I’ve noticed in a rather odd manner that trying to be a good writer out of the blue doesn’t usually come gift-wrapped, since no great writer became geniuses from birth. This reminds me of a mail I received from a readers of this blog. She was desperately struggling with writing and was very tired of the fact that she couldn’t write better than she wanted to.So she asked me to give her some tips on how she can get better and write more beautiful write ups.
Without much delay, I replied her with some tips that have always worked for me, which I know certainly will work for you too if you’re currently in the same category as that lady.
The following are the practical tips I sent to her, and I hope it will help you too in your journey to be a better writer.
- Write Everyday. This is a vital prerequisite to being a good writer because writing as we all know it is a craft. And just like other crafts, you need to keep honing your skill daily and regularly in other to be better at it.
A painter doesn’t just stop painting one day only to start painting again 5 month later. Believe me, that painter will find that his expertise have become a little bit rusty, and in other to improve, he’d need to constantly keep painting again.
This also applies to you as writer. Create a daily ritual to write as often as possible. Even Stephen king once said that to be a good writer, a person needs to write at least 1,000 words per day.
So, if Stephen thinks that way, then you also need to think in that direction too. Create a daily writing schedule and stick to writing everyday; no matter how hard it is, continually keep at it. And in no time, you’d be able to see tangible improvement on your own write ups.
- Explore and Read Everything You See. The words that you write out on paper or on screen sometimes depict the amount of that topic in you. This connotes that if you are the type of writer that hardly reads at all, but tends to write a lot, then you’d notice that your writing scarcely improves at all.
To get better at writing, you’d need to do a lot of readings. Preferably, read more than you write; this way, you don’t burn out for lack of what to write on. Likewise, read blogs and watch closely how each author writes, and before Peter can say Paul, some of their writing style will definitely rub off on you.
- Don’t Think. Don’t Plan – Just Write. Too much thinking and planning sometimes leave you staring at the blank screen or paper for a long time with nothing to write about. That’s why it’s beneficial to do freestyle writing a lot as a writer.
All what it takes on your part is to open your word processor and start writing at once.
You don’t need distractions at all. So, get rid of any physical things that might distract you; like shutting down the TV, play station, the Internet, and turning off Microsoft Word spell checker etc.
Once you’ve gotten rid of all possible distractions.
Keep writing until you have had enough. Make sure that you don’t edit while you write because that will single-handedly spoil your writing flow, so leave those errors for later edit, and just write.
When you keep doing this, you’d be able to write daily and it will also help you overcome writers’ block anytime it comes knocking.
- Get Positive Feedback On Your Write Ups. You can’t get better in a vacuum. You’ll need someone watching over your shoulders as you write.
Someone, preferably a professional writer, which, on his part, will constantly give constructive criticism to your write ups and tell you the specific areas you need to work on.
And as you constantly work on those areas the professional writer highlighted, you’d surely, in no time, start seeing tangible progress in your writing as you keep at it.
- Write in a Personal Tone. As if you’re talking to someone very close to you, because people find it very welcoming and nice when you write as you talk and they understand you better when you do that in a conversational way.
And to ease the pain of starting to write in that fashion, you can, like me, start each of your write ups as “Hi Jane”, in other not to deviate from that conversational mood you started in.
And replacing “Hi Jane” with that person’s name that you’re fond of will help make the writing more clarifying, personal and enjoyable for you.
- Have Confidence in Yourself as a Writer. When you don’t have one, it shows in your writings.
When you believe that you’re not a good writer, you can end up creating an imaginary barrier, a negative voice for yourself, which you might never be able to overcome.
A negative voice that constantly echo’s in your ear each time you pick up your pen to write, telling you not to waste your time, that what you’re about to write won’t make any sense – when actually, it does.
Nevertheless, if you want to grow as a writer, then you’d need to surmount that barrier by looking squarely at your write ups and say – “it’s the best I can clearly and consciously write, and I’m very proud of it”.
When you begin to say those positive words to yourself, you would notice drastic improvement in your overall writing as time goes on, as a result of you gaining back your confidence.
Writing is a very hard craft, I won’t lie to you.
All these tips might be quite easy to read on your phone or computer screen, but I’d have to tell you now, that practicing them will be quite uncomfortable for you.
However, when you keep at it, you’d surely see improvement. That’s all I can say for now.
Remember: Practice makes perfect. When you practice something for a very long without giving up, you’d end up a guru in that area, surely. So write, and never stop writing.