This was one of my first loves. Being able to weave a story and get lost in its characters was so mesmerizing, I lost hours and hours to it.

My college degree was in Journalism, which paid off for me as I’ve worked for several newspapers, websites, magazines, and media companies in my career. However, I never really got started writing fiction, and that’s a shame. There’s still time, if I have the inclination to take it up.

The best writing advice I ever got was from a book by Natalie Goldberg, “Writing Down the Bones.” Goldberg was assigned to me by my favorite Creative Writing teacher in college, Carole DeMarinis. Goldberg advises you to just let it go and write. If you are feeling daunted, sit down with some paper and a pen and make yourself just fill a couple pages a day to see what happens. I’m pretty sure you’ll like the results. I wrote eight chapters of a new novel, last time I tried it.

Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, a college assignment from my Creative Writing teacher.

Sark also has some great ways to unblock your inner writer – drawing and writing are connected that way. There’s a Reddit called r/WritingPrompts which is just ideas to get you started. Sometimes it’s easier to focus on a short story at first.

Stephen King also provided a useful definition of talent in the Writer’s Handbook one year a long time ago. He wrote:

For the purposes of the beginning writer, talent may as well be defined as eventual success – publication and money. If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.

(reprinted in Sylvia K. Burack, ed. The Writer’s Handbook. Boston, MA: Writer, Inc., 1988: 3-9)