We probably cannot remember the first time we wrote something – either in the dirt with a stick or a pencil on paper. Either way, we all write in one form or another. But why do you write?
We write to communicate with each other. In today’s world, we also write to communicate with machines. Writing is important because aside from passing on information from one person/thing to another, it helps us commit to record or memory significant occurrences for reference by future generations.
Whether you are writing for work or passion, you want to express your ideas, thoughts and information in ways that can be understood by others. Being an effective writer is not difficult, but it can be. Here are some tips to help you be an effective writer:-
a. A writer WRITES.
There is no way around this. If you are a writer, you must write. Write something every day of your life. Write fiction, write and experience, write anything, so long as you write. Constant writing allows you to develop the muscle for it. Just like in anything new, it will be difficult in the first few months but gradually, it will become easy.
The other advantage of regular writing is that you develop other skills such as research, thought organisation, it improves your knowledge and ability to speak on diverse topics, and it also gives you the ability to merge various topics making your content rich.
An image of a girl holding a pen while writing on a notebook
b. Jot Down All Ideas.
Ideas form the basis of writing. Whether it is a ‘crazy’ idea or a brilliant idea. It all starts with that interesting concept that pops into your mind. In this busy world where we are continually bombarded with information left right and centre it is easy to forget that tiny spark. It is even easier to think that your idea is not good enough.
Always have something to write on. Whether a paper or Google Keep, capture that thought before it evaporates. Write it as it occurs: do not overthink it. The habit of writing down every idea that comes up gives many ideas to write about, and the more ideas you have to write about the more you will write.
c. Set Writing Goals and Schedules.
Set writing goals to give you direction and purpose for writing. Having something to work towards helps even with morale. Decide how often you will write and stick to this decision. It could be to post on a blog thrice a week or to a local publication twice a month. Create a writing calendar that indicates a schedule of what you need to do to make sure that you meet your goals.
In all this, motivate yourself. You may even decide to reward yourself monthly for publishing “X” blog posts. Doing all this ensures that you are consistently pushig out content as you develop muscle.
d. Write on Topics that Interest you.
You will lose momentum and psych if you decide to take on a topic that you do not enjoy – at least in the initial stages. It is important to start writing on things that interest you as you build up into writing on anything and everything.
However, while you write something that you are comfortable with, make your articles different from the norm. Develop your own unique style that distinguishes you from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. Give people a taste that is uniquely acquired and chiefly developed, an experience that would see them not jump into conclusions and judgments based on their knowledge.
e. Write through Creative Blocks.
All writers go through creative blocks. This is when ideas and words don’t seem to flow as easily. When this happens, do not despair – you are not the first and neither will you be the last to go through a block.
To overcome a writer’s block, get yourself out of your routine and do something new. Listen to a new kind of music, read different kinds of literary works, play new games and read articles like this one.
If this doesn’t work find another creative pursuit such as photography to take up your time as you process your thoughts in your subconscious.
A person writing by typing on a laptop’s keyboard.
f. BE REAL.
A good writer invests in originality. They create their own stuff. There is also no harm in doing something similar to someone else, just ensure that you add on to it by giving your perspective. On any topic that you would be writing on, give it the best of your knowledge by using words that would keep a reader on your article. Give them a reason to continue reading; express your feelings, emotions, thoughts, and ideas fully in every word.
g. Learn from Professional Articles.
Subscribe to blogs and read books. The likes of Vanity Fair, Times Magazine, Medium etc will help you get to familiarise yourself with world-class writing. If not, walk by a street vendor who stocks old magazines and grab something – as good writing never goes out of style. Use the materials to take into account their deliberate use and mastery of words in every sentence, the flow and descriptions throughout the piece(s). You are sure to learn one or two things from them to improve your writing.
h. Test your skills and Be Open To Criticism.
Whether a beginner or a seasoned writer, it is not easy to have your articles negatively reviewed or badly rated. Engage a mentor or someone you trust to give you honest feedback. Let them read your articles and give you feedback on what to improve on and what to avoid.
Have an open mind to change, ask what you could have done better and constantly learn. It is possible the platforms you submitted or published on were not the best ones for your articles, so publish in different others. Be receptive of new ideas, adopt new trends, change your styling, your themes, your voice and keep up with the ever-evolving societal needs.
Finally, go through your work at every point check for spelling mistakes, avoid pointed phrases, and correctly use expressions. There are many digital apps that can help you do this, so don’t be averse to them. They can also help you improve your spelling, grammar and writing skills ensuring that you will not repeat in follow up articles.
There are many more ideas and ways to improve as a writer, if we happen to have missed out on any share with us in the comments below which one works best for you.