This has to be the most asked question of authors ever. Here’s my answer:
When I was in grade school it was determined that I was having trouble reading, spelling, and writing. A combination of reasons had caused the problem: Son of an Air Force office that moved around the country during my early school years. 1st grade and part of 2nd in Massachusetts, rest of 2nd and 3rd in Indiana, 4th in Montana. I missed key things because the states taught different things at different times. Anyway, the school convinced my parents that I need to go to summer school between my 5th and 6th grade years. I discovered pleasure reading. My world exploded.
I really like to read, the 5000 + books in my library are an indication. Some are good some are not. On more then one occasion I have blurted out, “I could write a better story then this one.” Anyway back to the reason I started writing books.
High school was OK. I did really well when I applied myself, especially in the sciences and math. English was ok as long as I was reading and didn’t have to write anything. I figured out life would be kind of tough like that so I took a creative writing course and was told the secret of writing.
You ready? This is still true today.
If you want to learn to write then you have to write.
There you go. That’s the secret. Even if you suck at first and if you keep at it, you will get better. I finished that story I started in 1976 in 1990. I’m stubborn too by the way.
I learned a few other things along the way about writing. It’s really story telling, but with written words. If the story sucked to start with, writing it down won’t make it better. I’m a pretty good story teller (see my BIO about being a World Master).
I have stories to tell and this is how you tell them.