How do you do it? How do you become better at expressing strong opinions, creating awesome characters, and holding the attention of your reader to the very end of the piece? This post is all about how to be a great writer.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to write your first book or you’re an eBook writer. Maybe a blogger. Maybe even a student who wants to be more successful at academic writing. This guide on how to be a successful writer is universal. It helps you find that inner spark and keep it consistent.
The Ultimate Guide on How to Become a Good Writer
Find the Passion
I recently read an online post by Nicholas Sparks, covering the business part of writing. My God, did it make writing look like a dry, money-driven activity! It wasn’t about how to be a better writer; it was about making you a better salesperson.
Yes, if you’re a blogger or writer, you’ll have to take care of that business part. But please, leave it for later. Writing is your day-to-day job and you should treat it responsibly, but its business part should never make you lose your passion.
Think: why do you want to write? It’s all about creation. You’re sharing part of you with this world. You have stories to tell, and people need to hear them. Even if it’s just a college essay you’re working on, you should find your passion before starting the research. Discover the aspect that makes you really interested. Visualize the results. Understand why you’re doing all this, and that thought will keep you focused on the work.
Develop a Habit Out of Writing
You can’t just sit and write something special out of nowhere. I don’t know if other writers are that talented, but I can speak from my own experience: the talent is not enough. It takes a lot of practice and tons of mental warm up before you write something really powerful. Writing should be a habit for you.
Wait, didn’t I just say you shouldn’t turn writing into a routine? This is different. You’ll practice free writing on a daily basis, and that’s exactly what will keep the spark of passion going.
How do you do this?
Do you have a blog? If not, I encourage you to start one. Today! On the blog, you’ll publish small bits of content every single day. Pick a niche you’re passionate about. Even if you don’t get much feedback at start, keep going. You’re doing this for the sake of practice. Two months from today, check the first and last post on the blog. Will you notice a difference? Will there be progress?
If you’re still not ready to share your work with the world, you can always count on Penzu. Or you can keep a traditional diary. Pick whatever method that works for you; just keep writing every day.
Exercise the Body and Rest the Mind, Too
How do you feel after an entire day spent in front of the computer? Is your mind foggy? Do you feel like you’re unable to function properly? Do you need tons of coffee to survive through such days?
Too much writing can lead to a mental burnout. You faced the same effect during exam week. You were studying for entire days and nights. You were completing papers and kept looking at the screen for too long. Sooner or later, that behavior resulted with intellectual exhaustion. Your brain was no longer able to process more information.
How do you prevent this state of being? You need to practice writing every day, so you’ll keep your mind fit for the big thing. However, you need to exercise your body, too. Take a break. Don’t make it a Twitter break, though. Use this opportunity to move your body. You don’t have to do extreme physical exercise. Gentle yoga will be enough to get your body active and your mind calm.
Active body – calm mind? What kind of connection is that? When you focus on the movement of your body, your brain is free of the stress it goes through during the writing process. You’re not straining it to think of new, better ideas.
When you show up to any doctor with the complaint that stress affects your health, they will tell you the same: exercise to relax. Do that every day. You’ll notice that when your mind is calm, the brightest ideas get to surface.
How many times have you tried hard to recreate knowledge and ideas without success? You know you have that information at the back of your mind, but it’s in a hidden folder. You just can’t get hold of it.
Imagine that piece of info as a needle that’s buried under thousands of other needles. It’s blocked in your subconscious levels and it won’t show up.
How do you get out of this writer’s block?
You have to learn how to communicate with your subconscious. There’s tons of information, memories, and feelings down there. Exploring them can be frightening, but you have to do it.
When you feel blocked, bring all issues out into the open. Don’t try to hide anything from yourself. Write stuff in your diary. Let your subconscious tell you the way out.
Meditation helps, too. When you close your eyes and get yourself to the point where you don’t cause thoughts on purpose and you’re just an observer of the mind, you’ll notice how it works differently. It becomes free to show you the ideas.
Make a Schedule, But Don’t Live by It
Okay, this will sound contradictory, but I promise it makes sense. When you want to complete a project, it’s important to plan some milestones. You should definitely try to write something every single day. Otherwise, you’ll lose your initial passion through the procrastination, and you’ll abandon the project for better times. Don’t let that happen.
Plan your days in a way that allows you to work on this project continuously, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Schedule some milestones. For example, you can plan to complete the research stage for a term paper within a week. At the end of the week, you’ll reach a milestone: research completed. Then, you’ll continue with the parts of the term paper, step by step.
You get the point: when you plan your approach, you know you can do it. Your schedule gives you a precise timeframe that seems possible.
That being said, you should never become a slave to your schedule. Creativity cannot be forced. The plan should only stimulate it. You’re a writer, but you’re also a creator of ideas. You can’t schedule a flow of ideas. If you notice that today is not your best day, don’t force yourself to do the work. It won’t be any good.
Try working on the project for 15 minutes.
If you can’t get your inspiration flowing, take a power nap. 20 minutes of sleep should be enough to freshen you up.
Try exercise, too!
If nothing works, it’s simply not your day. That’s why it’s important to make the schedule flexible. Give yourself more than enough time for the completion of this project, so you won’t be caught off guard when these lousy days occur.
Be Professional about It
Okay, I admit: Nicholas Sparks was right to some extent. When you intend to make a living out of writing, you have to act professional about it. It’s practically a business consisted of few phases:
Whether you’re publishing a book or you’re working on a blog, you have to maintain a professional attitude towards writing. If you’re building a brand around your name, it’s important to hire the right people in your team. They will deal with the promotion, so you can stay focused on the thing you do best: writing.
How to Become a Successful Writer: Does Talent Matter at All?
I’m all for honesty here. Yes, it does. Talent matters. However, persistence is what will keep the talent growing. Without actual work, you won’t benefit much from your talent for writing, will you?
Maybe you don’t consider yourself to be a talented writer. You’re forced to write various projects because the curriculum demands them. Even if that’s the case, you can work your way towards successful completion of the projects. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover that inner writer? Give yourself a chance.
Let me sum up the key takeaways. If you’re wondering how to be a successful writer, these are the main aspects to focus on:
The habit of writing
Exercise and rest
Your professional attitude
Easy, right? Well, not so much. It’s hard work, but let me tell you: it’s worth the effort. When you complete that project and you see that it’s even better than you imagined it, the feeling is priceless. Have you experienced such feeling of completion?
Now, it’s your turn. If you want to become a better writer, then take action! Don’t forget to share your opinions in the comment section.