Becoming a successful writer is not without hard work, perseverance and the inevitable rejections. However, your determination and practice will dictate how much or how little success you receive from your efforts. Below are 13 top tips for beginners to help you get started.

1. First of all, sign up to WordPress to ensure that you begin exposing yourself and your work to your audience.

2. Read, read and read. When you’ve finished reading, relax with a book. It is truly amazing how many aspiring writers forget to read. Your reading should not be limited to what you would normally read. Read widely and keep an open mind. If you normally read thrillers, then read a romance and science fiction novel. Read woman’s magazines when your at the dentist or the back of a cereal box when your at the supermarket.

3. Write everyday, even if its just a few sentences. It doesn’t matter what you actually put on paper, it will keep your mind fresh and focused on writing, rather than just building it all up for a power session at the weekend.

4. Always carry a notebook. You never know when that idea for that blockbuster novel will pop into your head. Carry it every where and keep it by your bed a night.

5. Be a sponge. Observe what is around you and take everything in. If you are a serious writer, you should always be thinking about how to describe what you see in words.

6. Keep a scrapbook and paste cuttings from newspapers into it. The cuttings should be stories of interest that you may use for possible future writing.

7. Experiences, yours and others, large and small, should be seen and examined as potential writing material.

8. Keep a writing schedule. Set realistic targets and goals and stick to them.

9. Copyright everything that you create. This ensures that nobody can steal and claim any of your work as their own.

10. Treat your writing as a business. Keep records of everything that you submit and the returns that they generate. It is essential that if you are sending manuscripts to publishers that you keep an accurate postage record.

11. Don’t give up. The quickest way that you can recover from a publishers or editors rejection is to keep on writing.

12. Finally, don’t forget the most important part, that most of us forget: Put pen to paper and start writing.

These are just the basics, but it should be enough to help you understand and to get started.

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