- Books, Literature, and Writing
Tips for Becoming a Writer
Write a Lot
The most important thing you need to do to be a writer is to write. If you can't think of what to write, just sit down and start writing anything. Sometimes writing about anything can give you ideas about other topics you can write about. You can sit down and write about your day, make up a short story, write a poem, or just write a few sentences to help you get going.
Even if you are just starting out, there are opportunities online for writing and sharing your work. Sites such as Hubpages are a great place to start. Also you should consider writing your own blog. It is a great way to build up your writing portfolio and gain experience and confidence in your work.
Read a Lot
Reading is necessary to become the best writer you can be. If you don't like to read, you probably won't like writing either. Not only will reading will give you ideas to write about, but it will also improve your vocabulary and ability to spell, and it will remind you of what you should be doing in terms of correct grammar. Reading high quality work also will inspire you to do your best in order to reach your potential.
You should read every day, and you should read a variety of things, whether it be popular novels, classic literature, short stories, children's books, poetry, magazines, or blogs. Read what you like to read, and read the type of things that you want to write, but also expand and read a little of everything.
Find a Quiet Place and Time
If you are in a noisy room surrounded by people talking to you, loud machinery, or kids climbing on your head, you won't be able to write well because you won't be able to concentrate. You need to find a quiet place and time to write. You might need to do it early in the morning before work, or late at night after everyone else has gone to bed. If you live alone and don't have any surprise guests, you can probably write from home at any time, which will make it a lot easier to find a place to write. If not, and you are able to get out of the house for a while, try going to the library, computer lab, or out in the woods away from the usual distractions.
While you are writing, if you are at home, leave the TV off, set your phone to vibrate, and don't listen to loud music. If it helps, decide on an amount of time that you will write, and write for at least that amount of time. For example, say you will write for at least an hour, and don't stop writing until that hour is up. You might end up writing longer than that, and as long as you don't have to be anywhere, keep going as long as you like.
Think About it During the Day
When I am at work, I often find myself thinking about what I want to write. Since I work at places where I often have to do long, boring, repetitive tasks, thinking about stories, books, or blogging posts really helps me get through the day and makes the time go faster. It also helps me to keep a positive attitude at work, even when I'm doing a job at work that I don't like to do.
If you do this, you will already have some ideas to write about when you get home. If you have too many ideas, and you are not able to write about them all in one day, just write them down somewhere and you can write about them later when you are ready.
Revise Your Work, But Rest First
It is critical that after you finish writing your first draft of anything you are going to publish, you go back and revise it several times, until you are satisfied with your work. Also, it is equally as important that you rest first. Put your writing away and don't look at if for at least a day, and then read over it again and revise it. When you are done with your revision, do the same thing again. Put it away and revise it a second time, the day after your first revision. This helps to clear your mind and you will be able to see mistakes that you wouldn't be able to see if you tried to revise it the same day that you wrote it.
Get Other People's Opinions
After you have finished writing and revision your work, you should get someone's opinion about it. Find a good friend that is willing to give you an honest opinion. Some people might say it is good just because you wrote it, and other people will be overly critical and say it is terrible just because you wrote it. You don't want either of these. You need to find someone that is willing to actually read it and give you an honest opinion, and maybe even advise on how you can improve.
After you have heard other people's opinions, you need to consider what they have said and if you agree with them and think their insight could improve your writing, you should make further revisions to your work. But remember it is your writing, and you shouldn't feel obligated to change anything just because other people tell you to, if you don't think it will improve your writing.
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Don't Care Too Much What Other People Think
Remember you can't please everyone. Even the most famous, best selling authors are hated by some people. Don't let others discourage you. Not everyone will like your writing, and that is OK. If you have family or coworkers telling you that you are no good and that you should give up, don't listen to them, because that is destructive critisism and no good can come out of that. They are trying to discourage you, and they shouldn't be. That says a lot more about them than it does about you. Instead, surround yourself with people that will encourage you and try to help you improve.
Anything worth doing takes time. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't turn out perfectly the first time. If you are going to be a writer, you must stay positive. Don't give up. Just work on it a little every day. You will find as time goes on, it becomes a little easier and you are able to do more in less time. Once you have more experience, it is easier to think of topics too.
Sometimes it helps to look back at the things you wrote a long time ago. If they are good, you will be inspired by them and know you can write good, because you have been writing good for a very long time. If they are not so good, you can see how much your writing ability has improved since then.
Use Your Personal Experiences
Everyone has their own life experiences. It is easier to write about something that you have personally experienced in your life because you understand exactly what it is like to be in that situation. You therefore will be able to write about it more vividly, and will have an easier time describing the experience. When you experience certain things, you also gain skills and knowledge. You can use this in your writing too.