' and readers' festival. Plenty abound, both in Australia and elsewhere. You may decide to travel to an exotic location, like Italy or Bali, to get fresh inspiration for that long-cherished project. You may find yourself simply getting up every day, sitting down at your keyboard and being terrified of the blank screen. You may sit in cafes with a notebook, jotting down ideas about characters and watching the world go by. You may even have reached the stage where you have some concrete ideas, have almost written a first draft but feel stuck about what to do next. Eventually, whatever you do, if you're a novice, you'll need to seek help at some stage: advice, manuscript appraisal, copy editing and so on.
One piece of free advice: if you want to be a credible writer, you also need to be a reader. It's not enough either, to simply read occasionally. You must start to devour books, familiarise yourself with favourite authors and dig deeply into the world of various genre, including (but not exclusively), literary fiction. Most of all, you need to be both passionate about your project, and full of gratitude and humility when you find the person/people who can help with your unanswered questions, challenge you to stretch your creative boundaries and set you on the right track to achieving your most fulfilling outcome. (The last point about fulfillment, I owe to a comment a friend made today, that one of her most memorably satisfying moments in life was being published.)
Perhaps, we all have a desire to be immortalised in some way. Certainly, many of us are carrying around a yearning to see something we've written in print, to share our more profound thoughts, to engage someone else in an imaginary journey, to hold in our hands a hard-copy of our linguistic creativity. Once upon a time, we may have imagined that reading online would surpass the need/desire for physical books. That hasn't happened so far, thank goodness. So what are you waiting for? Dare to dream!
Dr Kathryn Pentecost offers Manuscript Services, including ghost writing, editorial advice, copy editing, manuscript appraisal, book cover design, help with writing a precis and pitching to a publisher etc. She can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org