How to Become a Writer

Now that you have mastered the skill of reading, it is time for you to take up writing. For there would be no readers if writers did not write things for them to read. On the other hand, there can be writers without readers. For example, much writing is spoken by actors and listened to by listeners, rather than being read by readers. This is called “television”. In any case, to spend one's entire life reading and listening, without contributing to the body of that which can be read or listened to, is the height of selfishness. Therefore, you must write.

First, be certain that you have the proper writing equipment. There are two kinds of writers, those who write with pencil and those who write with pen. As you are a beginning writer, you may wish to use pencil. Modern pencils come with erasers that can be used to correct mistakes, and even well-trained beginners make mistakes. As you gain practice in writing, you will become an advanced writer; then you may use a pen. Advanced writers do not make mistakes.

I do not recommend the use of a typewriter or a computer for writing. These devices are very good at printing, but we are concerned with writing here. Printing is for small children.

Once you have acquired a good quality pencil, you are ready to begin your writing career. And now I must caution you about one of the worst mistakes a beginning writer can make, and that is to write alone. If you do this, you will never master the art of writing. Instead, you should write as part of a group and learn writing skills from the experienced members of the group. Find a good writing committee and join it.

Yes, the best way to learn writing is to be part of a writing committee. Thanks to television, there are many writing committees available. This is because every sitcom is written by a committee, and there are many, many sitcoms. Vacancies open up on these committees quite frequently, as writers leave one committee to join another. Quite often a new sitcom will come into existence, requiring a whole new committee. Thus there are many good opportunities for the beginning writer to join a committee and learn the art of writing. With luck, you can join a committee for one of the better sitcoms, such as “Modern Family”, “Breaking Bad”, or “United States House of Representatives”.

Writing committees are organized in such a way as to guarantee the finest quality writing. Generally, there will be a committee member responsible for writing each part of speech. Thus, one member will write the nouns, another the verbs, another the adjectives, and so on and so forth. As a beginner, you will most likely start out as the gerund person — you will be apprenticed to the verb writer, who will give you verbs to turn into gerunds. You do this by adding “ing” to the end of each verb. This is a simple yet important and rewarding task. It may come to seem repetitive after a while, but by then you should be ready for promotion to a higher position on the committee, and in the meantime, writing gerunds provides excellent penmanship practice. It is certainly preferable to what is considered the lowliest position on the committee, which is to do the punctuation. The punctuation job is usually given only to people with spelling deficiencies and seldom leads to promotion.

The most important position on any writing committee is that of Head Writer. This is a person who has achieved mastery in all aspects of the art of writing, usually through years of experience doing the other committee chores. It is the job of the Head Writer to do the word order — to write the words and punctuation provided by the other committee members into proper sequence, so as to form sentences and paragraphs. Thus, the Head Writer assembles the final writing product that the reader reads or the listener hears. Every beginning writer aspires to be a Head Writer some day. With hard work and perseverance, you too can become a Head Writer!

I will close by noting that there are a few exceptional individuals who can do all the tasks of writing by themselves, without the need of a committee. Such writers are called Bards. The greatest of these was Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon. He wrote “Hamlet,” which contains the immortal phrase “To be or not to be.” It is clear from this that Shakespeare was a master of word order. A lesser writer might, if lucky, have chosen the same words, but would have written them in the wrong order, such as “Not or be be to to.”

There are very few Bards. You are probably not one, for if you were, you would be off somewhere writing classics instead of reading this. Thus, you should go and join a writing committee as soon as possible. Best of luck with your new writing career!

Copyright © by John Remmers.