When you read an impressive book or story it’s easy to come to the conclusion of: “Wow I could never write like that.” But that’s not the case! With dedication, hard work and the right writing tips, anyone can learn how to write. There are many different avenues to pursue as a writer but you can always start off in one area and move to another later on. The important thing is that, for the most part, the writing skills that you picked up along the way should stay relevant and useful no matter what you’re writing. Here are 10 writing tips for any beginner writer!
1. Anyone Can Learn How To Write
A really important thing to remember from these writing tips is that anyone can learn how to write. It isn’t some skill that only a select few have the knowledge or capabilities of doing well. Like any skill, it takes practice and determination to get good at it. You can utilize the many resources found online for learning and practicing your writing. You can also sign up for classes that provide you with the basics of writing and good exercises that you can take with you and practice for a while.
2. Write What You Know
Unlike the other writing tips here, this “rule” is one that is meant to be broken. Writing what you know helps you use more personal feelings and experience in your writing that helps bring it to life. However, it’s not supposed to say write ONLY what you know. There’s always room to learn and try out different kinds of writing that may utilize some emotions or experiences that you’re not as familiar with. Overall, though, you want to write from a place of personal experience and emotion, and you want to build on that to make your writing more relatable and believable.
3. Read…a LOT
When many great writers are talking about advice for beginner writers, they usually likely agree strongly that reading is very important. It doesn’t mean you need to be pouring through “How to write better” types of books, although a few of those don’t hurt. The idea is that reading a lot will help your own writing because you’ll be exposed to many different authors’ writing styles. Exposure to this helps you better form your own writing style by combining certain aspects from other authors that you like, as well as avoiding the ones that you dislike. Of course, it also depends on the type of writing you’re looking to pursue. It helps to read similar genres, but broadening your horizons with reading can help you do the same with your writing.
4. Write For The Reader
One thing to remember when you’re writing is that your writing generally serves the reader, not the writer (you). You aren’t writing something so that you can go back later to read and enjoy it for yourself. That may happen no matter what, but you should be writing for and to those readers that pick up your writing. Sometimes that means giving more explanation than you think is probably necessary, because even though you understand the prose as it is, that doesn’t mean that your readers will. You want your readers to both understand and enjoy your writing as they go from sentence to sentence. This may seem like one of the more obvious writing tips on here, but it’s important to remember, especially during the editing and rewriting phases.
5. Practice Every Day
Similar to one of the writing tips above concerning reading every day, you want to write every day as well! Like with any skill, writing is something that takes time and practice to perfect. Some ways to practice could be starting a daily blog (it doesn’t have to be publicly accessed, it can be just for you), a journal, short stories, or even a book. As you schedule in reading into your daily schedule, you’re also going to want to schedule some time to practice your writing as well.
6. Story Trumps Structure
This is another one of the seemingly obvious writing tips on here, stating that your story is important. However, it can sometimes be confusing because if you’re reading books on writing, they will often go into detail on structuring stories and plotting things out so your writing stays “on track.” The problem is that sometimes too much structure can derail the story and you’ll end up with a bland, well-structured piece of writing that hardly anyone wants to read. You want to let the story lead the direction of your writing. Structure and such can be saved for the rewrites.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out For Help
Like with many things in life, you can’t be afraid to reach out for help when developing your writing. Whether that’s for advice on where to submit your piece to be published, story ideas, or even just for first reads and edits from a new set of eyes. You should also be open to helping other writers, as it benefits them and inspires you to further develop your own writing style.
8. Rewriting is Very Important
If you think there’s any chance that you’re going to sit down and produce a perfect draft on the first try, then I’ve got some unfortunate news: it’s not an impossible feat to achieve, but it’s so rare that you should assume that it won’t happen. But the good news is that rewriting is perfectly normal. In fact, rewriting is a crucial step for every writer, beginner or expert! Rewriting and producing new drafts is very beneficial for catching spelling and grammar mistakes, but more importantly for refining your story and overall structure. Don’t be dissuaded if you’re realizing that you need a fourth or fifth draft of a certain piece because you’re not alone!
9. Find A Good Writing Environment That Works For You
This may be one of the writing tips that applies to some writers but not all. Some writers may find a huge difference in their ability to focus and work depending on the environment they’re in, while others just need a quiet place with the right resources and they can get down to business. If you need a certain environment to focus and do your best writing in, it’s important that you find one and utilize it! Whether it be outside, at a cafe, a library, or locked up inside your room, find your spot where you can focus and produce your best writing.
10. Be Patient & Believe in Yourself
The closing note of these writing tips may not seem like a “writing tip,” but it’s important to remember. For writing, or any skill or feat that requires discipline and hard work, you need to be patient and believe in yourself. It takes time and practice to build up the skills and experience needed to produce great writing, and it definitely won’t happen overnight. Keep your head up as you do rewrite after rewrite and remember: basically every great writer out there started exactly where you are.
Got any additional writing tips for those beginner writers out there? Share them in the comments!
Featured Image source: Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash
I have a passion for helping others and see journalism as a great way to reach and impact many people. Born in Texas but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area! Then with a short detour in Boulder, Colorado to get my bachelor's in Journalism with a minor in political science. I'm a determined, motivated individual striving to make a difference in this world. I have hopes to play a role in the continued development of journalism and in maximizing efforts to inform and inspire the public. Check out my articles on Society19!