When she agreed to be a Destiny mentor, Amanda Patterson, answered five questions for readers earlier this year.
Amanda Patterson: On Writing
Amanda Patterson is the founder of Writers Write, a company which offers business and creative writing courses.
More than 130 Writers Write students have been published. Patterson’s charity, The Write Foundation, is dedicated to empowering South Africans through learning to write and to read.
What inspired you to start Writers Write?
I started Writers Write accidentally. After I was rejected, I researched how to write a book. I had so many aspiring authors asking me for help, I decided to put together a part-time course. Within a year, we had a company that ran two courses a month. We now have a creative and a business writing division. We run courses countrywide and I have written 20 courses on writing. Our motto is: Write to communicate.
What are some essential tips you would offer aspiring writers?
- Learn how to write a book. Go on a course or do some research.
- Become ‘social media’ savvy. Spend two hours a day online as a “writer”.
- Brand yourself now. It takes time to build an online presence.
- You need 10 000 hours practice before you’re good at anything. Start writing now.
- Write every day. Read every day.
How do you identify whether you have a story worth telling?
Everyone has a story worth telling. If you learn how to write properly, you can become a successfully published author.
How does one go about finding a publisher?
Finding a publisher is the least of your worries. Writing a great story which is properly paced, plotted and polished is more important. Once you have that in place, you have an Internet of possibility to explore. Mainstream publishers are chasing self-published success stories for their lists. Macmillan has signed Amanda Hocking who sold 1million books all by herself.
How does one find the discipline to actually sit down and write a book?
By realising there is no muse. There is you and a blank screen, or a blank piece of paper. If you treat writing like a job, with deadlines and rules, you will succeed. If you treat it as an artistic experience you will be disappointed. Decide if you really want to write that book. Be honest. Then find out how to write. Work out a plot and write.
For more information on Writers Write, click here
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