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What's An Aspiring Author To Do?

This column is based on questions Margaret gets asked by those who also want to write romance novels. The answers are based on her personal experience. Every author must and should find their own way along this path; however, sometimes it helps to know how it was for an author who's reached the goal of publication.

This column's question:
"I'd love to write a romance, but I don't know how to get started. How did you begin?"

Margaret answers:
I was a stay-at-home mom with two small children, anxious for something to do "for myself" when I received a brochure from the local university I'd attended offering various writing courses. Although I'd never really thought about being a writer, that seemed like I something I could do in my "spare" time (all you mothers of young children will appreciate why that word is in quotation marks!). So I began heading off to class again, one night a week.

I discovered I knew a lot more about writing than I thought I did. Egad, all that reading was actually paying off! I also learned about Romance Writers of America, and that there was a local chapter. I hied myself off to a meeting. That was in 1988, and I've been a member ever since. I heartily recommend joining RWA if you're truly serious about pursuing a career as a romance writer. Their information and workshops and conferences are amazingly helpful.

After that, it was basically a matter of, well, writing and submitting my work to publishers.

I'll be talking about the submitting in future columns. There's a lot to do before you think about that!

Romance Writers of America Website

Index of Aspiring Author Columns
This material is Margaret's intellectual property. If you would like to print it out for your personal use, feel free. If you belong to a writing group and would like to reproduce it for your fellow writers, please e-mail Margaret at maggiejmoore @ (no spaces). All other use is prohibited.

Copyright © 2005 by Margaret Wilkins. This material may not be copied without permission.