The internet has opened a lot of unique platforms nourishing a new generation of writers. Anyone can produce written works through their social media accounts, blogs, and personal websites. But, not everyone who writes can be a writer. After all, the art entails a lot of rules that not everyone can master. Hence, the question: how do you become a better writer?
There are so many factors that go into producing a written work aside from writing the piece itself. The process involves a lot of steps that vary from one writer to another. It begins with generating ideas through research, making a draft or outline, then finishing your piece. Nevertheless, it is not easy, and it is not something that you can do in a matter of seconds.
Also, there are different kinds of writing. The most common ones are academic, technical, journalistic, and creative. All of which have different writing styles and genres that writers need to learn. That is why some people even attend professional classes just to learn how to write.
So, does that mean that you have to attend seminars or go to journalism schools to become a better writer? No! You can be a writer without proper training. Besides, there are a lot of open-access resources online that can teach you the craft. But most importantly, writing is an innate talent that only needs to be discovered and polished. That said, below are some tips on how you can become a better writer:
Make reading a habit
The more you read, the better you write. That is why aspiring writers should be well-read if they want to become good at writing. It is also through reading where you can learn how to use words properly, discover new ideas or inspiration, and develop your personal writing style. Plus, it is a good way to know if you are getting better as you can compare your work with other writers’ works. Simply put, it is other people’s creations that will fuel your mind to create your own piece.
Learn a style guide
As mentioned, there are a lot of rules that you need to follow in writing. Grammar is first. Then there are different relationships between words. Also, you need to learn which terms are applicable and inapplicable to define certain concepts. For example, you cannot use mental health illnesses to describe a non-medical situation, like a schizophrenic dance rehearsal. And the best way to teach yourself these rules is by learning a style guide. Some of the most commonly used are the APA, MLA, and Chicago style guides.
Write all the time
You know what they say: practice makes perfect. That is most especially true for writers. The more you write, the better you get. Every time you write, you are practically sharpening your skills. Even the best writers, if they stop constantly producing work, their skills will wane over time. That is why almost every renowned writer, legend or not, highly suggests that you write all the time. That means you need to put your words down whenever you have the time to do so and whenever you want to.
Make friends with strangers
Solitude is something that every writer enjoys, especially when they need to focus on creating an article or generating new ideas for a novel. But, it is also important to engage yourself with different kinds of people. That means you need to talk to strangers! Doing so will help you gain different perspectives on life, learn cultures and traditions, and be more empathetic, which can, later on, be of great benefit to the piece you are working on.
Discover new words everyday
One of Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s writing tips is to always carry a thesaurus at hand. A thesaurus is a book of same-meaning words that is a great tool to have as a writer. When you have this, you can learn new words every day, giving you more options whenever creating a written piece.
Unlike a dictionary, it is easier to use since it will directly let you know which words mean which. However, carrying a paperback thesaurus is not practical nowadays. What you need is an on-the-go alternative that does not eat up extra space in your pocket. Use an online thesaurus, like Power Thesaurus, instead.
Power Thesaurus is better than the traditional glossary of words because it is web-based. Meaning, you can have access to it anytime and anywhere. All you have to do is go to the website, install the extension in your browser, or download the mobile application for your smartphone. By then, you can have unlimited word choice to choose from.
Becoming a better writer is easy when you have laid down the right foundations. That is why you should follow these tips as it will surely aid your writing process and make producing written works easier. But, always remember to find whatever method that personally works for you. After all, it is your own writing style that will set the spotlight on your works.
Louie is the father behind the travel blog Browseeverywhere.com. He has a background in photography, E-commerce, and writing product reviews online at ConsumerReviews24. Traveling full time with his family was his ultimate past-time. If he’s not typing at his laptop, you can probably find him watching movies.