First Priority

No matter what you are writing, the first priority is write the first draft.

Most writers procrastinate. Since writing is a demanding job requiring focus and dedication, most writers delay, dally, defer, and dawdle.How does one get that first draft completed?

1. Plan
2. Organize
3. Implement
4. Write

Without a doubt, the most important step is to plan what one intends to write, be it a novel, an article, an essay, a short story, or a poem. The writer must have something to say and a desire to say it. The need to express, for whatever reason, is important. It may be self-fulfillment, it may be economic, or it may to leave a legacy, but whatever it is it must be strong enough to force the writer to prepare and develop a way to put words to paper.

Once the idea is generated, the second important step is to organize. This usually means time at a computer or typewriter. Time must be set aside, a place of work must be established, and distractions (whatever they are) must be eliminated. The professional writer writes every day and often everywhere, but the amateur may not have the same motive or drive. Time, of course, varies from person to person; some writers have a day job to contend with, others write only when the urge comes upon them, or whenever time is available. An ideal place to write will also depend on the individual; some need noise as a background; others require silence; and still other do not care-they can write anywhere. The elimination of distractions is different for each person. Writers have written with bustle and hurry all about them; others need a special place with a special ambience. Do what you have to do.

Putting thoughts to paper or screen is the most important part of the process. Start. Write quickly letting the thoughts flow from the mind to the paper or screen. Do not be too concerned about syntax, word choice, grammar, spelling, or capitalization. The most imperative act is to get something down; rewriting will take care of the technical aspects of writing. Today most word processors have grammar and spellcheckers, but do not rely exclusively on them. They do not find all errors; if you are poor at spelling and grammar seek the services of someone who is capable in these areas-a friend, a teacher, or if necessary a professional copywriter.That is writing: planning, organizing, and putting words to paper or to screen. It is not difficult if one has a positive attitude about it.

Charles O. Goulet had a BA in History and a BEd in English literature. Several of his historical novels have been published and are available through,, Barnes and Noble, and many other bookstores.His website is His blog is

How to Write Your Op-Ed Piece
Op-ed articles, also known as opinion/editorial articles, are a great way for aspiring writers to publicize their work and, in exchange, receive an amazing amount of publicity for free. You can write an op-ed piece and get it publicized provided you follow these simple rules.
Is Someone Plagiarizing Your Work?
About two weeks ago I received an article submissionthat immediately attracted my attention. The title wasidentical to the title of an article I wrote and whichwas published in 'WebProNews' in May 1999.
The self-indulgent writer listens only to the mumblings of sycophants, toadies, and flatterers, thus failing to heed the valid criticisms of editors, critiquers, and reviewers.Since improvement involves the time to review, to edit, to revise, and to rewrite, the self-indulgent writer avoids or neglects to do this.
Interview with Suspense Author Peter Abrahams
Peter Abrahams is the author of thirteen novels, including "The Tutor," (Ballantine Books) "A Perfect Crime," (Ballantine Books), "The Fan" (Fawcett Books), and most recently, "Their Wildest Dreams" (Ballantine Books).Known for his sharp wit and incredible gift for keeping readers on the edge of their seats, Abrahams has been entertaining readers for more than two decades--spinning multi-layered tales involving ordinary people who find themselves in horrific situations.
How I Became a Syndicated Columnist -- And You Can Too!
Real Estate has "Location, location, location," and writing has "Clips, clips, clips."When people ask me how I became a syndicated columnist, I usually say, "it just snowballed.
Get An Attitude About Your Writing
(This excerpt is taken from my new writing workshop Writing To Sell In the Internet Age.)Writer John Clausen, in his excellent book about freelance writing: Too Lazy To Work, Too Nervous To Steal, recommends that you get an attitude about your work.
Writing Requires Self-Control
The only way to become a writer is to write. That requires a great deal of self-control and dedication, not only writing when the urge is upon you, but even when it is not.
How to Create Incredible Characters Easily
Creating incredible characters can be easy if you know of a few simple rules:Each character should have his own voice. If your character is from Brooklyn, give him brooklyn accent and mannerisms.
A Perfect Day for Writers
In one of the exercises in my "Getting Started as a Freelance Writer" workshop, I ask participants to describe what a "perfect day" would be like for them.The responses are frequently tender, wistful and unfailingly vivid.
Turbo Charge Your Career! Write And Produce Your Own Stage Play!
Have you ever wondered how you can adapt your screenplay or novel into a stage play? Do you have a story that you yearn to see on stage? Or, maybe you're an actor frustrated by the barrage of fruitless auditions and dream of performing before a live audience. If so, writing and producing your own stage play just may be the ticket to turbo charging your career.
Apostrophe Usage Made Simple
According to one of my previous articles, whenever a Southernersays "Y'all watch this," get out of the way because those areprobably the last words he will ever say.Well, I'm a Southerner.
Screenwriting - Five Golden Insights
Originality emerges from structure. Once you have a story idea, you can expand the idea into a story by using structure.
Platform Development Tip #1: Switch Writing Hats!
Around eighty percent of nonfiction books today are written by "experts," that is people who have a) earned credentials in the field they're writing about, b) germinated information via articles, live presentations or other media, or c) had extraordinary, unique or memorably told life experiences relevant to their topic.For an autobiographical work, such as a memoir, an author needn't have any special expertise-she is the foremost authority on her own life.
Should I Keep Writing?
Writers are an insecure lot.It's easy to understand why.
Another Way to Show Your Expertise: Write a Book!
Maybe you should write a book! This is not as difficult as it sounds. You're already an expert in a field by virtue of your work experience and/or academic credentials.
Write With Passion: 4 Steps To Emotionally Charge A Nonfiction Article
You have just completed a draft of an article. It seemsflat, even to you.
How To Write to a Word Count
You've finished your story, and you're pretty happy with it. The plot is gripping, the characters are lively, and the pace zooms along.
Write Your Life
Take out a white piece of paper and place it on your kitchen table. You now have two choices.
Five EASY Ways to Improve Your Business Writing
Have you ever wondered why some people can make millions writing books, and others (maybe you) can't even complete a simple business letter worth reading? Sure, natural talent probably accounts for some of their writing success. But really the best-selling authors achieved that level of success by devoting serious time and effort to perfecting their craft.
The Beginners Guide to Freelance Writing
The Big IdeaOkay. So youve figured out that you would like to write for magazines, newspapers, and e-zines.

Home | Articles Site Map