Pens Down - How To Write Like a Writer
We've all been there. Blank. Stuck. Wordless and monotonous with our writing. Trying to spill thoughts on a paper (or a computer), doing our best to mold an engaging and exciting article, or email, or even a homework, you tell me. But, sometimes, it's a challenge to come up with something new. Something original. Something that makes your readers crave more of your content. And then you blame it on your content itself and delete everything and rewrite and delete again and smash keyboard to pieces (or not, its better if you don't actually that's expensive). But yeah, writer's block is real, and there's no escaping the stress and the drowning feeling that comes with it. And that's okay. At some point it means that you have to just take a break, arrange your thoughts, and start over. Here, out a of a thousand tips you may find about better writing, I'll give you my top 5, some are focused on the writing itself, and some are focused about improving yourself.
1) Pace: Go short to long - In music, musicians use tempo. When cooking, chefs use timers. Well in writing, we have pace. If you go back to the beginning of this article you'll notice that the sentences aren't long, maybe four or five words, and as I moved along, the sentences started to become a little bit longer and I started to throw in a few commas. This is pace. It makes your reader feel as if you were actually talking to them, and that you are taking a break to breathe and then keep talking. It gives your writing more of "natural" vibe to it. And not just that, but it also gives your reader the time to be able to digest what they've just read (it helps a lot when it comes to fiction writing). It creates a mood, gives the reader time to imagine something if that's what you want, and the best part is that it catches their attention. If you had to read this same paragraph, with no periods or commas whatsoever, it would be exhausting and dull. Pace gives you the element of surprise, and makes your content a bit more... soothing.
2) Pretend - This is a simple but useful one for all of you interested in fiction writing. Creating characters and giving them their own unique personality is key if you want to have a decent story. So you make a list of what your character would say, do, or not do, in certain situations. But still after that sometimes it doesn't feel real, it feels as if your character is just acting inside your story but it's not really the character. This happens by many reasons like inconsistency in your character's vocabulary and actions for example. And sometimes readers don't really notice this but at the end this kind of mistakes subtract from your writing. So hence, pretend. Get away from that keyboard before writing and become the character. Did someone just asked something to your character? What would she or he do? Would your character nod and walk away? Rude, but do it. Would your character laugh out loud and then whisper the answer? Annoying, but do it. See this not just gives you an idea of what your character would do or say but you would also know how your character feels, and that allows you to be way more meticulous with details.
3) Switch it up - Remember in school when you used to wait for bell that announced recess? If you were more like me you would just get out without waiting for the bell. But, why were you so eager to get out? Maybe it was hunger, but if you ate inside hiding from your teacher you were cool. To see your friends perhaps? What if they were in class with you as well? Bottom line, you wanted to leave because you had been moving from box to box and you just needed an escape, a change, and the easiest route was to walk out from the classroom for a while. Same thing happens when doing this kind of creative jobs. If you stay on the same place you will get bored, and you will try to find ways to distract yourself. And this will take time away and before you realize two hours have passed and you just have a sentence. On the other hand, you might force yourself to just write quickly whatever you can think off in order to have time to do something else later in the day. And then you hate what you just wrote because it's full of mistakes or it just doesn't make any sense. So change your work space from time to time. A new environment with new people allows new ideas to flow in.
4) Read - The one I bet you’ve heard the most: If you want to write like a writer, you have to read like a reader. If you haven’t tried this yet, boy you are making a huge mistake and here’s why: anything you do, anything you can earn money from, you need help, advice, guidance, or your road to success will be very long. And to find guidance with writing is the easiest thing to do, just pick up a book, and read it. Learn from the best, the ones that already went through what you are going through right now. You’ll learn how to better use the pace we already talked about, and a million other tricks that will make your writing good. It’s not about copying other authors, it’s about seeing what they did so you can do it as well with your own style and then do it better. I spend seventy percent of my time reading and thirty percent writing. I study how they write and ask myself things like “What did this author did to make me want to keep reading?” Or maybe the book turned tedious at some point and ask myself why did that happened, did the author stopped doing something? Did he or she did too much of something else? You learn from their rights to copy and enhance them, and you learn from their wrongs to avoid them or at least be ready for them.
5) Take a class - This one goes hand in hand with the last one. We live in the age of information, and I find it frustrating when people say they can’t do something because they don’t how to do it, when there’s literally dozens of content you may find online that can teach how to do literally anything. Or at the very least you can find directions of places you can go to, to learn more. And when it comes to writing, trust me, helpful content is anything but scarce. You can find blogs, videos, subscriptions, online classes and courses imparted by professionals in the business that are more than willing to give you a hand. Some are paid for, some are free, some have free trials and some ask for down payments. Just open your browser and start searching until you find something that feels like you. If you are serious about it, it might just be the best investment of your life.
Now all of these tips are not even the tip of the iceberg. It takes way more than what I just said to become a writer, and persistence and drive is all you need to be able to stick with it, and those two things are hard to get and easy to lose. But at the end when you make it, it’s worth all the time and effort you put into it. You can be your own boss, work by your own rules, set your own goals and work anywhere you want whenever you want. You have control of your content and eventually you can make a name for yourself and who knows where it might take you. An essay can become a blog, a blog can become a book, a book can become a trilogy and suddenly it’s a movie or a show, and then without knowing you are an influence in someone’s life who’s trying to make a change.
Writing has no limits, a sentence can become a painting and a story can become a lesson that might just trigger someone to do something great. Don’t give up on it. Every great story of someone that left a real foot print in the world, starts with that person learning from something they read somewhere, something you might’ve written. Who knows, maybe someday someone will want to pay you for what you know even when you are not looking for it. It’s all about taking that first step and it all starts by simply learning. Humbling yourself and recognizing your flaws and weaknesses as a writer and work on them until they are just tiny dots in the distance that eventually get blown away like dust in the wind.