7 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
Writing can sometimes feel like a burden. Words become elusive sometimes and there are
moments when you can't find the inspiration within you to string together a sentence.
You have to think about grammar and punctuation and if you're using you're and it's correctly.
You wonder if what you’ve written is coherent or engaging enough and if you're writing a
news article, you get all jittery as you wonder if you got all the facts straight.
Beginner writers face those problems all the time. Sadly, a lot of writers gave up writing
because they were faced with those challenges and they felt like they hit an unclimbable
wall and there was no other way around it – But there is. It's all a matter of mastering
yourself and your craft. A master swordsmith won't be a master swordsmith if he gave up
after getting burnt once or twice. It takes time, patience, dedication, and a whole lot
of practice. STEP 1. MAKE WRITING A HABIT
When you were a kid and you were learning how to ride a bike, you always made sure that
you spent some time on the bike, right? You took your bike out after school and tried
to ride it for a couple of hours until such time when you were able to ride without falling
off. Some of us even spent extra time trying to learn bike tricks and whatnot. It's the
same with writing. Set a time of day where you can just sit down
and write. You can set a timer for 30 minutes or an hour where you will just write. You
can work on different writing styles each week so that you'll be more comfortable writing
in any kind of style. Edit your work. It's not enough to be able
to write content as it is also important to know how to edit your own work. Set a day
in which you will focus on editing all the content that you have done for the week. This
way, your mind can focus more on the task at hand. You can also spot your strengths
and weaknesses easier this way because it mitigates the effects of confirmation bias.
You already know where your writing is headed and what you’re trying to say, and that’s
why your brain merely glosses over the details, and you end up missing a few things.
Publish your work. Don't stop at just reading what you have done. Take a step out and publish
the content you like best to see how other people react to it. Other people's take on
your piece is important because they can give a fresh pair of eyes. It can also give you
a better understanding on what engages other people. STEP 2. WORK ON YOUR WRITING SKILLS
Creating content that is publishable and engaging requires some practice. You can always create
content with all the facts and details in it but what matters is if it's engaging enough.
As a writer, you have to know your way around words to make sure that your readers are engaged.
An unappealing content is as good as a milkshake with no milk.
Experiment with your words and sentences. Learn how to play with words to avoid blandness
in your writing. Every word that you use will have an impression on your readers. Make use
of a dictionary and a thesaurus to help guide you here and there. You don't have to use
big words to make your writing appealing because it all depends on your target audience.
Work on your voice. Sentences have a flow to them. Play with punctuation to change your
rhythm. If your sentences all have the same pattern, the reader will soon tire from reading
your work. But if you break the monotonous voice by changing your flow, your writing
becomes more exciting and dynamic; it becomes more alive.
Play with metaphors and stories. Using metaphors and stories makes your writing more human-like.
It gives the readers the sense of involvement and it gives your writing more personality. STEP 3. LEARN HOW TO RESEARCH
Writing involves research. A well-thought out piece has a backup of research to make
it more believable and detailed. Readers are always looking for ideas and inspiration and
as a writer, it is your job to feed them that. Know your audience. It is important to know
who you are writing for. Your writing style and words should fit your audience; otherwise,
they would have a hard time reading your content. If you are writing for business, you should
have a more formal voice; likewise, writing for a younger audience demands a more playful
voice. Make it practical and memorable. Your readers
should find your content easy to understand and practical. If you are writing about DIY
or self-help, you must make sure you provide your readers with rich details and lively
examples. STEP 4. LEARN FROM THE MASTERS
Writers everywhere have drawn inspiration from a writer or writers they look up to.
When you were a kid and you were still learning how to ride a bike, you probably looked at
those confident kids who were riding their bikes and said that one day, you will be able
to ride your bike without falling off too. You probably tried to copy the way they rode
their bikes and the tricks they did until you were able to do it yourself too. Writing
has the same principle. Pay more attention. You should look at the
different kinds of materials you encounter with a keener and a more scrutinising eye.
Study children's books and learn how to simplify big topics, read magazines and see how they
make captivating headlines, read movie reviews to check out how they use words to convey
what they feel, and bask in poetry. You can always learn new techniques from the world
around you if you look closely enough. STEP 5. CHALLENGE YOURSELF
People always say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. When you do something
that you previously thought you could not do before, it gives you a sense of accomplishment
and pride, right? It makes you feel as if you can do more things which will eventually
lead to doing more with your life. That notion should also be applied to writing.
Don't be scared to try something new. If you have never done any creative writing before
and you're scared that you're not that creative, try to push yourself out of that box and try
writing stories about anything that tickles your fancy. You don't have to think about
making it into something that is publishable right away; just something that can make your
creative juices flow through you. STEP 6. BE OPEN TO CRITICISM (and engage in
self-criticism) Criticism, despite being tough to hear, is
important for writers. Not only does it show you the mistakes you've made, it also makes
you have a deeper understanding on what your readers want.
Screen the critiques. Granted, there will always be someone out there that is all too
willing to criticise your work. Some will have great points that can actually help you
while others are not that helpful. In order for you to differentiate between a helpful
critique and a not so helpful one, you need to have a good grasp on your content and material
first. Remember, no one knows your work more than you but your work will always be subject
to criticising eyes. STEP 7. KEEP THE FIRE BURNING
We all have a reason why we write. Some use it to express themselves; others do it for
a job. So, every time you feel like you've hit a wall, just remember why you're writing.
Find the inspiration within you whenever you feel like life is not giving you enough inspiration.
Don't stop reminding yourself of your goals and the things you want to achieve through
writing. Talk to other writers. Try to find out their
techniques and tricks. Learn from their mistakes and follow their good points. Share your experiences
so you can have a better idea on what it's like to be a writer.
Find inspiration everywhere. Every time you step out of the house, make sure to take note
of how you feel and what the people around you are doing. Also, we are lucky enough to
have all the information available in just one click. The internet is full of stories
and ideas, so you just have to learn how to harness it. Most importantly, never give up. You have
great ideas and thoughts and all you have to do is to put it on paper. Stop doubting
yourself and keep working on improving yourself and your works. After all, great writers started
off as novices.