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  • Writer's pictureTwo Women Chatting

Top tips on how to become a writer

In our latest Two Women Chatting podcast we chatted with Alexandra Potter award-winning novelist about her book ‘Confessions of a Forty-Something something F**K up’ which has been turned into the TV series ‘Not Dead Yet’ airing on Disney Plus on 8th February 2023. Described by Celia Walden in The Telegraph as ‘The New Bridget Jones’.'It is a a novel for any woman who wonders how the hell she got here, and why life isn't quite how she imagined it was going to be. And who is desperately trying to figure it all out when everyone around them is making gluten-free brownies.'

So after our chat with Alexandra we thought if any of you midlifers would like to try your hand at writing now is the time. No excuses - the kids have left home. You have the time to try something new, push yourself out of your comfort zone and re-invent yourself as a writer.

COnfessions of a forty something f##k up made into TV series Not Dead Yet

We have added numerous resources on our website to help you on your journey. We do of course realise becoming a successful writer is not easy but our mantra is 'unless you try …..'

Here are our tips to get you started

There are many types of writing from blogging, freelance writing, ghost writing (when you write for another person), journalism, technical writing, fiction, and non fiction so take some time to learn about each before you decide which path to take.

1. Read and listen to podcasts

The more you read, the more you’re exposed to high-quality writing. Reading various genres of books and listening to podcasts gives you lots of ideas you can use in your own writing. Make yourself a monthly reading and listening list and enjoy.

2. Sign up for a writing course

You don’t need a university degree to be a writer but what you do need is to keep learning and developing as a writer. There are many ways to develop as a writer:

3. Make sure you write everyday

You need to write to improve and the more you write the easier it becomes. In order to do your best work, you need a writing space that is totally free of distractions. This is the one time when you cannot be multitasking!

  • Clarify your goals and prepare. Know what you want to accomplish before each day, each week, each month. Set yourself a target number of words to write each day. 1000 words is a good amount.

  • Turn off all social me.

  • Focus on one thing at a time. Make it part of your daily routine. Choose one task and give all your attention to that for 40 minutes to an hour. Just don’t procrastinate, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

  • Writing tools. Start with something you know will be manageable and enjoyable like a blog even when you’re tired and not in the mood to write. Trust me a year from now, if you stick with your daily practice, you’ll have sharpened your writing skill and learned how to keep going even whatever your circumstances.

  • Make use project management tools to automate your workflow and free up more time for deep work. Apps like PomoDoneApp use the Pomodoro technique to help you accomplish more in manageable chunks of time. Along with using a habit tracker app it is helpful to set a minimum word count target for the day – or a minimum number of minutes spent writing.

  • Stop when you’re done. We're great believers in quality over quantity and don’t get bogged down in research, adding links, formatting, or overthinking. Just write, you can go back later with fresh eyes to add edit, and review.

  • Keep a journal to jot down ideas and any experiences you could use later. We think a Moleskine is the best one you can get for writing

  • Consider purchasing a Productivity Planner. It will really help you focus on your daily and weekly tasks.

  • Self Journal – similar to the Productivity Planner but taking a focus on gratitude and tracking small actions every day.

4. Join a Writing Community

It’s never too early to join a writing community and to start learning from other members and sharing what you know.

5. Can I start a writing career when I still have a job?

Absolutely, just set aside the time to:

  • Write daily

  • Connect with other writers

  • Sign up for an online class

  • Consider creating a simple writer website so people know you're there

6. Finding paid writing opportunities

There are numerous places to look for opportunities so allocate time for job searching and connecting on social media with editors, publishers and fellow writers.

7. Do you need your own writer’s website?

No as you can host your writing profile on sites like Contently or Linkedin, but with your own self-hosted website, you can create the profile you want. It can show your qualifications and gives future clients a taste of your personality, too.There are also other benefits:

  • You can start a blog of your own with specialised niche content

  • You can earn affiliate income with your blog posts

  • You can create stylized links to your porfolio

Don’t worry, maintaining an online platform doesn’t have to be a full-time job. And using a site builder like Wix makes it that much easier.

Suggested reading

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

Visit our Midlife Reinvention resources page which has a collection of useful links from 3rd party websites and content.

Listen to our podcast where we chat with Alexandra Potter

Did you enjoy this article? Why not join the Two Women Chatting mailing list for regular updates.

Note: This post contains some affiliate links. This means that we may earn a small commission when you click on such links, at no additional cost to you. purchases. We only share links to products we would use ourselves and all opinions are our own. You can read the full disclaimer here.


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Multi-Storey Library

Resources Library

If you would like to search for a midlife topic in more detail why not check out our midlife library.  A useful collection of all the ares that affect us all in some way.  

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