Aspiring Writer? This is How You Might Begin

THE SITUATION
Do you sometimes feel you are bursting with ideas that you want people to know about? Do you think you are a good writer or can be a good writer but have not got the opportunity to exhibit your talent? Have you written a book or books, essays or short stories that have not seen the light of day? If your answer to any of the above is yes, know that you are not alone.

My first attempt at writing was in my primary school days. I wrote an eight-line poem based on my cries as I was looking for my mom earlier that day. It started with “mummy mummy where are you?” A seriously childish stuff but it was a pointer to what I could do. Incidentally, I got no encouragement from my parents, but that is a story for another day.

I wrote my next poem about ten years later, and in the next ten years I had two collections of about a hundred and fifty poems. I lost most of them, anyway, but that is another story for another day. I wrote essays, short stories, novellas, but no way to publish. It’s hard to publish as a new author anywhere, but very much harder if you’re a Nigerian living in Nigeria and your parents have no political connection. And such was my case.

So you see, you are not alone. There are thousands of people like us, trying to make true their visions, to make manifest, their talents. And thanks to this era of digital everything, things that used to be beyond the means of the ordinary man has become not just accessible, but quite cheap. And one can choose from a number of options, which though might be few, are actually obtainable.

Create a Blog
As an individual bursting with ideas, especially if you are good with short stories and essays, better if you have a particular niche but okay even if you don’t, you can try blogging. This is an idea that wasn’t actually feasible when I was looking for a way to he heard even if not seen, but as of now, not only possible, but with options you can choose from.

Now, what is a blog?

Wikipedia answers, “a blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”

So if you have any idea to pass across, blog it. A story to tell? Blog it. A view to express? You can also blog it.

To learn more on how to kickstart your blogging career, check out the article How to Kick-start Your Blogging Career

Publish an eBook
Well, actually some people do not write short stuff. They create books, a written material consisting a significant number of pages of text with or without graphics. If you belong to this category, you can publish online.

Online publishing is not a new concept but it has never been as easy as it is today. Indie publishing companies used to charge up to $1000 to help a new author publish. But this is a huge amount of money, especially for an African. I was in contact with a number of such companies but I didn’t publish, and not because of lack of desire.

As of now, a new author can easily get published, especially if he doesn’t mind the books starting out as e-books. With a number of platforms, one can publish books as e-books in different formats, retain the rights to your books, fix your prices, and even publish somewhere else.

To learn more about how you can get your books selling online, check out the article how you can get your books selling online

Sell to Websites and Blogs
There are some websites that can pay for your writing. They are quite a number. Some pay more than others. You can look around to know those that are willing to publish what you write and their terms and conditions. For example, soundloft.com.ng pays N100 for any good written article that is original and is either informative, educative, entertaining, or all of the above.

To learn more about sites that can pay for your articles, check out the article List of Websites that Pay You For Your Writings.

Enter a Contest
There are many institutions all over the world organising writing contests on one topic or the other atvone time or the other. If you think you are good enough a writer, why not enter for one. Who knows, you might actually win. Many are open to everyone, while some are limited to a certain age group, and or to people from certain lotations. But most have no application fee. Just browse the net to see one in which you think you can do well, and apply!

YouTube
You can record it as an audio message, create a cover picture and upload it to YouTube. Or record it straight as a video if you don’t care about being seen on screen, or get someone else to stand in as the presenter.

There are other podcasts channels available, just browse the net and select one suitable for your needs, all factors put into consideration.

Note
These avenues mentioned do not just get your ideas disseminated, they are potential sources of income. While they are not guaranteed to make you rich, with diligence and a bit of luck, they are avenues through which one can break real though. And do not forget, they are not mutually exclusive events!