A Short Guide To Improve Writing.
In response to a sweet comment from a lady who requested a post containing some tools to improve writing, this is a list of the things I`m currently doing and practicing in order to polish my craft and find my voice.
But honestly this could apply to every creative field really, so pick something you wanna learn and replace writing with it in the following article.
READ, READ, READ!!
You wanna write practical stuff, stuck up on scientific magazines, you wanna write poetically, consider going on a walk with T.S.Eliott, you wanna write like you don`t give a damn about the world, reread The Catcher In The Rye for the fifth time.
Seriously I don`t know how I`m gonna explain this to you but it`s just magical how reading influences writing and adds up to your vocabulary, so make of reading your drug.
Take this: the better the quality of your readings is, the better the quality of your writing will be.
*Books currently reading: -Big Magic: creative living without fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Catcher In The Rye By J.D. Salinger.
*Articles: - Everything written By Snippets On Medium.
-I read A LOT on Medium , you follow tags and people you like and they send you a daily or weekly digest and I`m addicted.
Expand your vision.
This is magic again: learn and experience as much diverse things as you can and watch ideas flow, from writing topics to metaphors and arguments and all those things that will enrich your craft.
It`s funny how I started saying yes just for the sake of inspiration even if I really don`t feel like it, because I know that the best ideas come after I excperience something new, something I`m not too familiar with.
Say yes, travel and if you can`t watch travel vlogs, watch videos about economics even if you`re not really interested, read everything that lands in your hands.
Because that`s the cool thing about being writers: they sound like they know everything about everything and they learn just for the sake of inspiration and writing.
As I said I just started the writing habit where I set a time, sit and write every single day and I`m already witnessing the benefits:
-I feel freer to express my thoughts because I no longer write just for the blog.
-I have a clearer vision of what are my strong points and my weakest points in writing.
- I keep having crazy amounts of ideas of topics I wanna write about.
So you wanna be a writer? Write, make it a part of your life (even if it`s just 8 minutes a day) a part of you, something you cannot go without doing.
You will argue that we don`t always find ideas, well know that:
Inspiration is a travelling fairy, it won`t always land by your side, but when it decides to it needs to find you ready: on your writing spot already working on something.
Write ANYTHING, pick a quote you like and write why do you like it, describe something that you love, introduce yourself to someone, write a conversation you`d like to have, write a letter, write someone else`s opinion that is different from your opinion.
One day you will write very simple and messy content, other times you will blow your mind away with the beauty of your craft.
But to write something, no matter how crappy, is always a better choice. Always.
And to make it more effective, write a list of the things your writings lack (is it arguments or structure or metaphors…) and everyday or every week focus on improving one flaw. One at a time.
Surround yourself with the right resources:
When practising, I like to be in an inspiring set, from where I am sitting to what I`m listening to (Sleeping at last and Lana Del Rey for the moment) and also the image on my desktop: as crazy as it may sound but it seriously influences my writing.
Hand writing is also extremly helpful on writing crisis.
Secondly in the topic of surrondings, if you don`t have a book club around, none of your friends is a writer and you don`t have a mentor, don`t worry.
Because guess what, we`re in the 21st century and all those things are one click away:
Subscribe to newsletters (Goinswriter - Creative Writing Now) join Facebook groups ( my 500 words, Bouquineurs...) read books about writing (Monica Leonelle books), watch writer`s interviews... you got the idea.
Learn your grammar.
I hear you, you`re like: ``what, I graduated highschool years ago and I just wanna write not teach.``
Well listen up, can you cook without knowing the recipe?
Well you can, but only after years of learning recipes and cooking tricks and now you`re a pro and you can allow yourself to break the rules.
Same with writing, it has rules: we cannot put a colon after `are`, thesaurus syndrome is not elegant and we cannot use hyperbols everywhere.
There are a bunch of other details that will bring quality to your writing and actually guide you. So learn and practice it.
I just started this grammar and editing course here and this quote resonated with me:
Give the pen to your heart.
I`ll finish with this: the best pieces of art out there are the ones created by artists who were truly expressing themselves without trying to copy anybody nor trying to fit in and create what everybody else was creating.
So start from your heart, allow vulnerability, talk about your feelings, your dreams and fears, yes be selfish and don`t try to save anybody. Just be you and write.
Oh God, I really hope this was helpful, I`m sorry it`s a bit too long but I tried to somehow sum up all the things I learned in the last few months about writing which is practically impossible.
And anyway, the best ideas and guides are in the links I put along the way.
Wish you the best of courage and thank you. x