10 Steps to Becoming a Writer

There are many, many of these type of lists. They’re usually called Rules for Writing, and they’re written by some well-known authors. Anne Rice and Stephen King come to mind (you can easily find them by doing a Google search). These are mine. I suppose they could be called rules, but I prefer steps. Very tongue-in-cheek and, yet, there's still a soupçon of truth to them!

1.       Make the decision to start writing and/or a commitment to yourself to pursue that dream

2.       Commit to it fully by writing daily, signing up for writing classes, joining a writing group, or by applying to an MFA program

3.       WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE and WRITE some more

4.       READ, READ, READ, READ, READ and READ some more

5.       Remember the commitment you made in step #1

6.       Repeat steps #3 & #4, over and over and over

7.       Repeat steps #3 & #4, over and over and over again

8.       Throughout all the above steps, join the writing community, attend literary readings, book festivals, take classes and workshops, go to residencies and conferences

9.       Repeat! steps #3 & #4, over and over and over again and again

10.   Remain persistent, and vigilant and resilient always!


C. Gregory Thompson

C. Gregory Thompson, a Pushcart Prize nominee, lives in Los Angeles, California where he writes fiction, nonfiction, plays, and memoir. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Storgy Magazine, Writers Resist, Five:2:One, Cowboy Jamboree, Full Grown People, The Offbeat, Printers Row Journal, Reunion: The Dallas Review. Four of his short stories were included in the 2017 New Short Fiction Series. He was named a finalist in the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival’s 2015 Fiction Contest. His short play Cherry won two playwriting awards. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside/Palm Desert. He also has a BFA in Film & Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His coursework, while he attended NYU, included film and television production as well as multiple screenwriting courses. He also wrote and directed the awarding-winning student film “Elysian Fields.” While working in the entertainment business, he wrote many screenplays. He recently left a longtime career in the film business as an awards consultant to Hollywood studios and is now a full-time writer and writing instructor. He is the founder of Pen & Paper Writing Workshops. He lives in Glendale, California with his partner. They have no children, and no dogs, cats, chickens, horses, goats or geese. Follow C. Gregory on Twitter @cgregthompson and on Instagram @cgregorythompson.