Writing requires practicing a skill in order to strengthen the ability into perfection just like anything else in life. The key to mastering such an art is not to give up! Our brains are in a constant state of learning and gaining experience. It takes time. Nobody starts off by being an excellent writer.
In today’s post, I wanted to put forth and ask everyone what is the best writing advice they have ever received are? I am very interested in hearing the thoughts and suggestions of other writers on this. Sharing our own tips and insights might be really helpful. I have a few I wanted to share too.
I am going to list them all below. There is five really important ones I think will be helpful to go over. Keep in mind that all advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Do what works best for you as a writer. Please leave your advice, tips, and thoughts in the comments below to be included!
Here is a list I have compiled of tips that can make the process a lot easier and enhances the skill of writing. I am a new writer like many people and doing my best to become proficient. I know firsthand how challenging it can be and feel the struggle regularly like I am sure many do. I hope these help!
TIP #1 — Slow Down:
This is probably the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn and have been at a constant war with. The reality of the matter though is that authors must slow down. This is a critical point that even I have brushed off as irrelevant. The truth cannot be avoided. Writers need to take their time in order to produce quality writing that others might want to read.
Anything good takes time to develop.
Imagine how many hours that turkey sits in the oven on Thanksgiving baking itself into the golden delicious meat everyone wants to gobble up. A perfect meal does not happen in minutes. This is true of anything. The more effort and detail writers put to the pen makes a huge difference.
From my experience, nobody is a fan of proofreading and editing their own writing. It can be tedious and boring (my opinion). However, the grammar police and mobs of rioters will come for you with their pitchforks if you do not edit! You will be drawn and quartered in the most brutal of deaths!
I’m totally serious.
That is how vital editing is. Writers need to take their time to go over their work. They should review their work again and again with a fine comb. Writers should keep in mind that no editing is ever perfect. They need to do their best to provide the most polished piece of work manageable.
Here is two free online editing/proofing software that I use. They help me more than anything else I can think of. I always put anything I write in them. They both require signing up for an account with email.
TIP #3—Speak Don’t Write:
Yes, I said that correctly. Do not write your words like it’s writing. This is so important that any piece of work is something that can be easily recognized. Readers want to be spoken to not dictated at by a robot. It is vital to express personality and uniqueness without being too extreme about it.
I know from experience that it’s all too easy to take on a certain tone that becomes something not intended. This has been one of bigger challenges for me as a writer. Always keep in mind that just sounding natural, relaxed, and informative is beyond valuable. It allows readers to get to know the person behind the pen. It reaches them in ways that every successful author hopes to achieve through practice. Talk like you would in real life.
As a side note to help in this area, I have always been told to read my writing out loud to myself or an audience. It really helps to point out the bland and dreary aspects that may there. Speaking the words out also pinpoints to the ear whether the flow is as smooth as it should be. Speak to your readers.
Tip #4 – Be Specific & Descriptive:
The description is the most powerful tool a writer has in their arsenal. It is the sword that can slay the dragon, the jelly in a doughnut, and the lyrics in a song. The zest of any piece of writing is the portrayal of those words.
Never underestimate the strength description provides. Writers by nature seek to make readers feel something. This cannot be achieved if the reader isn’t being reached and a picture isn’t created in their head. Description helps readers to visualize and connect to what is being written.
Painting those images is crucial to bring about any form of emotion. I highly recommend using a thesaurus to find unique ways to discuss a topic, event, place, person, or thing. The thesaurus can easily be accessed online and with a little inner creativity can really bring words to life.
Tip #5 – Take Advice & Keep Learning:
Writers need to listen and learn from other writers that have experience in their practice. I cannot say this enough. Always keep learning and take the valuable input of writers and readers alike. They can truly provide an education that will propel the skill further and one never knows when they will learn new things. Keep your mind and eyes open to the possibilities.
Majority of what I know about writing, which admittedly is meager compared to most, has come from other writers that I have spoken to frequently. It also has come from being a reader. That also gives me insight into my own writing because I always try to analyze how I would feel about it as a reader. I take both sides of the coin to heart. Perspective is everything.
Now with that said, not every single advice is gold nor does it work for every writer. Like I said in the beginning of the post, take it with a grain of salt. What works for one writer may not necessarily work for another. Listen to your own gut and heart. Experience is everything and will be your guide.
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So very true. I like the most the part on write like you are speaking to your Readers and Editing. Editing not only catch errors, it provides room for more inner reflections, remembering, appreciating, learning. Speak not write connects connects directly and personally to a level the Reader not only relates and but see themselves in our stories.
Yes!–to all of these. And to #3 I would add: enlist a friend or fellow writer to read your piece aloud to YOU. In someone else’s reading/inflection/speed/hesitation/etc., I often find spots where my page isn’t faithfully reflecting what’s in MY head… so I have the opportunity to tinker and present it differently, hopefully to accomplish what I intend.
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Probably the most important writing tip I’ve learned to help my process is to change up my surroundings every so often. If I’m always writing at my desk, my thoughts get stagnant after a while. So, I make it a point to write somewhere new once or twice a week! The top tips you listed are awesome as well; thanks for a great post!
Hi Samantha, Congratulations!
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