How to become a Writer


I am asked all the time where a person interested in writing should start. I remember wondering the same thing. It took two years for me to finally find resources, people, and places where I could learn the craft of writing. Here is what I found. Hopefully you find my list useful 🙂

There are two parts to writing for a new writer: learning how to write and practicing it.

First, learning. I learned the craft of writing by reading books, attending classes or conferences, and learning from other writers. Here are some great resources to get you started.



The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke (he’s my editor and good at what he does. His books and seminars are phenomenal)

Plot vs Character by Jeff Gerke

Fiction Writing for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

Stein on Writing by Sol Stein



The Oregon Christian Writers put on some great one day seminars and a summer conference. Here is their website: Oregon Christian Writers

Two nation conferences I have been to and recommend are the ACFW Conference and Mt Hermon Writers Conference



Here are some blogs or organizations I am a part of that help writers learn:

-Randy Ingermanson’s blog Advancedfictionwriting

Bestseller SocietyThis site is a great place for video and audio teaching and the instructor is Jeff Gerke for the fiction track. I think it’s about $35 a month and you can pay for one month or more.

ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). This organization offers local chapters you can be a part of, online classes, a place to ask seasoned authors questions, and a yearly conference.


All of the above are great places to start learning the craft of writing.

As far as practice: write, write, write! My friend Randy says that you usually need to write a million words before you start writing something worth reading. I wrote for about six years and had a finished novel and the rough draft of another before I was published. I wrote when the kids napped, early in the morning, or at night. Even now I write for about 1-2 hours most days and get in about 500-1,000 words (everything in writing is measured by words).

Now, go forth and write!


6 thoughts on “How to become a Writer”

  1. I took writing classes through my college years. They helped immensely.

    The teacher, Marvin Mudrick, asked that at the beginning of each three-hour class period, that writing pieces be left on his desk – with no names. He would read them aloud, make his comments, and open the floor for comments.

    It could be very embarrassing, when you thought you had something that was just great – and when he started reading it aloud you realized that it was awful

    That, I think, was the key – if your work can be read aloud in a public setting, and you don’t want to climb into your own pocket to hide, it’s probably pretty good.

    Also – read. A LOT. Not necessarily in your genre, because then you might adopt some of the characteristics of your favorite authors, and have trouble developing your own voice.

      1. Another thing that’s helped me is to watch the ‘director’s commentary’ on DVDs of movies. Sometimes they can give really good insight into character development, pacing, and – most important – scenes that they originally thought necessary, but that were really superfluous.

  2. Browne and King’s book is one of the best. I recommend it for every writer. Gerke’s 50 Pages is good, too. I also suggest that all writers subscribe to at least one writing magazine or journal like Writer’s Digest. These publications keep authors connected and provide invaluable craft-improving advice.

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