It takes time to perfect your writing, but if I’m honest, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ writer. As with every other form of art, writing is subjective, and how it’s judged completely depends on who is reading your work. It might be a ‘masterpiece’ or a ‘piece of trash’, but there is always room for improvement.
So, I’ve come up with some handy tips that you could apply to ‘better’ yourself as a writer. Feel free to use them as they’ve personally helped me develop as a writer when I was in doubt!
- Read and write as much as you can. Okay, I’m stating the obvious here…but there is nothing that’ll help more than reading and writing as much as you can. Even reading the local newspaper can prove to be a lifesaver!
- Expand your vocabulary. I’m not saying read a dictionary or thesaurus from back to front, but soak in as many words and synonyms as possible! Replace dull words such as ‘cold’ with interesting synonyms such as ‘wintry.’ Not only does it make your work more detailed, but it also helps your audience to engage with what’s going on too!
- Write to your heart’s content. If sketching out a rough first draft, don’t worry about what people will think until its completion. Nothing makes your work feel more unique than your own personal touch with your real feelings. A piece of writing only comes alive when it’s given colour.
- Always revise your work. Revise and edit your work until you’re satisfied with it. Check for spelling and grammar errors, add and cut sentences, and just make your piece the best thing you’ve ever written.
- Prevent procrastinating. Procrastination and ‘Writer’s Block’ are a writer’s #1 enemies; nothing is more dangerous than losing an idea because of the latest TV show that’s been added to Netflix. Don’t try to get into the habit of procrastinating to the point where you get nothing done. Believe me, I have personal experience in this far too much!
- Keep a notebook or a writing journal on you at all times. If you have a poor memory like me, you’ll find your ideas for your next or current project will disappear. So, it’s important to keep a notebook or a writing journal on you everywhere you go so your ideas can be recorded.
- If need be, listen to music to get inspiration. Sometimes, I find listening to music really helps when generating ideas, even if it’s just the audio in the song. If struggling, try listening to music and I guarantee you’ll find endless scenarios in your head!
- Show, don’t tell. This is one of the most generic and obvious rules in writing, but it’s so important to show what’s happening in your story rather than tell your readers, otherwise they will switch off and lose interest in your writing.
- Ask a person you trust to read your work and provide feedback. If there’s one thing that’s helped develop my writing skills, it’s asking people to read through your piece and give you honest but constructive feedback. It helps you know where you went wrong in your writing and if anything should be changed/improved.
- Always know your genre and your audience. Imagine you’re writing a horror novel for young adults. You go through the writing process only to find out you have no knowledge of the genre or audience you’re writing for. It’s a pain, isn’t it? This is why it’s important to research your specific genre and know what your audience want.
- WRITE, WRITE, AND WRITE. As Dory in Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming.” Instead of swimming, replace it with ‘writing’ and your motivation to do what you’re supposed to be doing is right there in front of you. Write until your hands bleed with the essence of imagination, and let the story you’re telling unfold.
I hope these tips will help you in your development as a writer. If you consider any of these, please let me know! Nothing will make me happy more than knowing my words have helped someone. Everyone has the ability to become a writer, but it takes hard work to become a great writer.
I wish you the best of luck!