Write Right and Keep Writing
Practice makes perfect...or at least better
Remember the first time you mounted a bike--no trainees? The thrill of accomplishment, yet the fear of skinning your knees, or worse, busting your tailbone? And yet somehow, if you're like most, by the end of the summer you were boasting your skills to anyone who cared to watch, riding hands-free and performing daring tilts at acute angles frighteningly close to the cement whizzing beneath your wheels. If you're not a bike rider, think of your first time doing anything. Unfortunately, we're not born with knowledge, let alone skills. Everything you pride yourself on doing well has taken some form of patience, vigilance and practice. And more practice. And in some cases, even more practice. The same goes for writing.
For some, writing is second nature, a craft that must be performed as part of a routine, a way to unwind or release stress. For the rest of us, it's a passion that strikes when we have the time or desire...which sometimes is often and sometimes not. If you're a writer who is aspiring to improve your writing skills, become published, complete a novel, or simply gain a sense of accomplishment, I have one piece of advice for you--don't stop! Keep writing, let it become a part of your life just like brushing your teeth or taking a bath. Once you become accustomed to doing it regularly, you'll only improve. Need motivation? Join an interactive community, like HubPages, where people can review, comment and provide feedback on your work. The interaction and feedback will help encourage and even propel you further on your journey toward becoming a better writer.
The second article of advice I'll share, which has worked wonders for me personally, is to read. Read everything and anything, whether it be a news article on Yahoo, a snippet in a magazine, a novel or the back of a cereal box. Reading helps you learn. And no, I'm not talking about the kind of learning that involves finding out who shot whom in the apartment building fifteen blocks down or the latest on gun policy, I mean observational learning. Reading allows you to experience various tones and voice, process the correct ways of using punctuation marks sometimes introducing you to new conventions and even expand your vocabulary. Use the resources and publications around you to discover your own style. Once you figure it out, you'll feel more comfortable in your own writing skin.
And most of all--don't give up! Success comes at the end of a long pole comprised of determination, practice and belief. So build up that pole, strengthen its foundation and victory will be sure to follow.