The Seven Habits of a Great Writer
How to Become a Successful Writer
Writing is an art, and while there is an artist in almost everyone one of us, we tend to go towards different mediums to express ourselves. When it comes to writing, it is one of the toughest forms of art, if it weren’t as tough, everyone would have been a best-seller. But unfortunately, that is not the reality. Whether you are just a freshman who has a hobby of writing, an aspiring writer or just a blogger, there are some rules and habits that you should follow and adapt if you want to be a successful writer.
How to Write Effectively: Becoming a Bestselling Author
Most people say that anyone can write, while it is true to some extent, but not anyone can write effectively, not everyone can make masterpieces out of words and not everyone can shape new lives and bring out characters through their writing. To have that skill, you need to be an effective writer and if you keep exploring the horizons, you may just be a lost cause.
Before we begin exploring the habits, there are some rules you should keep in mind. The rules are by the great English novelist George Orwell. A fact about George Orwell is that is actual name was Eric Arthur Blair. George Orwell was just a pen name.
- Refrain from using a metaphor or simile which you often see written somewhere else.
- Instead of using a long word, go for a shorter one if applicable.
- If you can cut out a word, do it without hesitation.
- Instead of going for a passive word, go for an active word wherever it applies.
- Make sure you don’t use a foreign, scientific or jargon term if you can find a normal English equivalent.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Writers
Now that you have read all the rules, we can proceed and look at all the habits any writer should adapt if he or she is planning to join the ranks of great writers. Do know that these habits apply to every kind of writer. You can be a blogger, novelist, screenwriter or a story writer and still get benefits from these habits.
Think About The Readers
Most writers are way too selfish when it comes to writing, they think about what they like, completely cutting out their audience, this isn’t a good thing to do so. You see, what you write will be read by other people, if you keep on writing about the stuff you love the most, it may appeal to the reader at first because at that time, he or she will be unaware that your future work will be of the same caliber. If a writer thinks only about himself, soon the work will become monotonous. Before you start writing, keep 3 things in mind.
- Think about the people you are going to write for and what struggles they face.
- Think about how your writing can help them with their struggles and make them feel better about themselves.
- Do they really need my help?
Once you have pondered over these 3 points, things will be clearer and you will have a sense of selflessness. The commonest example here can be of a tech writer. Tech writers write for the people, they point out the issues that are common and then they provide tutorials to make sure the problems go away. You don’t have to be a tech writer, you just have to follow the simple rule of helping others.
Creative Criticism and Feedback Are Your Friends
This is one of the commonest secrets among great writers, they appreciate creative criticism and feedback. Both of these can come from a lot of different people. If you are a seasonal writer, letting your readers read excerpts of your work and asking them what they think and what needs to be altered can really help. Of course, at the end of the day it will be you would decide what’s going in your work and what’s not, but accepting new ideas and approaches can really help you as a writer. The same thing goes for someone who casually writes, if you don’t have several readers or most of your readers are from online community, you can ask your friends who are able enough to read and interpret your work. Let them tell you what’s missing or should be removed, then take some time, lets say an hour or so to think about everything you have been told and look at your work to decide whether or not you want to remove it. Below are some basic questions you can ask your friends or readers to help you with your work.
- Ask them what’s the most and least important point in your work
- Ask them if there’s anything according to them that doesn’t fit the scenario.
- Ask them if they think if some of the worked lacked depth.
- Ask them if they believe whether or not your work in any way is helpful or relevant.
Don’t Pay Attention To The Word Count
Most writers write for the sole purpose of increasing their word count, yet their content is lacking of depth or any important information. Refrain from being that type of writer. You are not being asked to cut short on the word count, you are allowed to write thousands of words, as long as your words have the power and the depth to make a mark. If you are going to write a thousand pages with no depth in it and no progression, you might as well say what you are trying to say in fewer words.
Condense What You Write
As soon as you are done with your article, story or whatever you were writing, it is advised to take a break from everything and relax yourself for a couple of days, specially if the work took you days to complete. After the tenure, you may return at look at your work from an all new perspective, read it as if it isn’t yours and when you are done reading it, try condensing it, read it carefully and keep removing all the bits that you think aren’t as important or are vague. Keep removing the words till you’re left with the shortest way that is explaining your point in your work and your day will be made.
Always Keep Writing
A great writer always write, even when he or she is done publishing their blog. The best way to always keep writing is to create a personal blog, or keep a journal if you like to stick to the more traditional means of writing. People often say that whenever they think about starting a blog but they are often held back by something that tells them that they are not good. First of all, remove this feeling from your mind. Writing is a very forgiving art, so it doesn’t matter even if you are an amateur, you are going to get better by time. Start a blog, write daily, write about your thoughts, write about your encounter with a stranger and keep writing. This will help you shape your skills when you finally reach at the peak of your writing finesse.
Talk To Your Readers
A great writer always talks to his readers instead of talking at them. To talk to your audience, you need to know what they like and what they don’t. Surely you can’t go on asking each and everyone about their choice, specially if your readers are from the internet. The best way to learn this art is to go to internet and search for advertisements and articles that are written in such an intriguing way that you almost think that they are talking to you and not everyone else. After you have done your research, apply the same rule to your writing and you will see the change it will bring in your reader’s attention span, they will be left wanting for more.
Read More: How to write a Movie review
Study Your Competition
Whoever said writing is a lost art… lied. There are a lot of writers out there and everyone has their own way of writing. But the topics seem to be limited. A tip to become a really good writer is to study how tough your competition is, study their work, their writing style and how they express themselves. A great writer will always appreciate the work of his or her competition, and if you find someone inspiring enough, you can take up on how they write and try to improve it. Just make sure you don’t end up copying their ideas or outlines from their work because no one likes that and it will really leave a bad impression of you as a writer. The best way to analyse your competition is by looking at your niche first, and then buying books related to that niche and thoroughly reading them, read them as if you are obliged to do so. Highlight the points you loved most and look for ways you can improve on them.
Have a look at some good places for Freelance writing jobs on the web.
Following these habits and applying them in your work will really help you as an aspiring writer and to achieve greatness in your field of work. If there’s any point you’d like to add, do let us know.