Whether you’re taking writing up as a hobby, or you’re trying to carve out your writing career, the art of writing can be difficult to master. Even the most accomplished writers get stuck on a word or find it difficult to convey their message in the best possible way. There is no set formula for creating a literary masterpiece, but here are a few tips to help your ideas, words, and stories come to life:
1. Read more
Great writers read a lot. They consume novels, magazines, newspapers, articles, blogs, fiction, and non fiction. Most of which you already do everyday without consciously thinking about it. But pay attention to what you like or don’t like in a piece of writing. Take note of the paragraphs and sentences that make you laugh and make you cry, and learn exactly why they do so. Look up the meanings of words you aren’t familiar with and try to broaden the topics you read about to expand your knowledge and enhance your vocabulary so that you feel you can comofrtably write about a range of topics in a fluid and organic way.
2. Take a class
Brush up on your technique, or learn technique by joining an educational course. Online courses are available to teach you how to write on any topic, in any medium, or on any style, and most of them are free. Join writing workshops and retreats. This options allow you to learn directly from writers about subject, tone, and audience. These classes will help you hone in on the style which best works for you which will encourage you to become confident in expressing your ideas.
3. Write whatever comes to mind
Explore free writing: the art of writing about the thoughts that come to mind, without correcting them, judging them, or editing them. Keep your pen to the paper and remember it doesn’t matter what you’re writing about as long as you’re writing. This can be simply practiced by keeping a journal, and start by writing about your day. This stream of consciousness will help to inspire your creative mind to come to life.
4. Set some time aside for your writing
Make a promise to yourself to find a place and a time where you can commit yourself to writing and reading and exploring the type of writing you intend to pursue. Depending on your routine and biorhythm, this could be at a coffee shop late at night or at your office first thing in the morning. Try experimenting with the times and locations until you find the right moment and environment where you feel most alert and creative. It’s key to then discipline yourself to use this time to perfect your art, and ensure that you incorporate this part of your schedule. This helps keep your writing goals on track and create an environment where your writing can flourish.
5. Put yourself out there
An effective way to improve upon your writing skills is to ask for feedback. Asking for constructive criticism is a great way to both understand what appeals in your writing and what others want to see in your writing. You can start small by posting comments under articles and blogs that you enjoy following, then progress to writing your own and monitoring your readers’ opinions. Oftentimes freelance writing opportunities are posted on the Craigslist job section, try applying for several to find a good fit for you to develop and showcase your writing, take feedback notes from the editor and incorporate their ideas moving forward. You can also try entering competitions or participate in open mic poetry nights. for example to ‘test’ your material. Encouraging feedback can help you find your voice and make it sing.
Practice is key
Try working to creative prompt exercises to help you bring your writing to life. These examples will get your creative juices flowing, and inspire you to find a story in your writing. Mastering your style, grappling grammar, and discovering your tone are all areas of writing which take time to achieve. Practice, experiment, and have fun with the process.