Monday, November 9, 2009

How to Become a Writer

Following me will make you rich.
—Twitter Post

I received the above message from a colleague on Twitter. I admire the person's moxie. That's quite a claim—big riches for the simple act of following another.

I wish I could offer similar sentiments for my own field:
following me will make you a writer.

But here's the deal: following me on Twitter, reading my blog posts, or even subscribing to my Write Now! Tips will NOT make you a writer. (It also won't make you happier, richer, or give you whiter teeth.)

Following me might make you a better writer. I offer lots of tips and advice and resources about writing. But following me will not make you a writer any more than watching the olympics will make you an athlete.

The only way to become a writer is to write. Write a lot. Write every time you have a free second. Write even if you don't get published. That is how you become a writer. As Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."

By the way: I've been a twitter follower of the person who promised me riches for over a month now. I'm still waiting to get rich. That's okay. I can write while I wait.