Writing is a liberating and exciting experience. It can also be quite daunting, as there are many forms, styles, and genres. New writers can experience overwhelm when trying to figure out how to get the words in their head down onto paper. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
As award-winning author Daniel Handler said, “Keep writing a million things because you have to write many, many terrible things before you become any good.”
It’s great to have ideas in your head, but if you never physically write them down, they will never be anything. The fear of writing something bad keeps many from writing at all, but if you are consistent in your writing, you’re guaranteed to make something good eventually.
Read A Variety of Writers
Good writers are often voracious readers. The easiest way to get better at writing is to read. Read classic writers like William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, and Charles Dickens, as well as modern contemporary ones like Daniel Handler, Toni Morrison, and Stephen King. The more you read, the more you will know your style and preferences.
Carry a small journal with you, or keep a note in your phone where you jot down ideas or phrases as they pop into your head. You never know when inspiration will strike, and you don’t want to risk forgetting.
Write With Others
Form a writing group where you can share your work with others and read what they write too. Use the group to bounce ideas off each other, edit, and get feedback. A writing group will also help keep you accountable and writing frequently.
Explore Multiple Genres
Especially while you’re trying to figure out your unique style, it can be helpful to write in many different styles and genres. Short stories, poetry, flash fiction, horror, historical fiction, and contemporary fiction are just a few examples of areas to explore. It makes writing more fun, keeps you from being too serious too fast, and might just launch you into a new genre you never thought you’d write in.
As you can see, there are many ways to learn and grow as a writer. The number one thing to remember is “practice makes perfect.” Write often, jot down ideas to flesh out later, and don’t be afraid to start somewhere.
Do you have tips for early writers? Share them in the comments, then read these Three easy things to do to improve your writing for the web.
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