It’s been a while since the last blog post. I have to admit that I often forget that there is more to “internet writing” than just short stories (my preferred medium, you may have noticed).
Let’s get down to business:
You are a writer (or at least, you really want to be [which probably means that you already are]).
You want your writing to be stellar. You want it to blaze across the eyes of your readers, enter their brains and coax them into bliss. That’s the dream!
The question is: as writers, how can we perfect our craft?
Firstly, by never giving up. 😉
Secondly, by sharing our knowledge amongst ourselves.
On that note, here are a few tips taken from my own meandering experience:
- Write every day
An annoying, sigh-inducing classic. “Practice makes perfect”…I can feel myself cringing at the thought.
But the reason this bit of advice is a classic is because, well…it works.
It doesn’t have to be much.
Write a phrase, maybe a paragraph. Or if you aren’t in the mood to forge ideas into words, plan your next story. Brainstorm. Edit.
Writing is more than just the act of scribbling or typing, just like gardening is more than just planting.
Give yourself a little time every day to work on your passion. Think of it as an investment. Or a workout session.
Let’s face it, probably the main reason you started (or want to start) writing is because you love reading and you want to create the same, magical feeling in someone else.
In our world of distractions it has become harder to pick up a book. But there is very little that can compare to the experience of summoning up a world painted in the colours of your own mind.
Do it for your own pleasure. Do it to analyse other people’s writing. Do it because it’s fun.
Try to avoid making it a chore: no one wants to turn pleasure into duty.
Reading will automatically improve your writing, even if you don’t really pay attention to it. Sometimes I inadvertently pick up elements of the style of the books I’m reading.
- Take a course
The internet may be a distraction, but it is also a source of knowledge.
I follow various writing courses on Udemy (drop me a note if you want to know which). Some are brilliant, others less so.
All of them give me a new perspectives.
I don’t necessarily agree with all the teachers, but I’ve found that most of them have at least one or two interesting ideas that I can use for my own creative endeavours.
So sign up for a course on Udemy (they are usually quite cheap)! Or Coursera, edX or your local writers’ group.
- Vary what you write
Poetry, short stories, books, blog posts…everything goes.
Try it all. Stick with what you like, or try to master the style you have the most difficulty with.
Before I started my writing journey, I thought the only thing I would ever write would be a book. That I would publish. And then write a sequel to. And so on.
A few years later and here I am, writing mostly everything. I can guarantee that all of it has contributed to the quality and style of my texts.
- Write what you feel like writing
The hardest element on the list!
But also the most important.
It took me ages to figure this one out. I’m still figuring it out.
In fact, I still struggle with writer’s block: I gnaw and claw at it, hoping that if I persist it will get out of the way. We’ve been made to believe that we have to put our desires aside when writing; that obsessing over an annoying paragraph is the only path to success. But writing – much like martial arts – often works better by following the path of least resistance.
So, if you don’t want to write the next chapter in your novel, don’t. At least for a while.
Go find something else to keep you busy: a new shining idea maybe, or a completely different character to play with. Let your imagination free for a while; don’t try to force it to do what you want it to.
Most of all: enjoy writing. At the end of the day – unless it’s your only source of income – you write for you.
Have any tips you’d like to share? Please add them in the comments below: your knowledge is invaluable!