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Writing: Ten Important Tips

Updated on January 18, 2011

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

1-Start:

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!

3-Read:

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!

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    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 

      4 years ago from New Delhi , India

      Among the articles I read about the beautiful craft of writing, this one is just a rare piece and deserves to be read and reread. This contains very useful and marvelous ways to proceed with writing something. For me, it is like a treasure and I have bookmarked it. Thank you very much, Julie.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks a lot for the nice Ten important points on writing

    • PiaC profile image

      PiaC 

      6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      This is very valuable advice. One more that I would add to the list is this: don't edit too much until you have finished a first draft. i've seen so many writers, especially novelists who get to the half-way point in their first drafts and then turn back and start to edit. The result is that they never complete their manuscripts!

    • annaw profile image

      annaw 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Hi Julie I found this Hub definitely useful. I have real issues with effective writing. It seems I can not get a handle on it. I have dificulty writing college papers, I just lose everything I have learned at times, talk about getting stuck!!!I over think it all. I may sit indefinitely trying to get the commas and semicolons right. I am just a mess!!!I definitely get distracted and everso frustrated and once that happens it is all over.Thanks for the Hub.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks,Nice tips

    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 

      7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      I just stumbled upon your hub and I am glad I did. I was getting a little discouraged, but your hub has given me encouragement, to continue writing. Yesterday I posted a hub asking what I consider to be a very important question. Maybe you can help me since you are a seasoned writer. Should I write about subjects I am knowledgeable in and forego subjects I am not familiar with? I notice many of the writers on hub pages write about a variety of subjects. Some of these writers are very good and others not so much.

      Your article has helped me to realize it is possible for me to write and if I continue to practice I will become an even better writer. Thanks for sharing. I will bookmark this article and will read more. Teresa

    • Kathryn Overall profile image

      Kathryn Overall 

      8 years ago from Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

      Many thanks Julie for a comprehensive, informative and encouraging post!

    • LRobbins profile image

      Laurel 

      8 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for the great tips Julie!

    • dsletten profile image

      dsletten 

      9 years ago from United States

      Hello Julie in Duluth! Great hub with sooo very important tips. Thanks. :)

    • profile image

      Julie A. Johnson 

      9 years ago

      I hope hubbers as well as other writers find the information useful. Thank you.

      Julie

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      9 years ago from USA

      This is a great article for hubbers, Julie. Thank you.

    • Karen Wardle profile image

      Karen Wardle 

      9 years ago from Central Coast New South Wales Australia

      I agree with talented ink in that I relate very much to your first paragraph. I was once of the belief that a writer was someone that was published. I now know this not to be the case. I believe that true writers write. They cannot ignore this part of themselves for too long or they will feel that something is missing inside. That to me, is what makes a writer. Thanks for the tips and the great advice Julie.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      9 years ago from Duluth, MN

      talented-ink, Yes, writng is fulfilling, but it can consume you too! Writers are a unique breed of people, but I think they share some characteristics common to ther artists. Thanks for your comment, and keep writing. Julie

    • talented_ink profile image

      talented_ink 

      9 years ago from USA

      I used to think that it was just me that lived, breathed, ate, and slept with a pen in my hand, but then I started talking to other writers. I couldn't agree more with your first paragraph and not only do you get consumed by writing, but you get consumed by what you write as well.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thank you Ananta. I think I do most my planning in my head. Everyone has a different process, it's all about discovering what works best for you. You're right -- practice, practice, practice. Keep writing! Julie

    • profile image

      Ananta65 

      10 years ago

      Nice hub! Personally I don't really plan very much. I just start writing and afterwards engage in editing, looking for pictures to support the text, rephrase and restructure. And that works for me. Tips #3 and #9 are the most important ones, as far as I'm concerned. Practice makes perfect. You'll improve by doing it more often.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks Jim,

      We all needd a bit a bit of inspiration now and then. Keep writing.

    • jimbrad121 profile image

      Jim Bradley 

      10 years ago from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA

      Excellent inspirational tips for those beginning to write Julie. Great hub.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks momma's write. Glad it was helpful!

      Julie

    • momma's write profile image

      momma's write 

      10 years ago from NC

      Great hub, I love the tips!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      decor lady,

      Thanks for your response, and I hope one day you do get to write a novel. Keep writing!

      Julie

    • profile image

      decor lady 

      10 years ago

      Julie, thank you for your insights on writing. I know your tips will come in handy as I work on my marketing projects, and eventually, I hope to one day write a real novel. Great work!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks solarshingles. I hope others are motivated to start writing, or keep writing.

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 

      10 years ago from london

      Julie, thank you for this short, yet so very comprehensive list. It really expresses your great personal experience about the topic of writing. Thanks, again!

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