“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
Improving Your Writing
All of us here who enjoy writing for an audience have one thing in common, we like to communicate with others through the written word. Regardless of what we choose to write about, we have decided upon this platform because there’s something about writing which seems to speak to us as people over other communication mediums.
If you are new to writing and looking to hone your skills it may feel daunting at first to try to figure out how to do so. Perhaps you’re intimidated by other people’s great works that you’ve found on the internet or in the novels that you’ve read. Maybe you doubt yourself.
Well, novice or adapt, I have a few tips to share that I believe may help you on your journey to becoming a better writer!
Now this is going to be a disappointing revelation to some, but writing is a skill just like any other and the best thing you can do to improve the quality of your writing is to practice that skill! You’re going to have to flex that writing muscle and train it until you get it just the way you like it.
If writing is an occasional hobby then it’s going to take a lot longer to become really good at it. So write as often as you can, and it doesn’t really matter what you decide to write about either, just make it a regular part of your life. Live the writer’s lifestyle.
For the longest time I was only ever writing for myself in a journal. There was no platform for me to share my words on but writing had a powerful effect on my life, so I documented my days, feelings and reflections. No this wasn’t going to make me a famous writer overnight, but hey, I was writing and learning how to better express myself. When I look back on those journals, they still provide me with ideas for great content even years later.
Are you struggling with your post?
If you are struggling with a specific post, perhaps it’s time to take a break. Writing should flow more or less easily and the refinement can come after the first draft. There are always going to be moments of writer’s block especially when writing detailed fictions or well researched articles, but they shouldn’t cause you stress. Try taking a break and coming back to it with a clear head.
Dealing with Writer’s Block
If you often find yourself struggling to come up with an article, story or poetry idea, then try taking an hour or two every week to simply create as many topic ideas as you possibly can for the week ahead.
This can be incredibly helpful for those days when you know you want to write but don’t exactly have a topic in mind. I have about 20 drafts for my site right now that are nothing but interesting titles which I hope to write about in deeper detail at a later date.
If one topic starts to give you trouble, don’t be afraid to hop over to another and finish your original topic later. Just keep flexing that writing muscle.
Look for Inspiration in Your Daily Life
It’s very helpful to find a way to record your ideas throughout the day so that inspiration is never overlooked or forgotten. Try to keep a small notebook with you or you can trust an app on your phone as well. Personally, I prefer to create drafts in the WordPress App with only the title of the idea that I have in mind and perhaps a few key points. Find whatever works best for you and stick to it.
Expand your horizons, if you want to become a better writer then you are going to have to challenge yourself by writing outside of your comfort zone from time to time!
Not everything you write needs to be the work of miracles. If you aren’t struggling from time to time then you probably just aren’t pushing yourself hard enough to try anything new. The greatest people in this world fail over and over again, yet that’s why they succeed, because they don’t allow failure to end in defeat. They just adapt, take lessons from each failure and keep going!
With an uncompromising drive in one direction the only variable towards success is the amount of time that it’s going to take to get there.
Grow Your Vocabulary
One thing that I like to do in order to grow my vocabulary is to always make a point of researching any word that I come upon which completely eludes me. I have a small travel sized dictionary which I like to keep handy in case I come upon a word that I don’t understand while I’m reading a novel, but cellphones make it easier than ever before to quickly google for a definition as well.
If you’re half certain what a word means but not one hundred percent, look it up anyways! Make an attempt to master your language. It can make a world of difference towards expressing yourself with deeper meaning.
Observe and Experience
People watch. Seek to understand different perspectives that are other than your own. Seek out new experiences, even uncomfortable ones. Seek out new sources of information on topics other than those that you obsess about. Seek to broaden your potential as a human being and not just as a writer. It will ultimately provide you with a wealth of new insight and experiences which can provide you with new material.
Have Fun Writing
Write for the fun of it. Don’t spend too much time writing about things that don’t give you pleasure or that run contrary to your heart and soul. What you write about should be interesting to you, or else how is it going to be interesting to anybody else? Your readers can feel your passion in your work. Never forget that.
Look to Writers Who Inspire You
Finally, if you have aspirations to improve your writing be sure to keep an eye out for other great writers who inspire you with their words and phrasing. Pay attention to how they make you feel and how they organize their work. Pay attention to how they describe their settings and characters, or the topic of their choice.
Accept the fact that you still have a lot to learn and seek to learn through those that you admire the most. It’s important to have respect for the works of those who are more successful than you. Feel free to borrow little pieces of writing style from others that blow you away and combine it with your own style. Just don’t copy anyone else’s style verbatim, or else you’re just losing your authenticity as an artist. Almost all human innovation is constructed upon the innovations of others.
Personally, I love reading great classics for this reason. Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Jack London, Hemingway etc. These authors are considered greats for a reason. So it’s worth it to read great pieces of art with admiration to try to figure out exactly why it is that they are so successful and to reveal their secrets in the process.
Good luck with your passion. Love it, grow it and never stop writing!