What do I do to become a writer like you?

Nothing. You want to be a writer like you, not me. Writing is self-expression, not Pete-expression.

Haven’t helped, have I? So here’s how I became a writer fifty years ago. I found a friendly owner of a public relations/marketing agency and offered my prose for nothing or whatever she thought it was worth, if she would critique my work. She agreed, I wrote, she commented constructively, and in only 6 months she hired me. Two years later I was a happy, mildly prosperous freelancer with her blessings and a writing and business style that was, and remains, distinctively mine.

Yes, I was lucky and still describe my career as 80% luck, 15% pluck, and 5% talent.

Perhaps you can be as lucky and create a similar path. Write an article for a local newspaper or magazine and send it to the editor. Attach a note offering it and others for free. Follow with a tell-call; this is a job search. If the editor does not respond, you might send other articles and, as another avenue, an op-ed piece, aka letter to the editor. Your goal is to shape your persona as an eager source of good, well-written information that would appeal to readers, aka the editor, of that particular publication.

None of the above means a row of beans unless you are humble enough to accept criticism, both positive and negative, from strangers such as me and editors. If you can’t — and I know writers who fit that mold — then you might want to change your goals. Your writing displays your intelligence, feelings, biases — your total you — as much or more than anything you do. In essence, your writing is your naked self.

Most important: read, study writers that you admire but do not copy their style. Always remember that readers want to know you, not another Hemingway or Updike or the writer du jour ( not me).

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Pete Geissler

Our portfolio has grown in a few short years from one author and three books to five authors and 27 books! Join my journey for Empowerment.