There are so many different types of writers out there, and they probably have different ways of improving or practicing their craft. I thought I would share with you the ways I am trying to improve my writing and develop personally, too. Here they are:
- Read every day: duh…I already do this but I’m also expanding my reading list to include more variety and a mix of complexities, too.
- Write every day: I already kind of do this with being a freelancer and novelist, but I want to write aside from those projects more, too.
- People watch: seriously, this is great for understanding what people are really like, thus developing more realism in our writing. (Just don’t get caught staring).
- Experience more: the more you’ve actually experienced firsthand, the more you can write about and be more realistic when you do, too. It’s all well and good to write about marriage, but if you’ve never been married, it may fall short. The same goes for life in Italy, or scuba diving, or fighting someone. Experience more for yourself, and enrich your writing.
- Be curious: just ask questions, look things up, and find the whys in things. This is good for life and intellect, and therefore it’s good for your writing, too.
- Develop your vocab: obviously, we use words to write. It’s fine to write using everyday words, and I for one hate the overuse of extravagant words “just cuz”. But knowing a plethora of beautiful and useful words will generally help yourself and your writing even if you never use them. *Ways to develop your vocab: read, read a dictionary, use a thesaurus, use vocab building apps, and speak to intelligent people.
- Free write: this is where you just write whatever comes into your head and just let it flow; a stream of consciousness, if you like. Or you could find a prompt online and just flow from that. This is great writing practice technique as it helps you to tap into corners of your mind that you didn’t know were there.
- Analyse: question things, find the answers – be the answers. Whether its a book, film, person, or situation, analyse it. Tear it apart; open it up. What do you find? What does it inspire?
- Journal: it is good to write about your day or week or thoughts or feelings. It’s good to capture your experience as it will help your mental health, thus making you better equipped to sit and write beautifully; as well as help you to write realistic characters, with similar experiences.
- Brush up on your grammar: a lot of the time, I actually don’t know if I’m using the right punctuation and grammar in my writing. I go with what I’ve read or what I’ve always known – but that doesn’t mean I’m right. So, find out what’s right in order to be accurate and not confuse anyone.
- Have intelligent conversations: if we only speak to morons, our minds will be filled with moronic information! I say, speak to a variety of people, but especially seek those intelligent ones amongst us. They will help to give life to new ideas, more vocab, and enlighten you on a topic you knew nothing about – great for your knowledge and writing.
- Experience a variety of people: as I said, you should experience many kinds of people. We all have certain personalities and I can be tempted to keep to who we know we’ll like, but branching out is so important. I will help you to be able to write all kinds of characters and make them feel real with real motives. Plus, you can learn something from anyone, trust me.
- Get cultured & travel: whether it’s through people, books, or travel, you need to get cultured. Even if you only write from your own experience, or write about your own country, it doesn’t matter. Learning, in depth, about other cultures will open your mind, and give room to MORE. This is ever so important for life, intellect, and your writing, too. Experience culture and travel and let it enter you, and shape you.
- Tell stories & hear stories: become a storyteller with your voice, and it will make writing easier for you, too. I’m trying to tell more stories about my experiences or people I know, in order to develop my confidence and my ability to weave an interesting tale. Then, when it comes to writing, it’ll be a piece of cake compared. Also, listen to other people’s stories, too. They have interesting things to say, and you can take note of how they speak, too, in order to get some tips for how to captivate an audience.
- Music: there is no greater thing than music. It has inspired ideas for me, given me a new perspective, and when I listen to the right movie scores whilst writing, the words just flood out of me.
- Podcasts, films, and TV of interest: consuming interesting, inspiring, and well-written media will, in turn, enrich your own creations. Simple. So, instead of watching reruns of the same two shows, or sitting and watching crappy reality TV shows, watch or listen to something of substance and gain something that will help your mind and your writing.
- Walk, think and see: I find that a good solo walk (with no destination) can really help to clear the mind and make way for interesting thought and reflection. This will then give you ideas, or at least the right mindset to get some writing done. Take in your surroundings and let it heal you or inspire you.
- Capture thoughts, words, and conversations: never let a thought (no matter how big or small) get away from you. Write it down. It doesn’t matter if you never use it or look back and think it’s pants later. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it…
There you go, this is my list that will hopefully help me to better my writing, my craft, and myself. I hope these are things you find useful for your writing, too. Good luck, and happy writing.
And of course, don’t forget that I am a freelance writer for hire, here and happy to help with your writing needs…