Acquiring writing skills takes a lot of patience and practice. But ultimately, writing is a way to express oneself. Doing so will require you to be able to explain what you wrote. Because if your writing cannot accomplish this, then there’s a chance that you don’t understand the topic, to begin with. You can’t just write and expect an immediate understanding of your message without context and life. When writing, you need to feel it. It is vital that your heart and soul are in it for your words to become much more powerful and impactful.
You don’t need to exaggerate things to make your work unique. You don’t even need to put complex meanings and hard-to-reach words that will only end up incomprehensible to your readers. Also, if you find yourself writing sentences that have the same meaning, you can shorten them into 1-2 sentences. Being direct is far better for you and your readers. As long as they can digest the words and feel the emotions you put into your work, the amount of words you write should not matter.
On another note, we all know that grammar plays a crucial (if not the most important) role in writing. This fact is more evident, especially if you want to get published. You can rely on what seems to be the grammar police to always make you conscious of your grammar. Some may even get to the point of wanting to stop writing because of that. Many people become afraid, particularly those who do not have experience or write for a living. The good news is that writing is not some dreadful activity that you should detest. Anyone with a bit of discipline and a willingness to study can enhance their writing skills.
Here are some tips and guidelines to start you off:
And if those aren’t enough, then luckily for you because you also have this article. The following five tips can help you improve your writing skills, whether you’re trying to write your first book or practice your writing skills:
1.) Reading While Writing
It greatly helps when you’re reading what you’re writing. And by this, we mean that you should read aloud while writing and after writing. Remember Jack Nicholson’s character in ‘As Good as It Gets?’ He says the words as he writes them. It helps (if him being loved and highly revered for his works is not proof enough). It practices your mind to be mentally ready for the next words you write. Reading aloud while writing can help you determine the flow of your work. You can easily spot whether your work is monotonous or choppy when read.
Additionally, it can help you turn any dull moments in your story into something that will mesmerize your readers. For instance, when you read aloud the climax of your story, and you did not feel any strong emotions towards it, you can make the necessary changes it may need. In a way, reading while writing puts you in the reader’s shoes. It can be a great way of editing your work that aligns with what your readers want. And if any part of your plot already seems lacking to you, what more if your audience actually reads them. So, start reading aloud and edit it out. Who knows, you may even be on the verge of discovering something better that will give your book the ‘it’ factor.
2.) Be Yourself at All Times
It is common to hear the words: be yourself when doing anything in life, or something of the sort. And this is true. Take writing, for example. Your work may be fiction, but underneath all that fantasy or make-believe is you in some of your characters. Who you are usually shows (subtly) in your writings. That’s what makes every masterpiece unique to its creator. Your experiences molded you into what you are now. And as such, those also gave way to what you can write. To be more precise, your natural and authentic self dictates how your writing turns up. The mood, mental readiness, heart, and mind you bring to your work is a reflection.
Being yourself during writing is you allowing the motivation and inspiration to drive you fully. Just imagine yourself writing nonstop. Being in the zone is likely more possible. After all, you can only write what you know, right? And what you know is brought forth by being yourself.
As a result, all written messages should be re-read before sending and publishing or emailing, as errors are likely to occur. Before sending all your work to be published, you need to check if they appeal to the audience’s eyes and are not monotonous to read. Lack of context and predictability will bore your readers. When writing, you need to put something extra and unexpected. These twists in the events or a sudden wind change are what compel your readers to turn the page.
Therefore, proofreading your work provides what is lacking and removes what is unnecessary. Keep in mind that being too plain is boring and being exaggerated is overwhelming. And always try to make your work as reader-friendly as possible. Also, even if you’re familiar with spelling and grammar norms, you should double-check your work or have it proofed by someone else. Typographical errors are sure to happen because our thoughts operate quicker than our fingers can type.
4.) Be Inspired by What You Read
Many individuals read the same blogs or websites daily because the content interests them. But very few understand why their favorite blogs are so popular. Select a few recent blog posts that you enjoy reading and use them. It would be best to use a highlighter for the words that you appreciate the most. Remember what your teacher said to you back when you were still studying? Specific words, changes of phrase, and even paragraphs.
Examine why you prefer these elements, and determine if your favorite reading material has similar themes. Examine how authors go from one topic to the next. It is up to you to utilize these methods in your work. Also, it’ll be best if you’re a fan of novels and books. These materials will immediately get you hooked by the story and get you curious to know what happens next. In that way, your work will flow in a similar way and make your audience feel what you yourself felt.
5.) Imitating The Style of Your Favorite Writers
Doing some research about your favorite writer is one of the ways to be more interested in writing. Being a fanboy is not wrong, and imitating your idols doesn’t mean you plagiarize their work. As a matter of fact, it only means that someone has inspired you to choose the writing path. Reading the work of your favorite writer can inspire and motivate you to become one of them one day and maybe even be on par with their talent in writing. When writing, you need the inspiration to boost your confidence and develop your writing skills.
Imitating the style of your favorite writers will lead you to an idea of how you can cultivate further your style of writing and how to improve them. Determine what you appreciate about their work and see if you can apply it to your writing. Is a writer you admire known for injecting humor in their work? Go and try it! Do they use characters that have an immense impact on the readers? Create one in a similar fashion. See? Nothing is impossible when you have the willingness and eagerness to learn.
Writing skills will get easier and faster as you gain confidence in yourself and your work. You don’t need to punish yourself just because you can’t create a masterpiece on your first try. Everyone goes through countless scattered scratches before they achieve something in their life. Just be constantly mindful that the right time for you will come and wait for that moment to happen. For now, you need to practice and enhance your writing skills to be more prepared in the future.