- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Commercial & Creative Writing
Writing: Ten Important Tips
Writing-- it can fulfill you, drain you, engage you, and become an important part of your life. If you are truly a writer, the activity becomes a part of you. You may feel like a part of you is missing if you do not get a chance to write on a regular basis.
If you are just beginning to develop a taste for writing, you're just discovering some important things about yourself and about your writing process. You may be hesitant but excited to give writing a try.
Whether a seasoned writer or someone just beginning to learn about the art of writing, I've developed a few suggestions to help you. Following are
Ten important tips for writers
This may be obvious to many of us, but others have a hard time beginning any writing project because they get so caught up in the planning. They think about all the ways they want to write, but they fail to put the pen to the paper, or for many of us, fingers to the keyboard. If you don't begin, no writing will get accomplished. Starting can be as simple as jotting down a few words, but you must start before you can move forward!
2-Practice writing consistently:
Many great writers, like Hemingway, for example, practiced their craft every day. Writing is an art, and like any art, it must be practiced consistently. Many of us are busy with jobs and families, and time is precious. But even if you take the time to journal five to ten minutes a day, you are practicing writng.
Once you start writing, you may find can't stop!
You become a better writer if you read the writings of others. Through reading you are exposed to other ideas which may influence your writng. Also, through reading you expose yourself to other styles of writing. By looking at other styles of writing, you may look at your own writing in a different way. By reading, you discover ways to modify or enhance your own writing style.
4- Network with other writers:
Much knowledge about the art of writing can be gained through communicating with other writers. Sharing helpful resources and offering constructive criticism are two important ways networking helps the writer. Other writers help, too, because they provide moral support and inspiration. For creative writers, networking with visual and musical artists can also be extremely helpful.
5- Consider other forms of writing:
All writers have a preference for the type of writing they enjoy doing, but sometimes trying a new form of writing or a new genre can be very helpful. For example, the article writer who joins a poetry writing group might come to recognize the importance of attaching feeling to writing. This helps in article writing because now the article writer may choose to explore topics s/he is very passionate about, and not just write articles that sell well. If the writer feels a deep connection to the topic, s/he will create a better piece of writing. Writing in other forms or genres also broadens and develops the style of the writer.
6- Take time to plan:
Now I know all the creative writers are saying to themselves, "if I plan it's not creative." Not True! Planning can be as simple as jotting down an image that connects to a feeling. And most creative writers (writers of poetry and short stories) journal. In a sense, journaling is planning because you journal about things that strike you, ideas that are important you.
Other writers who focus more on information should plan too. A plan need not be an elaborate outline, but it does help you stay focused on the main points you want to convey through your writing. A plan also can help you with clearly defining your audience, and this is critical in developing a strong piece of writing.
7- Don't toss out writing, even if you think it's poor:
Keep those old journals, those old pieces of writing that never got published. Set them aside in a box, or whatever is convenient, and save them. Then, after a bit of time has passed, six months or six years, look at those pieces of writing again. Some may be reworkable. Some may give you ideas for projects you could start now. Sometimes the writing you almost threw out becomes useful, and with just a bit of editing, it can become a very effective piece of writing that a publisher purchases.
8- Always proof your work, and proof it again:
This is obvious, but many writers in their rush to submit work for publication rush through the proofing process. Even the best proofers miss mistakes on occasion, so that's why it's so important to take your time and read through what you've written and correct any mistakes before submitting it for publication. That includes spelling. A word of warning: spell check does not catch all mistakes. Publishers have eagle eyes when it comes to writing and spelling, so proof your work!
9- Try not to get discouraged, and keep working at writing:
"Rome was not built in a day," my parents used to say. This is true of writing. It takes time to develop the art of writing. You may not immediately sell anything, and you probably won't get rich by writing unless you are extremely gifted and have already practiced writing through your career. But writing can be a wonderful way to meet new people and discover new things about yourself. And, if you are diligent and lucky, you may make some money along the way.
10- Write because you enjoy it, and encourage others to write:
Writing can be hard work, but find joy in the process. Many find writing therapeutic; others feel deep satisfaction when they've completed a project. Whatever the reason, write because you love to write. Even if it entails a lot of research or a lot of thought, you should enjoy how writing makes you feel. Don't let it become too overwhelming because then you lose the sense of pleasure writing provides. And encourage others to write, so they can experience the pleasure of writing too!