Practice Makes Perfect: Writing Tips

Writing comes easily for some – not so easily for others. Being good at everything is not realistic, but if you have a passion for something that is not a natural fit for you, there are ways to hone your craft.

If you take a look at athletes, for example, you may find that they weren’t “naturals” when they first started; it involved many hours of education and practice. They took lessons, had coaches and put in more blood, sweat and tears than those who were not as passionate. Ultimately, they were the ones who caught the eye of the scouts looking to draft the best and brightest.

Where to Start?

You may wish to start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Am I writing for my own pleasure?

  • Do I want to write a novel and get published?

  • Am I looking to start a career in writing and write for others?

Once you’ve established your raison d’être (your purpose) you have a starting point and various ways to get going. If it’s simply as a tool for your own creative outlet, you can take evening or online courses for creative writing. Should you decide to write professionally, there are great college courses and degrees one can earn in journalism, social media and creative writing.

Seven Tips to Help You

Here are seven straightforward tips to get you going:

  • Start Writing! It seems like the most obvious but as the Nike slogan says, “Just Do It!”

  • Edit Afterwards. Editing and proofing should come at the very end. Stopping and starting can lead to lack of flow and forgetting important words and sentences.

  • Be a Reader to Be a Writer. It’s so important to read. The many genres of literature and number of styles of writing will help you get a feel of what type of writer you are.

  • Keep Your Tools Close at Hand. On your computer or in your bookshelf should be the tools of the trade: dictionary, thesaurus and any other reference book you find useful.

  • Ask for Critiques from those You Respect. Getting feedback is important as you start writing. However, asking your local grocer or babysitter (unless she’s an English major) is not going to give you the perspective you need.

  • Step Away from the Writing – Farther, Farther. It takes some time to create a good piece of literature. Take a breather and then come back to look at your work through clearer eyes and a fresher mind.

  • Should You Really Be Writing About what You Know? Well, it certainly helps. But don’t be afraid to experience another world where you are a foreigner. It keeps things edgy!

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