Before you start reading, let us take you through a set of questions that usually runs across every creative mind. They make us think over and over again, scratch our heads out of frustration, and pace across the room thinking that it would help us find answers.
Those questions can be:
- How do you express your emotions freely?
- What is the best way to fly out of the cages that you are locked inside?
- How do you think you can gain your own place in a society that does not encourage the rise of your genre?
The answer you might have found to all these queries is just a single word, “writing.”
It helps open one’s mind and unwind their emotions in a piece of paper. Once the tip of the pen hits the paper, we can’t help but let the ink speak for our soul.
It becomes a way for us to free our souls like a bird flying in the sky.
Words, without a doubt, are considered to be one of the most powerful inventions of mankind. But knowing how to use words and becoming a professional writer are two very different things.
But you probably knew that and is perhaps the reason behind you searching for your answers. You wish to know how to grow as a writer. In other words, how do you improve your writing and gain some exposure?
Well… worry not. We are here to help you along every step of your journey. This article will not only help you understand how to improve your skills but also help you grow as a writer.
Let’s get started
Do the obvious – start writing
If you ask any professional writer for advice, the biggest one they will give you is to start writing.
Writing can be difficult as well as overwhelming. This is precisely why most people only like to think about a story or a poem instead of actually putting their ideas on paper.
They spend hours structuring their story and developing concepts in their mind but they forget that results matter more than how they begin. They would try to write a story of 200 pages but give up even before they reach page 20.
One of the most common excuses a writer gives is that he/she only likes to write when they are in the mood or feel like it. Doing so is great if you wish to write as a hobby and not as your passion.
Ensure that you don’t make the most common mistake of giving up even before you’ve begun your journey. Moreover, make sure that you are writing and putting your thoughts without thinking about the outcome.
Remember that it is a long journey and that your first draft is probably going to be bad. But without writing it, you wouldn’t be able to grow
So write even on days you don’t feel like writing… Set goals for yourself and make sure that you achieve each one of them.
To make things easier for you, here’s a simple goal you can easily manage to achieve if you are writing a story.
Write 1000 words a day for the next hundred days. You do not need to worry about editing them or polishing your writing. Just make sure that you are writing a total of 1000 words per day.
Keep an open mind
One of the greatest gifts that any writer can possess is the ability to observe and learn from everything around them.
The ability to learn something new is highly important for a writer to bloom in the garden of words. The thing that will mold you into a flowered writer is your fascination towards learning something new.
Keep an open mind as well as an open eye towards everything that is happening around you. You never know what might trigger that revolutionary idea within your head and you will have an incredible story idea.
Ask for criticism and learn to love feedback
Many writers try to avoid feedback or refuse to take any criticism towards their work. While we understand where they come from, you will need to allow the world to see your work to be able to grow as a writer.
This means that they will have the ability to criticize and nitpick the areas they don’t like.
And that’s a good thing for you to understand how to write in an interesting and reader-friendly manner. After all, you are writing for your audience to read.
Start by sharing it with your loved ones, your friends as well as your colleagues and ask them to be as harsh as they can be while giving their feedback.
It will help you understand where you lack as a writer and help you grow both your skills and your story.
Their criticism will act as a motivating factor for you to improve and write something much better in the hopes of impressing them.
It is a very important step to take before tackling the world with your words
Make notes and stay organized
Remember that time when a story idea clicked inside your head while you were at a party but the next morning you couldn’t remember it no matter how hard you tried?
Well, you forgot to make a note of that idea and as a result, you forgot about it. The same thing goes for growing your skills and improving your writing.
When you start making notes of each and every tip, idea, piece of feedback, or lesson you learned, you will start remembering them and the next time you start writing you will keep them in mind.
Another advantage of making notes is that they help you stay on track with your story as well as stay organized. A hundred thousand word long story is a difficult task to accomplish and can leave you lost within your own fictional world.
So make notes of all the important plots, character decisions, and everything else that is needed to be noted down. You either devote an entire journal for making notes or you can use software like Evernote for the same.
Read, read, and read
Reading stories or poems is probably what made you fall in love with writing in the first place. So why stop once you’ve set out to create something with your name in it?
Reading other novels as well as poems is a great way to improve your skills, develop a style and understand where you went wrong. There’s a common understanding between writers that once you start writing, there’s no going back to enjoying a book the same way you did before.
Your mind just can’t help but keep making notes and taking tips with every page your eyes read.
Moreover, reading is also an amazing way to improve your vocabulary and strengthen your word bank.
If a pen is a writer’s weapon then vocabulary is the technique of using that weapon
Let the world see your work
Its time to do the final bit of your writing cycle – putting out your work for the world to see. After all, that is how people will get to know who you are.
But you may ask how can I put my work out there?
You wouldn’t be the first writer that struggled with this step of their professional journey. But don’t worry, we are here to help you out.
There are several ways you can make a name in the writing industry but the most important thing to understand is that it will take time, dedication, and perseverance.
One of the best ways to showcase your talent is by posting it on social media platforms like Instagram. You can even start a website to upload your work then connect your website with your Instagram account to redirect your audience to it.
Another way is to make an e-book out your novel and enlist it on Amazon. Not only will you be growing your audience but also make some money even while you are still in college.
The last way is one that is considered to be traditional – getting yourself published. It is also one of the more difficult ones as it can involve you waiting for 6-12 months for a publisher to respond to your mail.
But here’s a better way to become a published author – find an agent first. Most writers seem to think that agents are money-hungry beasts, waiting to feed on helpless writers. This isn’t true at all.
Agents have connections all around the industry and can really help in speeding up the entire process. In return in getting you published, they take a small portion of your earnings which they deserve.
Make sure to research the agents before approaching any of them and draft an incredible mail which they can’t help but reply.
Again, it’s a long journey. Make sure that you keep trying and doing everything that is necessary. It is much more important to grow your audience