Normally I like to keep my writing secrets stashed up in a safe, but today I was feeling a bit generous and wanted to share a couple tips that have helped me become an overall better writer. I think it’s important to always find new ways to improve your writing because as some of you may know, this is a very competitive field and everyone is trying to showcase their best possible work. So it’s important to develop new strategies on how to improve your writing.
Here are a couple tips that have helped me over the years:
- Study- This is probably the most important tip anyone can ever give you. Just because you’re not in a classroom doesn’t mean you cant study the works of other writers and authors. Sit down and read famous author’s work and analyze what makes their work electrifying. This is how my work came to be what it is today. I have no prior background in writing, nor did I go to school for this, but you better believe I study my eyeballs out before ever starting to write a book. It’s important part of your growth as a writer to go out and see what different styles of writing there are.
- Write from the heart- Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Writing is a powerful way for a person to express themselves. Don’t feel compelled to write a certain way, just because people will perceive it a better way. Fuck what people think, if you want to curse, curse your little heart out. Just do what you want. Writing is a place for people to create their own set of style without worrying about breaking the rules.
- Journals help tremendously- Journals are a perfect place to jot down any idea or thought to maybe come back to later. I’ve had the same journal for over a year now and it was a great reason why I wrote my first book extremely fast. I was able to re-live my past experiences and see how far I had come with my previous writing. It it the perfect tool to practice your writing. It’s also very therapeutic.
- Re-write books- This is a tip I dug from the famous author Hunter S. Thompson. During his early stages of his writing career Hunter Thompson would re-write the works of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Recently I began copying A Farewell to Arms and it’s incredible to analyze Ernest Hemingway’s work in a way where just reading wouldn’t be able to take you. Like Picasso said “ Good artist copy, great artist steal.” This is a way to grab bits and pieces of the author’s methods and apply them towards your own unique writing style.
- Practice your WPM- Improving your words per minute skill level really allows you rapidly increase your thinking process and writing process. Something about your fast paced wpm that allows you to write your thoughts out rapidly, keeping you on your toes. And if you mess up from time to time it’s ok, that’s what the editing process is for, to fix the mistakes. But this has helped me write faster and more efficiently. And let’s face it, it looks cool when you don’t have to look for the keys on the keyboard.
- Read your work out loud – Ever notice how no matter how many times you re-read your work you never seem to catch those mistakes? It’s because when our brain is tired of reading the same information over and over again, it tends to skip the mistakes and tricks us to think that it sounds just fine. So if you want to avoid the grammar nazi’s be sure to read your work out loud to avoid them entirely.
- Dont Be Afraid – Many people hold themselves back from ever writing that great book idea they might’ve had because they don’t want people to perceive them a certain way. Who cares? If you really have a passion for writing you wont worry about what people might say because you know someone might learn something from your story. Don’t be afraid to make yourself vulnerable through your writing, people gravitate towards stories they can feel in their heart.
- Write A LOT- This is pretty clear, right?
There are plenty of ways to become a better writer, but in all honesty, just be yourself and write from your heart. Nothing can beat a story that a person wrote from passion and heart.
What has helped you become a better writer?
If you haven’t done so, please feel free to read What it takes to become an Author here