It’s not as hard as it sounds. Anyone can teach themselves to write better. Whether it’s for writing a better story, creating a better post, or to improve your grades in school, everyone can benefit from the following five tips!
1) Write! Do it every single day. Set yourself a goal to achieve on a daily basis, with the exception of one day per week, which you’ll use to let your head rest. The goal is simple, and customized to the amount of time you can spare in a day. Promise yourself that you’ll write 100 words a day, or 2, 3, 5 hundred, maybe even 1000 if you really love to write. The important thing is to keep at it. If you miss a day, make sure to catch up the next day. Keep this going until you can comfortably keep your goal, then increase it a little bit so that it’s just a tiny struggle to get it done. So if you’re comfortable with 500 words, strive for 550. When you get used to that, increase it to 600. Most importantly, don’t rush yourself. Stay with the same goal for at least a month before you increase it again.
2) Read! Not just online stories, though. Expand your horizon and jump out of your comfort zone. Reading professionally published work, whether it’s a book, an article, or even a blog from a professional writer, will have a huge impact on your writing, as well as fuel your brain with new ideas and techniques. Find yourself a blog about writing. It can be fiction-based, improvement-based, or news-related. It doesn’t matter, just as long as you enjoy it. If you’re not reading for at least 30 minutes each day, you’re going to find it hard to improve your skills.
3) Get organized! We live for schedules. We work on a schedule (well, most of us), go to school on a schedule, go to sleep around the same time, wake up around the same time, and even exercise around the same time. Find a spot in your schedule for you to write for half an hour to an hour each day, and another spot (just before bed is great!) for reading. Most importantly, stick to the schedule, only adjusting it to better accommodate your lifestyle.
4) Experiment! This is probably the most important piece to the improvement puzzle. If you’re not taking chances, you’re never going to get better. Try different writing styles and narratives, like first, second, third limited or omnipresent. Try pre-planning a story or article, and then try adding more descriptions – or even try describing things less. Take chances with your writing. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to try new things. If you write fiction stories, why not attempt a few articles and share them here at the Shack? If you share videos on the Shack, why not write an article about that type of music, why you like or dislike it, or what you think of the band. If you’ve never written something, why not start now? I mention articles a lot because they’re quick and easy to create, and they keep you writing and sharing and learning all the time. The more articles you write, the easier they get to create. The benefit to this is that you’ll get used to writing on a regular basis, figure out what you’re comfortable with, and you can use that new knowledge toward a story or even open up your own blog and inspire others. You could even share those articles with Imagine Mag and let the entire community benefit from you writing… just thought I’d throw that in there.
5) Create and inspire! That’s my motto. Write to create for yourself and fuel new ideas, and then share it with others so that maybe they could find their own inspiration. If you’re not sharing your creations, it’s going to be hard to inspire yourself or others. You need feedback and insight. You need to hear the thoughts of others, whether they’re positive compliments or constructive criticisms. Remember that a single idea can give birth to a thousand more, even if you don’t come up with them yourself.
And yes! This is one of those things where it’s “easier said than done”. It takes a lot of discipline and determination when you’re first getting started. I just wrote about it, have been aware of it for some time, but still have problems incorporating it into my daily life. However, just because I haven’t followed my own advice to the “T”, doesn’t mean I haven’t benefitted from it.
Ideas come at me left and right, and I can write an article in minutes. The problem is that I have a hard time with the schedule part, and keeping my head on track. But I’m not giving up. I incorporate just a little bit more as I feel comfortable, and make sure to keep myself challenged at all times. The point being, just because you can’t adopt these tips immediately, or don’t get them, or whatever else, doesn’t mean that you’re doing it wrong. It’ll come in time. Just make sure to keep trying.