I may not be a bestseller … yet … but I know a little bit about writing. I have four fiction and three non-fiction books published. I also have a few more in the pipeline so watch this space.
I am guessing (actually I know a few of you) will be thinking of finally starting to write that book this year. I wanted to share six things that I have found to improve my writing.
- Actually write something. Really! It is no good just saying that you will. Do it! It could be a card to a friend, a poem, a short story or a blog. Start somewhere! It doesn’t need to be your book, in fact, I’d say something other than your book would be best. Dust off your pen and defrost your laptop.
- Start writing regularly. I have found this vital. If you only write when the mood takes you, you won’t write much at all. That blank screen is a shocker for squashing creative juices. If you write a blog – do it regularly. Okay, before you judge me, this blog doesn’t get a lot of regular posts … but my other one does! It is like exercising a muscle. Writing regularly helps you find your voice.
- Use your voice. Don’t try to be someone else. You are the only one who can be you. If you are a serious person, don’t try to be funny. You are unique, you need to come across that way.
- Write for yourself. We all love the story of the obscure writer rising to fame and fortune, of multi-million Hollywood deals, but if that is your aim I suggest you stop now. Reality is that writing is hard work. If you intend to spend hours doing it, write about things that you love and know about, enjoy the moments of creation.
- Let others guide you … but not crush you. Be brave and ask someone to critique your writing. Invite them to help you and listen to them. Let them use the dreaded red pen, tell you to add a comma, restructure your sentence or not use the phrase ‘He rolled his eyes’ or other cliches. But don’t let then crush you. If your first attempt has more red than black on it, take it as a lesson not a murder scene.
- Read more. If you are lacking in grammatical skills, you could take a class to learn or just read more. Who doesn’t need an excuse to read more? … well, perhaps the person who is stuck at number 1.
Let me know how you get on!