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Anyone who has written more than four paragraphs in their lifetime has probably had a moment when they wondered how to be a better writer.
Recently, on a creative forum I frequent, the question was posed by a fellow creative writer,
“I’m trying to be a better writer but I don’t have the experience, at least so far, to say I am a good or I write good articles. I would like to ‘hear’ your advice regarding this matter.”
What followed was a landslide of really good tips. So good, I wanted to share some of these thoughts here. Here’s an sampling:
“Read. By reading other people’s work you see their methods of writing, when you see a paragraph that you like try to understand what you like about it. When you see a paragraph you dislike try to understand what you dislike about it.”-Qwestshon
“I’m an online freelance writer and one of the best advice that I can give you regarding writing would be to never loose your character.Writing, like any other art form, is all about expressing yourself. And with the number of “writers” that are out there, it is really hard to get noticed. The only writers that I’ve noticed over the years (I don’t read a lot of offline literature, most of my reading happens online) either have been really funny, or have been able to provide in-depth knowledge about something in a really easy-to-understand way or something of the similar nature.”-bouyancy
“The best writing advice that I can give is to either be highly prolific or to be highly detailed in what you do. Highly prolific writers find a niche in churning out keyword articles that are often nothing more than ad copy for a product or a way to drive traffic to a site. You can graduate to making a very good living but these types of writing jobs won’t pay as much as the high-end assignments on a direct money for content basis.” Silvernutbar
My two cents?
1. The best way to become a better writer is to just WRITE. Hone your skills by writing, writing and then writing some more. How I write now is soooo different than five years ago. Blogging is a great way to practice your craft without someone telling you they “don’t like your angle.” Your blog is your real estate so you can write what you want, when you want, and get some practice in at the same time.
2. Be flexible: Be able to be diverse in your writing. I prefer to write fun and conversation blog posts, but I can also crank out professional business articles or people-profiles for magazines if need be.
3. Add your own “flava.” No matter what type of writing I am doing, I always some of my own distinctive style and voice. It makes the final product uniquely mine 🙂
4. Don’t give up. Some people write what I call the “shitty first draft,” get frustrated because it’s not “perfect” and give up. If you are blocked and frustrated, walk away, take a break and have a go at it again later.