So, you want to learn to write. Whether it’s for fun or pay, blogging or screenwriting, putting words to the page is something that many people aspire to one day do. But what separates those with the desire to write and the best sellers, famous bloggers, and award-winners?
The secret is utilizing the right tips and techniques to fast track your improvements. This article will break down ways guaranteed to start improving your writing today. That being said, you may way to check out this blog article for a quick grammar refresher that will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes.
If attending lectures on your lunch break or in your pajamas sounds good to you, Udemy has an amazing variety to choose from. Ready to become the best selling novelist you’ve always dreamed about? Then check out this course.
One of the most helpful things you can do to become a good writer is to read other good writing. This might come in the form of fiction or non-fiction, but the important thing is keeping your nose in a book. Here’s a few great choices on where to find your next reading materials.
Read What You Want to Write
If you want to be a great fiction writer, start by getting thoroughly acquainted with the work of other fiction authors. Whether it’s the all-time best selling and most highly regarded novels or simply people who write in a style you like in a genre you want to break into, seeing great writing in action and learning to understand how it’s put together will do wonders for your own writing. Of course, you’ll ultimately want to develop your own fairly unique style that sets you apart, but it’s hard to know how to write well if you don’t even know what it looks like.
So find some authors in your niche and get busy. Pay attention to the nuances of what you read and the structure of their writing. But don’t make it a chore – we can’t think of many subjects that can be this fun to study.
Read Writing in Other Areas
If you want to write amazing screenplays, you’ll obviously want to look at other screenplays. But don’t think that means you can’t read novels and even learn something from them. Don’t underestimate how reading poetry can help the rhythm of your copywriting or reading excellent non-fiction can teach you new ways of packing useful information into your blog posts. Even if you don’t pick up anything that you can consciously work into your specific genre or style, you’ll find that being well-read across a variety of subjects comes in handy when you least expect it.
Make yourself familiar with any good writers or books that might interest you, regardless of what their specialty is. Again, writing is supposed to be an outlet for your thoughts and something you like to do. Treat it like such and you’ll be rewarded daily.
Many people believe you can’t learn writing with anything other than lots and lots of writing. Others claim only those born with an innate talent will every make a living with it – or even create something worth reading. While this is true to an extent – you won’t become a good writer without plenty of practice – that doesn’t mean there’s not loads of great information out there on the subject that can help you shave time from your learning process or at least steer you in the right direction. It’s also a great way to find motivation and improve your habits.
Consume books, blog posts, magazine articles, and whatever else it is that may offer valuable insights on becoming a better or more efficient writer. No matter how good you are today, you’ll never know everything there is to know about anything, especially such a deep and expansive subject as literature.
Speaking of practice, you can’t get good at something if you never do it. Write for fun, write for a challenge, write in large quantities, and write often. Here are some things to write about if you’re searching for inspiration.
Write What You Enjoy
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – your writing will be so much better if you truly have a passion for doing it. Pick up the pen or put your fingers to the keyboard daily and jot down whatever is on your mind. This might mean keeping a journal where you express how your writing is progressing or what’s going on in your daily life. Write the short story you came up with or copy down a dream you had.
Knock out that novel you’re working on one page at a time. Start a blog. Whatever it is, make writing a hobby – and one you enjoy doing – and you can’t help but improve. Fill pages with what you love. The more you like it, the more you’ll do it. And the more you do it, the stronger your skills as a writer will become.
Write in a Way That Challenges You
Remember what I just said about enjoying what you write about? This is definitely true. That being said, you still want to constantly challenge yourself in any skill where you goal is to get better.
Write things in areas you’re not familiar with or don’t think you’re good at. If you don’t have much rhythm or creativity, find the time to pen a few poems. Don’t worry about making them perfect, just do the best you can manage. I think every kind of writer can stand to learn something from trying out other styles of writing.
There are also tons of fun exercises you can try. Think of a random word, first line, or character – just pick the first thing that pops into your head – and write a whole story based around it. By doing new things and experimenting, you’ll ensure that your skills are constantly evolving and expanding.
Copy the Writing of Others
This one is a favorite of copywriters. Many of the most highly esteemed names in the field have long preached the practice of finding a good writer or piece and copying it word-for-word by hand. It helps you truly understand the elements that make up good copy and partially instills those same habits and thoughts into your own mind.
Now, I’m not expecting the aspiring novelists out there to rewrite the hundreds of pages that make up their favorite Stephen King novel. But picks some passages that really speak to you or find short stories with very well-developed characters and practice transferring them to your notebook as part of your daily writing practice. The benefits may not be immediately obvious but you’ll notice them slowly creeping into your own writing if you keep with it.
And it doesn’t have to be an exact replica. Try picking a writer you like and mimicking their distinctive style, whether it’s a unique way of punctuating or describing scenery. One should never plagiarize content and pass it off as their own, but there’s much to be said about learning to write like the more successful of those who came before you.
Find a Teacher
Teaching yourself to do something can be a very rewarding experience, but if you really want to cut down on your learning curve, it’s a great idea to get some outside help. Whether it’s from one of Udemy’s online courses, a class in a brick and mortar school, or just someone to give you some honest feedback on your writing, you’ll find it much easier to know what to do right and what you may be doing wrong.
Take an Online Course
With such an excellent selection of course options online these days, learners are able to take advantage of the more structured lessons while still having the flexibility of working on their own time and from the comfort of their own home.
If you want to get started on that future Oscar-winning screenplay you’ve been mulling over for years, this course can help point you in the right direction. Get a copywriting bootcamp here or learn more about poetry with this course. No matter what style of writing you’re interested in, there’s a Udemy instructor out there just waiting to provide you the most useful and detailed information available.
Attend a Class
Another powerful avenue to get some quality writing instruction is taking a class at a local university or community college. You’ll have a buffet of options to choose from, whether it’s building a foundation with general English and literature study or more specific writing oriented courses. If you’re already in school, even better. But it’s never too late to start learning.
Some cities even have writing workshops available to help people in your situation. These are great not just for learning but meeting like-minded individuals in your area. You can check the paper, Craigslist (or any other website where local ads are listed), and even the bulletin boards on the campus of the closest center for higher-level learning.
In order to gain perspective on your writing, it’s important to step outside of the vacuum in your head and let other people see your work. This could be a friend who is familiar with good writing and you can trust to give you their honest opinion. Some form of editor can be a valuable asset, whether it’s sending off a draft to potentially be published or having someone with experience go through and point out areas for improvement. Check out this blog post for some useful ideas on finding a writing coach.
Or you can just throw some writing up on a blog or other website and let the masses weigh in with their opinions. It won’t take long before it’s been made abundantly clear whether people appreciate your current voice or not. Whatever happens, don’t get discouraged. Keep practicing and it won’t be long before your words are standing among the best of them.
That about does it. By now, you should have tons of ideas floating around just waiting to be put into action. Plop down in front of your computer or with a good book and take the first step towards becoming a better writer.
I just know you’ll be happy with immediate improvements you start seeing in your writing, but if you’re impatient and want to jump straight into making money as a freelance writer, this course will get you from zero to pro in no time.