Writing is not an easy endeavor. It requires practicing a skill in order to hone the ability. The key to mastering any art is not to give up! Our brains are in a constant state of learning and gaining experience. It takes time.
Here is a list I have compiled of tips that can make the process a lot easier and enhances the skill of writing. I am a new writer like many people and am doing my best to become proficient. I know firsthand how challenging it can be and feel the struggle regularly like I am sure many do. I hope these help!
TIP #1 — Slow Down:
This is probably the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn and am constantly at war with. The reality of the matter though is that authors must slow down. This is a critical point that even I have brushed off as irrelevant. The truth cannot be avoided. Writers need to take their time in order to produce quality writing that others might want to read. Anything good takes time to develop. Imagine how many hours that turkey sits in the oven on Thanksgiving baking itself into the golden delicious meat everyone wants to gobble up. A delicious meal does not happen in minutes. This is true of anything. The more effort and detail writers put to the pen makes a huge difference.
From my experience, nobody is a fan of proofreading and editing their own writing. It can be tedious and boring (my opinion). However, the grammar police and mobs of rioters will come for you with their pitches if you do not edit! You will be drawn and quartered in the most brutal of deaths! I’m totally serious. That is how vital editing is. Writers need to take their time to go over their work. Then when they have reviewed through it with a fine comb, they should go over it again. Writers should also keep in mind that no editing is ever perfect. They just need to do their best to provide the best-polished piece of work manageable.
Here is two free online editing/proofing software that I use. They help me more than anything else I can think of. I always put anything I write in them. They both require signing up for an account with email. It only takes minutes though!
TIP #3—Speak Don’t Write:
Yes, I said that correctly. Do not write your words like it is writing. It is important that any piece of work is something that can be easily recognized. Readers want to be spoken to not dictated by a robot. It is vital to express personality and uniqueness without being too extreme about it. I know from experience it is easy to take on a certain tone that becomes something not intended. This has been one of bigger challenges for me as a writer. Always keep in mind that just sounding natural, relaxed, and informative all in one is beyond valuable. It allows readers to get to know the person behind the pen. It reaches them in ways that every successful author achieves through practice. As a side note to help in this area, I have always been told to read my writing out loud to myself or an audience. It really helps point out the bland and dreary. Speaking the words out loud also pinpoints to the ear whether the flow is as smooth as it should be.
Tip #4 – Be Specific:
The description is the most powerful tool a writer has in their arsenal. It is the sword that can slay the dragon, the jelly in a doughnut, and the lyrics in a song. The zest of any piece of writing is the portrayal of those words. Never underestimate the strength description provides. Writers by nature seek to make readers feel something. This cannot be achieved if the reader isn’t be reached and a picture does not form in their head. Painting those images is crucial to bring about any form of emotion. I highly recommend using a thesaurus to find unique ways to discuss a topic, event, place, person, or thing. The thesaurus can easily be accessed online and with a little inner creativity can really bring words to life.
Tip #5 – Take Advice & Keep Learning:
Writers need to listen and learn from other writers that have experience in their practice. I cannot say this enough. Always keep learning and take the valuable input of writers and readers alike. They can truly provide an education that will propel the skill further and one never knows when they will new things. Majority of what I know about writing, which admittedly is meager compared to most, has come from other writers that I have spoken to frequently. It also has come from being a reader. That also gives me insight into my own writing because I always try to analyze how I would feel about it as a reader. I take both sides of the coin to heart.