How To Be A Better Writer?

As I’m shaping my writing career, I thought to share some valuable tips for the disciples who wanna enhance their writing skills. Thus, I appeared on Nirmala Mam’s blog to reveal some practical tips on “how to be a better writer?”.

The art of writing is more developed and has become sophisticated these days. You need to write from your heart keeping your mind awake to strike the right chord with your audience. Writing also has gained a considerable momentum, especially in the online world.

May it be a unique blog post, a sales copy or an ad script, writing a useful literature is a must. If you are a words wizard and know to sprinkle magic with words, then you are the most selling person in today’s corporate world.

In the words of Cory Doctorow,

Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.

The only way to evolve as a writer is to write consistently. When it comes to your keyboard and writing processor, I don’t think anyone should come in between, not even you. Let the fingers bleed words.

10 Useful Tips To Be A Better Writer

Here are some creative writing tips for being an effective writer.

be-a-better-writer                                                Image Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

On Reading

1) For being a writer, read

If you are not a reader, you cannot be a writer. Just like to be a good speaker, you have to become a good listener. Reading can assist you build great vocabulary and expand your horizon to the world. You will learn to see things the way others perceive, and this will help you to express your views ultimately.

For being an efficient reader, I would suggest you be a voracious reader. Read just everything you can get your hands and eyes on. Don’t just limit yourself to one genre. Read fiction, read web copy, read classics and read finance.

2) Don’t be a parrot

I know parrots are infamous of learning whatever they see and hear, the exact way it was. For being a writer, you don’t need to be a parrot. Imitation and Plagiarism will get you nowhere.

Writers have to keep their minds and eyes open. When you read, don’t just read; judge the author. Do you know the biggest privilege of a writer is he is no less than an expert writer? Imagination and creativity can’t be measured by a yardstick.

If you are reading other works, look at the craft of wording, ask yourself the mechanism used and also try to calculate the viewpoint of the writer. It will help you to incorporate the good in your blog post/ novel and ditch the non-appealing ones.

3) Practice Marginalia

This technique will especially help you if you are a vivid reader and an in-depth writer.

Did you write notes on the meaning of words etc. in the margins of your book during school? I did it, with a pencil. Since then I have been a fan of this technique. It is a bridge between what the writer wants you to know and what you understand out of it.

Marginalia refers to the art of scribbling or taking notes at the sides/margins if books, in between paragraphs and all tags and scribbles we use in today’s apps like read it later or pocket.

It dates back to 1652, but the term was coined by Blackwood magazine in 1819. Writer, Walter Benjamin took 13 whole years to research the art of marginalia and published his book “The Arcades Project” that is one of the most popular books describing the technique.

Using marginalia can help you take quick notes on any inspirational piece you read and then you can develop a whole new post, the book on it. While reading on the web, you can use the Evernote web clipper to save bits and relevant quotations from the web or use annotate to add effectively comments on web pages and save them for offline reference.

On getting ideas and getting started

4) Find a subject

Once you are all set to sit and write ask yourself if the topic you choose is exciting enough for you to invest your next 4-5 hours on it. Will the subject of your blog post (although you can be thinking to write a novel also, and I would love to see one of you), solve the issues your audience that are eagerly waiting for you to address?

If the node is active, you are ready to go. At this point, many times we feel the project someone else has taken is juicier than ours. I tell you, the other person also feels the same about your project. If you want to be a better writer, learn to love your writing.

There is no one better than you in framing your thoughts with words.

Mark my words!!!

5) Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination is suicidal. Don’t let other thoughts empower you. I would say write as and when an idea strikes your head.

As a blogger, do you not get blog post ideas at the times it was least expected? I know you get, because I too get it, Nirmala Mam too gets it!

What if you aborted your creative ideas at that time? You probably will lose one of the best messages your mind wanted to convey to your readers.

I would suggest, unplug yourself then and there only. If you are at a place, you can’t get your hands on a keyboard, no problem. Take a white paper and jot down your ideas to write.

