How to Become a Good Writer: Must-Follow Tips – Janice Kersh | Guest Post

??????????????????????There’s writing and there’s good writing. The difference is as wide as the Pacific. Good writing inspires, provokes revelations and evokes laughter, tears and goosebumps.

Most great writers were not born great writers. They were made great by years of practice and labor. They worked to get better at writing. If you want to improve your writing, here are some ways to achieve that…

 

Read a lot

Reading is nearly essential to good writing. With few exceptions, this is true of all of the arts. Great painters study the works of other great painters. Great musicians study the works of other great musicians. And great writers read the works of other great writers. Remarkable writing is a point of reference for you. It allows you to see the possibilities of writing. Someone else’s ingenuity can inspire you to new levels in your own work. Witnessing someone else doing the impossible is often what allows us to achieve feats of greatness.

Hemingway was a fan of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Ray Bradbury admired the works of Herman Melville and George Bernard Shaw. Jane Austen read the works of Lord Byron while J.K. Rowling used Austen’s works as inspiration for her own. Reading great works will help you become a better writer. If you’re not already an avid reader, it will be incredibly enriching to your writing to become one.

 

Write a lot

Shakespeare didn’t become a great playwright by watching Netflix and scrolling Facebook. If you want to be a good writer, you have to start writing. A lot. Most good writers write every day. Whether it’s their birthday or they have a terrible case of the flu, they sit down at their desk and pound out words every day. Writing is like mining. You don’t find diamonds if you just swing a pick-axe once every few months. You have to be diligent, consistent and dig deep. That’s where the diamonds are. Find time to write. Get up early if you have to. Stay up late if you can’t get up early. But find time to fill some of the hours of your day with writing.

 

Take yourself seriously

When I was in college, churning out short stories for my creative writing classes, I used to respond when asked what I wanted to do after school that I wanted to be a writer. Until one day another writer asked me, “Do you write?” To which I replied, “Yes.” “Then you’re already a writer,” he said. Your own attitude about your writing and the role it plays in your life is crucial. If it’s enough for you to scribble a poem down now and then when you’re inspired, or to write a short story once every five years, or work on your book at the pace of a chapter a decade, then that’s great. But if you want to be a writer, and a good one, you have to carve that out in stone and not let other things get in your way.

There’s no typical career path to writing. Most writers held menial jobs or drifted around from job to job before getting paid enough to live off of their writing. There’s no bar to pass like for lawyers. You write and you write more, you get better at it and eventually you become good.

 

Attend workshops, seminars, writer’s groups and courses

Taking a creative writing class at a local community college or university can enhance your writing. You’ll have structured lessons and assignments, feedback from your peers and the guidance of a professional writer. Courses can help you examine angles of your writing you hadn’t considered before, give you new tools and introduce you to different writing styles. It can help you analyze your work. It can also help you to become a better reader as your reading will be focused on identifying different writing techniques. If taking a class isn’t realistic, look for weekend workshops or online courses that you can complete in your own time. You may not always hit paydirt but it’s worth it to see what’s out there. Maybe someone in the course becomes your writing buddy or you read a book that changes your writing.

Getting involved in a writer’s group is a different structure from classes and workshops and each group has its own direction and dynamic. Shop around. Maybe the first group you join isn’t for you. Maybe you want more criticism (or less). Online groups are another option. A writer’s retreat can allow you time, privacy and silence to give a big push on whatever piece you’re working on. Take advantage of these resources at any writer’s disposal to improve your writing.

 

Get feedback

If you’re not apt to take a class or join a writer’s group, then you should get feedback from people you trust. They need to be brave enough to criticize you, but kind enough not to crush your spirit to a pulp. It’s important to see what other people think of your work. Often, you’re just too close to it to be able to have an objective view. Writing is made to be read, just as music is made to be heard and painting is made to be seen. So, fulfill this step of the creative process by showing someone else your writing.

 

Observe

Good writing tells us truths about the human condition. It describes life as it really is and causes us to recognize something in ourselves that makes us laugh, cry or celebrate. In order to achieve this type of alchemy, you have to be a good observer of humanity. Observing the people who surround you, your family, friends, co-workers will help you start to analyze what motivates them. Have conversations with a lot of people. See what kind of reactions they have, how do they speak, what do they say with their body that they don’t say with their words? What do they say with their words that might not be true? Paying attention to people’s words and actions will help you build realistic characters and scenarios.

 

Janice2Bio

Janice Kersh is a passionate writer, active blogger and content manager at EssayWriter.Pro. She loves to collect writing tips and help others to solve their writing and editing issues. Janice is also a literature adorer and wants to try her skills in fiction writing in the future. Feel free to follow her on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

*