Updated: Aug 2, 2019
So you want to write? That’s a wonderful goal...you have something to say or an idea to share or a tale to tell and need to get your thoughts down on paper. Your first decision has to be what type of writer you are. Fiction or nonfiction? Can you write poetry? Are short stories best for you? Can you finish a novel? And what about the genre—fantasy, science fiction, drama, romance, action, satire?
We don’t always start our projects knowing how we write best. Some people start a novel and run out of words, feeling disappointed that all they have is a short story. Many authors, however, are known for their short stories. Don’t tell Edgar Allen Poe that short stories aren’t as vital to literature as novels!
You can’t find your best style until you try several options. Don’t be scared to try to write a poem, a short story, or a novel. Try to write a children’s book or collaborate with someone on a graphic novel. Try a lot of styles before you end your writing career. Above all else, though, whatever you write needs to look and sound as if it came from you.
If you have not written very much, you may need to try a few different techniques before you discover how you want to begin and what you want your finished work to look like. You may even need to decide how you write best: try longhand versus typing to see which approach you are more comfortable with. Even if you are very computer literate and work comfortably on your PC or laptop, you may find that writing something from a very personal viewpoint comes more naturally using an old-fashioned pencil and legal pad. The opposite may also be, true, however.
I can’t stress this point enough: whether you are writing something in a notebook or typing it on the computer, you aren’t competing for length or vocabulary levels. Let the flow to your writing depend upon your personality and your writing style. You can edit your work to flow better or appeal to readers more after you have a significant part of your project completed. Readers, however, look for authenticity in authors. If everyone wrote just like Rowling or Hemingway or Angelou, we wouldn’t have the beautiful diversity of books and poems and stories available to us.