While other people are free to disagree, I don’t think there’s a specific path to becoming a writer. As long as you pay attention to the basics and continually strive to improve, you can get where you want to go. I don’t have a degree in English Literature or a Master of Fine Arts degree like many professional writers, so aside from a public school education and an emphasis on liberal arts in college, I could be considered “self-taught”. I disagree with that assessment, because I’ve been taught by other writers. Everything I’ve read, whether it’s a classic novel or a blog post offering writing advice, has contributed to my education. Naturally, I want to give back. I write because I want to help other writers.
A lot of the things I write are articles, essays, and books about writing. The things that I write are often tools that I’ve developed for myself. They’re cheat sheets to help me get my head around concepts. I create reference books for my own edification, that I can use to help strengthen my own writing. They definitely carry my biases, lean toward the things that I feel are important, but that’s really just my voice. I attempt to make them generically useful, so other writers can adapt them to suit their own voice.
My own impostor syndrome sometimes tells me that I’m not qualified to dole out this sort of advice. I don’t have the academic credentials to present myself as an expert. Yet as I’m writing this, I have been supporting my wife and I for a year solely on what I earn writing. I don’t have a day job or another source of income, and she’s a full-time graduate student. Obviously, I’m doing something right. I feel it’s important for aspiring writers, and even some established writers, to know that. If I can do it, you can too.
You can read more about Why I Write here.