Do you love writing and want to do more of it, maybe even do it for a living, but you’re not sure where to start? If that’s you, you are not alone. Many people, especially in the wake of the global pandemic, realized they wanted writing to be a much larger part of their lives, and the great news is, there are so many ways in which you can improve your writing, to either love it more as a hobby or turn it into a new career. To help you get started, we’ve compiled 5 writing tips for beginners to become an expert writers.
Writing tips for beginners
Read, read, read
This first step is super important and cannot be over-emphasized. One of the best ways to learn how to write is to read—a lot. Schedule time to read a wide variety of writing. Look at blogs on the internet, buy a newspaper once a week, read a magazine that specializes in a topic you’re not familiar with, read novels and non-fiction works.
And read consciously. Look out how different writers and authors construct sentences, approach dialogue, use rhythm, shape characters and create worlds. There are so many techniques involved in writing different kinds of prose. Try to expose yourself to as many of these techniques as you can, so you can develop a rounded appreciation of the craft in all its guises.
Reading will also help you to pick up good skills subliminally. There’s a saying, “Monkey see, monkey do,” and this is a little bit like learning writing from reading. The more good writing you read, the better your own writing will become.
Take a creative writing course
If you have the time and financial means, a creative writing course is a great investment, especially if you want to make money from your writing. You will benefit from expert advice and examples, as well as tailored, ongoing feedback and critique to help you improve. And better still, you’ll meet other like-minded people who share for passion for prose!
One sure way to keep track of your improvement is to gain feedback from people who are writers or writing critics themselves. Consider joining a writing group on Facebook or find your own writing buddies to pair up with to critique each other’s way as you progress. Take part in NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month—where you can meet lots of other people trying to write a novel in a month.
Trying something like this alongside others who are in the same boat can be empowering, reassuring and fun! You could also consider entering your writing into contests or awards and if you’re lucky enough to win, you may receive some prize money.
Be mindful of practicalities
Finding the time to write can be tricky at first, especially if you are not used to finding space to learn a new skill or improve an existing one. Commit to a writing routine, block out time in your schedule, make a date with yourself, and protect it as you would a date with a loved one. Learn about productivity so you can spare yourself even more time.
Another practicality is finance. If you are on a budget, there are tons of free resources available that can help you to perfect your writing. Follow bloggers and listen to podcasts about everything from writer’s routines, to mistakes made, and bestsellers and created.
Look out for free ‘taster’ courses online, and don’t forget to seek out free online grammar and spelling tools too. Google Docs has a great spellcheck, as do Microsoft Office programs. If you already subscribe to both, make use of them. You can learn a huge amount from these free resources.
Write, write and write some more
Finally, probably the most important tip of all is simply to write. As with most things, practice makes perfect, and writing is no exception to this rule. The more you write, the better you will get. Challenge yourself to write for different purposes—to celebrate, to inform, to persuade, to lament. Write for different formats—press articles, short stories, advertising copy, white paper reports, social media content.
Write for different people—elderly, children, professionals, leisure readers. Trying your hand at these different takes on the craft of writing can really help you to think about what you want to achieve before you put pen to paper, and ensure you make the output of each task the best it can be.
And, speaking of putting pen to paper, one more tip we can give is to try writing by hand. Writing on a computer has become so “second nature” to us that we do it practically with our eyes closed, which means we can do it without really thinking hard at all. In order to get better at writing, it pays to give it all our focus, and writing by hand can help us to do that, by slowing us down and mulling over the next word choice, the next sentence and paragraph as we form the letters by hand.
It’s a good idea to have a pen that you can carry with you so you can write whenever inspiration strikes. The best edc pen is one which is robust, stylish and pleasurable to use. The Bastion ballpoint pen in stainless steel is a perfect option. Its weight ensures good glide and handling, while a bolt action mechanism is a fun addition for the fidgeters among us.
Improving your writing is a great thing to do. Follow these tips and get the most out of your learning. Good luck!