It’s long been believed that by being an active reader, you can become a far better writer. While that is certainly true, it’s only one major component to becoming a “formidable writing professional.” Of course, really, the most important part to being a good writer is simply pursuing the act of writing as often as possible.
Many folks out there seem to believe they’re simply not cut out for creating good, solid writing. Yes, some people are simply very talented at writing. However, writing is far more about developing skills than having innate talent. Even those with great talent don’t necessarily hone their skills nearly to the degree they could.
Mostly, writing is about your passion. If you care about something, and want to know more about it, then you should definitely write about it. It’s hard at first, but after a while, you’ll begin to have a lot of fun!
Becoming Good at Writing Takes Years & Becoming Great Takes Dedication
I’ve been writing for quite some time. But, as much of a bookworm as I was in my childhood, it took many years before I actually could call myself a writer. It took lots of practice. I’d copy interesting quotes from things I’d read, then comment on them.
After a while, I’d simply write for the sake of writing. Soon, writing became a reflex. Whenever something was on my mind I didn’t know exactly how to talk to someone about, I’d write about it.
Putting words on a page has always been easier to me than public speaking. That’s true of many folks. The opposite is just as true. It took me a long time to find my true writing voice, though. I must say, for years I wasn’t the voice I speak with now. Is that a bad thing? That’s for you to decide.
Reading is definitely important. I don’t need to stress that, since so many others have and there’s no point repeating it. What I do need to stress is that even the most talented writers do not write near-perfection every time we sit down.
Your Creative Process and Voice in Writing Are Your Own
Everyone’s creative process is different. Some processes are easier to follow than others. My personal process isn’t so easy to follow. I’ve always hated doing outlines. So, I just tend to draft a piece in a semi-completed form before going back and revising it to make it more coherent.
I’m very much about the voice in my writing. Sometimes, I perhaps get a bit too rhetorical or state things in somewhat peculiar ways that don’t quite get my point across. But, it’s OK to be imperfect with your words because writing is a skill you can never stop developing. If we don’t grow as writers, we will grow stagnant.
Write As Often As Possible, Even If It Isn’t Good Writing
If a writer doesn’t strive to write as often as possible, when it comes time to write something, it will most likely be a struggle. It’s especially a struggle when you’re trying to write about things you don’t care about – even if it will make you money.
When I’ve written pieces before purely for money, my writing voice often sounds cold and uninterested. Others thought that writing was all well and good. But, I knew that stuff was far from my best work.
There have been times where I’ll churn out tons of words in a short amount of time. I may not be proud of a great percentage of that work. Still, the writing exercise is nonetheless extremely valuable, just to keep my writer brain active.
Helping Others With Their Writing
One thing I’ve also often done is help others with their own writing. This is perhaps even more valuable than simply brainstorming ideas for yourself. Not only do you bring another perspective to others’ work, but you’re also gaining insight into other perspectives, as well. You’re also helping them to find just what it is that permeates their writing, picking out their strengths and helping them to smooth out the flaws.
Whenever you’re helping others with their creative work, always be carefully critical. Try to act in the way you’d want someone to help you along. So much of writing is just practice. Writers are more like doctors than we realize sometimes; we’re constantly practicing!
I’d love to say that everyone has a hidden talent for writing and just needs to develop the skills. But, not everyone has the knack to be a professional writer, certainly. Still, I do know that writing is a skill that many people who don’t consider themselves writers can actually develop. Through persistence and patience with their own development, anyone can learn to write fairly well.
Writing is a Form of Art
Writing is an art form, of course. We writers are artisans, much like sculptors and painters. Words are our material and the pages – or digital mediums – are our canvas. That may sound a bit clichéd, but that’s the best way to express that idea.
Even highly skilled writers like myself get stumped on how to put certain things. Every writer does. This is why collaboration can be so important. We writers need to help each other out. Getting other perspectives from fellow writers can change our entire outlook on our own writing and perhaps do the same for them.
When it comes to writing for assignments, there’s nothing wrong with being someone’s ghost-writer. There’s nothing wrong with giving a starving writer an assignment to get an idea expressed and out into the open. But, when you are writing for money, it’s best to take assignments that you believe in and truly want to write for the sake of writing it. Otherwise, you start losing purpose with your writing and the quality will suffer for it.
Don’t Just Write For the Money, Write for the Craft
Once writing becomes about money, you can lose focus and just write what you think people want or what the assignment says. I believe more people should try ghostwriting, but as a way to develop their own skills, and not just a way to pay the bills. Always keep that in mind when you’re sifting through potential writing assignments.
I’m always happy to edit and clean things up for people. But, people need to learn that they need to just write from their own heart. I once read something that said the best content comes from the most unexpected places. It’s a trend that needs to grow.
Don’t Be Discouraged With Your Writing – Keep At It
Remember that developing any sort of useful, applicable skill is an art form. Creativity, in whatever form it may take, is art. Like with any artistic form, many writers become discouraged when the words just aren’t fitting together. It’s hard to break out of ruts once you get into them. But, even when you’re in a rut, you still have to keep writing anyway.
It’s OK to take a break for a bit. But, never leave writing completely behind. Even if you sit down again and you write crap, you’re at least producing something. It’s better than simply letting thoughts spin in around your head without any useful application.
Writing is most certainly more skill than some realize. Talent is certainly a component, but inevitably, it’s skill that wins out in the end. It’s mostly the passion you put into it that produces the finished product. Without the passion, the writing will feel stale. Your passion is what keeps your writing living, relevant, and good.
~ Amelia <3