“The desire to write was planted within you for a reason.”Unknown
We are all born with certain desires in our hearts, some of us want to become a pilot, others doctors, and engineers, while some always dream of becoming a writer. Oftentimes reading books is what plants the desire of being able to write in one’s heart, however, being able to write is much more than just a hobby. Many of you would have noticed the increase in various writing jobs, leading to people opting to take on full-time writing jobs or freelance projects.
Such an influx has also increased competition among writers looking for jobs. Amid such conditions, one may ponder, ‘how can I write better to accentuate among my competitors?’
The answer to this question may not be simple, but it can help you secure more writing jobs. We have highlighted some of the tips which might do the trick of taking your writing to the next level.
How to become a better writer?
Writing not only means penning down any content, but the writing process starts well before the act itself. Numerous aspects have to be considered to write effectively. We have enlisted some that will indeed prove to be extremely helpful for writers of all domains and genres to improve their skills:
1. Read, Read, Repeat!
This point cannot be stressed enough as it greatly influences your writing ability. The process of writing is a bit like the functioning of a computer. You provide some input that the computer processes, leading to the desired action in the form of output. Similarly, well-written material can only be produced if you have read good literature. By doing so, writers do not try to emulate one another; instead, it helps them to learn and take inspiration from more experienced writers. In short, if you want to write better, then read more.
Reading also includes researching the topic you are to write about. This ensures you do not use content that may render your work plagiarized. Additionally, it is also to confirm any factual information you want to include in your write-up beforehand, rather than mistakenly convey incorrect information.
Any aim you set before yourself requires proper planning to accomplish. The same can be said about writing a piece of material. This may be the most frustrating stage of the whole process, as you can come across many ideas in your mind, and trying to select anyone to pursue further becomes a lot more confusing. Sometimes you may even come to a standstill where you cannot decide how to proceed with your written assignment, and your mind starts to shut down. This happens to many people, so you do not need to be much concerned about it; instead, at such a moment, try to calm yourself and start a somewhat cliché but effective exercise known as mind mapping.
You may already be aware of this exercise, but if not, this is a great way to put all those ideas rambling inside your mind onto a piece of paper. Our brain can only handle so many cognitive processes at a time, so a good way to relieve our mind is to put those ideas/thoughts into action. Whatever ideas pop up in your mind, jot them down in the form of a visual map or bullet points so that your brain can move forward with those ideas instead of jumbling them all at once.
At this moment, you mustn’t focus on rectifying any spelling mistakes or writing errors, as this is only a crude outline and a preliminary stage of the writing process. Use this time to explore the various approaches you can use to proceed with your write-up. The more thoughts you put to paper in this step, the more content you will have to work with in the later stages.
4. Remember your audience (tone your content accordingly)
Another aspect to always be weary of before your start writing is to know your audience and keep them in your mind throughout. Convincing the reader with your writing is similar to a salesperson trying to persuade their customer to buy their product. Both of these processes require knowledge of the audience/customer and using the right words to maintain their level of interest. This includes creating understandable and relatable content; otherwise, you might just be handing over a Danielle Steel novel to a 6-year-old.
5. How to start writing
All types of written content, whether an essay, a novel, or even something as professional as an email, have one thing in common; they all put the main idea or some captivating thought or event in the beginning rather than in the later passages. This doesn’t mean bombarding the reader with any strong idea straightforward forward; instead, it refers to embedding the critical message skillfully at the start.
This kind of start is known by different names depending on the type of written material. Formal documents such as emails or reports refer to this as the subject of the content; in essays, it is written as a thesis statement, whereas story writers recognize it as the hook of the story. If this main idea is held back for later, your reader may lose interest, making the communication ineffective.
6. Developing the proper structure
Many people are good with words; however, a good writer knows how to use those words in sentences that can genuinely impact the reader. These sentences are then arranged in paragraphs to form a coherent structure that is comprehensive and articulate. Following are some essential tips that can help you devise an exemplary structure for your write-up:
- Use nominal-length sentences rather than longer ones
- Use simple words which are easy to understand (depending on your target audience)
- Every paragraph should have some important matter (leave out unnecessary fillers)
- Each paragraph either reinforces an idea or starts a new one (don’t go wayward by mixing the content)
7. Use active voice
To understand this point correctly, jog your memory and recall the difference between active and passive voice. In active voice, the action being done by the subject on the object sounds more authoritative. Hence, the meaning becomes more emphatic and powerful. For instance, consider that you are writing a murder mystery novel and are about to reveal the murderer’s identity. In this scenario, “Jack killed Bill!” sounds much better than “Bill was killed by Jack.” Get an idea?
8. Review, Edit, Repeat!
Getting your write-up correct to the last letter in the first go is a fantasy that hardly actualizes. There is always a significant percentage of human error in play which can influence your work, making it erroneous. Besides that, it is also highly preferable to review your work thoroughly with an open mind, as sometimes we can come across specific ideas that improve our content quality. Though this process can be a bit frustrating, like the first step, it is worthwhile.
Some people even hire professional proofreaders, especially in the case of books or other such detailed content. This emphasizes the importance of this step. Only proceed to submit your finished work after reviewing every single line.
9. Keep practicing
Like every other exercise routine that requires practice to perfect, improving your writing requires determination, dedication, and perseverance. Nobody is born a writer; they polish their skill by continuously writing and practicing. Try to make it a habit of writing some content daily. You don’t need to aim for 1000 words every day, especially in the beginning. Start small with a couple hundred and increase your word limit as soon as you get time. It’s more like going to the gym; you do not lift 50 kg on the first day; instead, you increase your limit steadily.
Just like a gym routine, you can tag along with a partner to help you. Your writing partner can facilitate peer review and creates a sense of competition thatch can improve overall performance.
10. Enjoy your worth
Ultimately, it all comes down to putting your thoughts on paper. Your work reflects your attitude and mentality. To create something influential, you must pour your heart and mind into it. Writing is more like art; and no art can truly flourish if done forcefully or unwillingly. Enjoy the time you spend in this whole process, from brainstorming to putting the last period; that’s how people go on to produce best-seller material.
You see? As the Grammarly ad says on YouTube:
“Writing is not that easy, but it is not that difficult either.”
All it takes is a bit of research and lots of brainstorming and efforts. If you have even the slightest of seed in you which is screaming after reading this blog, “I want to become a writer,” then listen to it, and start right now! You have got all the right tools to start off! To those who possess the knack of writing, keep up the good work, and try to implement the aspects discussed here in your writing. It will make it more structured and effective. Lastly, good luck, and happy writing!