Essential Tips for Aspiring Writers
Writing is a weird profession in the sense that anyone can be a writer, but not everyone can succeed as one. You can have an Associate’s Degree in nursing or an MFA in creative writing, it doesn’t matter. You can hate the process and sell books or love the process and never publish —this profession, hobby, and lifestyle is unique, to say the least.
How can you increase your chances of succeeding as a writer, though? You can start by incorporating the five essential writing tips below.
Talk less and write more
The number One thing a writer does is write. Being a part of writing communities and talking about writing might be part of your process, but if you want to finish that manuscript or create the perfect article, then you have to write.
Even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day, you have to force yourself to write. Thinking about writing and talking about it might seem like you’re writing, but you aren’t. Writing can be a painful and agonizing process once you actually sit down and do it, but you have to force yourself into a chair and write, especially in the beginning. Over time, you will build a habit.
Read… a lot
Just like musicians have to listen to music, writers have to read—both professions call for studying the craft. You might get better without reading, but you will never reach your full potential because you won’t know what’s capable in the literary world.
Reading is a great way to get new ideas and to see how other writers get their thoughts out of their minds and onto paper. When you read a book or an essay, you’re reading a finished product. By reading a finished project, you will see how far you have to go from your first draft to a draft you’re comfortable to call the final.
Go Out And Experience Things
When you first start writing, the most important thing is that you’re putting words on the blank canvas. However, once you get a routine and habit down, it’s important to get out and experience the world.
Whether you experience Florida’s Gulf Coast, book a trip to Paris, or go on an adventure in your own backyard, you have to experience things so that you have more to write about. Many aspiring writers feel guilty for leaving their desks (especially if they take their writing full-time with content, books, and freelancing), but you have to keep a healthy mind if you plan on being a writer for the long haul. If you’re always in your room writing, then you will never have new experiences to write about. As a friendly reminder, reading is another way to create new experiences because you get brought into the world of the writer.
Learn The Rules So You Can Break Them Later
Before you play a game, you have to learn the rules, and the same applies to writing. You need to learn how to form sentences and how to create good prose. You also need to learn about dialogue and the formula or blueprint of the type of writing you’re doing, such as a blog article, a screenplay, or a short story.
Learn as much about writing as you can so you can break the rules later. If you break the rules before knowing them, your writing won’t have the type of effect you were hoping for, and you will come off as an amateur
Create A Routine You Can Stick To
Most people do their best cognitive work during the mornings, so you might assume that you must write every morning, but that shouldn’t be the case. Yes, Ernest Hemingway wrote first thing in the morning, but if you can’t follow that habit (or don’t want to), then you shouldn’t. Some people claim they write for 10 hours a day (although circadian rhythms will not always agree with that type of work ethic), others prefer to write late at night. What works for one person might not work for the next. Not everyone has the time to write in the mornings, either. Some people have to write during little chunks throughout the day. There is no set-in-stone schedule for the perfect writer. Analyze your time, your rhythm, and when you see yourself being most creative and work your writing schedule around that.
While it’s important to learn the habits of the greats, it’s just as important to create a writing routine you can stick to.
It’s true that you have to force yourself to write because you aren’t always going to want to during your designated writing time. But you have to play the long game. You have to create a schedule that you can stick to or else you’re going to burn out and not write at all.
Aspiring writers might have an uphill battle, but these tips will help you along the way.