Harleena Singh used to jot down any creative blog post ideas she got while she was busy teaching at the school. Thus, she never missed a post to connect with her readers. I believe that Nirmala Mam too writes down her thoughts when she got hit with some innovative ideas.   

I am not saying to follow Harleena Mam or Nirmala Mam, but I can see no harm in learning a good habit.

On writing

6) Unplug yourself

Did you know we writers are time, travelers? Yes, you too! During writing we travel to the world of our readers, try to understand their problems and write a possible solution for it. Fictional writers are awesome travelers.

When you are about to start writing, I would suggest you unplug yourself completely from the external world. The unkempt kitchen and the dog waiting to be patted can wait.

To be just me and my creative juices, I turn the internet off.

In case you are doing a research based project, where you need to open up tabs looking for information, I would suggest you to use site blockers like Stay focused for Chrome or Leechblock for the Firefox fans.

7) Lock the editing mode

The standard rule of writing effectively (at least for me) is the first write and then edit. Try abandoning all edits till you have reached your goal. Don’t touch the written stuff unless you have crossed a given number of words or written for a set amount of time.

This will not only save your time but also help in securing the flow of creative juice within you.

If you are unable to control yourself, use a simple locker like ilys or write or die.

8) Write smart

Who else can be a fan of smart writing than bloggers and authors? We have a LOT to do and one crazy simple head and 20 fingers only. Without working your way out through the long and tiring procedures, it’s better to work smartly and save our energy for the good.

If you are like me, having the too short attention span or cannot do one thing for long, you probably have heard about the famous POMODORO technique. If not, it’s a process of sitting to do your work in broken time segments. I use tomatoes for this.

In case you have a great idea of a blog post or fiction, don’t wait for the perfect chair and your desk. Simply take your mobile out and record what you have to say. Later you can transcribe the recording to words.

If you already have a podcast or video or any other recording, you can use o-transcribe to transcribe the fuss out of it.

9) Don’t plagiarize

Plagiarism is a disease, an illness that robs you of your creativity. Plagiarism is a killer that kills your personality, brutally. And guess what it also kills the original writer’s authenticity.

Assuming you are a budding writer, I would caution you to stay away from copying or imitating other writers’ work.

Sometimes, it so happens that your tone of writing automatically matches someone who has had a deep influence on your writing. At this stage, you might not be aware, but your writing may be a copy of that awesome writer. And guess what this time you are losing your credibility and that writer (your ideal) will not hesitate to file a lawsuit on you for copyright infringement.

If you are an online writer, blogger so to say, you might lose your search engine rankings too. A simple way to solve this is regularly taking a paragraph of your writing and use any one of the free plagiarism detection tools to detect any traces of similar wording already present elsewhere. You can do the same to protect your content from potential content scrapers.

10) On not looking back

While on your process of writing, don’t look back. Don’t let another thought rent your mind unless the existing one is in its full-blown draft stage. You might have fears (I would lie if I said I have no fear), but learn to tame them.

If I had blogging fears, that will my audience accept me? Will the ones from ABC demography and the ones of XYZ demography co-relate with my writing? If you too have fears keep reading,

Forget them; these are utter nonsenses. Write for one person. Address your thoughts for “that one person” you want to shower your words on. You are sure to find a tone that your audience (a collection of many “that one person”) will relate to.

Further Sources to Improve Writing Skills

1) Tools for writers

2) 10 resources to upgrade your grammar and writing skills

Conclusion

I hope this post did provide you a bit of idea on how to be a better writer. I am not an expert writer, neither are you, we become experts the day we stop learning and believe me as writers that would be the last day for our pens.

So keep growing, keep learning and most importantly keep crafting words. By this, we can be a better writer each passing day. I’ve finished my perspectives and now it’s your turn to speak. Share your views on my writing tips; I’ll discuss with you through comment section 🙂

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49 Comments

    • Nirmala Santhakumar
    • Nirmala Santhakumar
    • Nirmala Santhakumar
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    • Nirmala Santhakumar
    • Nirmala Santhakumar
        • Nirmala Santhakumar
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    • Nirmala Santhakumar
    • Nirmala Santhakumar
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