I was recently asked if I took courses to become a writer. I had to answer no. Sure, I’ve taken courses to learn different things. I fully expect to take more courses throughout my life to do what I can to hone my skill, such as it is 🙂 But a course to become a writer? No. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an innate desire to document the nonsense in my head.

So, is that the difference between writers and non-writers? Maybe. I think writing is certainly a skill that can be learned through courses, but the desire to let people into your imagination via the page is probably innate. Something you’re born with. Now, I think most people have one book in them. People are always saying “I should write a book”. And their idea is often good. But it’s not easy, and finishing one, never mind several, takes drive and sometimes masochism. But one book does not make a writer. It’s that continued effort, whether or not there’s any remuneration.

This same person who asked about courses said they were afraid of creative writing courses because they could never think of anything to write about. Well, I don’t think I’ve EVER had that problem. If I were to write out all the plot lines I’ve jotted down as viable story ideas, I would be writing for decades. Ideas are never the problem, it’s finding the time to tackle them.

Ideas. I have tons. I think all writers do. Writers block is probably not a dearth of ideas, but more likely something wrong in the execution of the current idea. Maybe there’s a gaping plot hole that the writer is only subconsciously aware of. Maybe they’re trying to force themselves to write a story or characters that they don’t like or don’t believe in. But I think writers have ideas. They come from everywhere. Everything that happens to me is automatically analyzed for its potential value for a story. Most of my life is too mundane to bother with, but that doesn’t stop it happening. From the other authors and aspiring writers I’ve spoken to, I’m not alone in that.

Ideas and innate desire to put those ideas on the page. That’s why I’m a writer. It’s why I’ll always be a writer. Even if it makes my mother wrinkle her nose in disdain. (Ahem. She may not be aware of my new release…)

Were you thinking I’d tell you how to get published? Nope. That’s a completely different issue!