I was one of the novice writers (I still am) until three years ago when I quit my investment banking job to experiment if I could write for a living. While I was over thinking about the integrities of my invisible writing career, I decided to travel to Chile and teach English there. People say that a new environment and immersive travel experiences provide you the right motivation to write.
Andean landscapes took my oxygen away, Chilean children stared at me when I enunciated the English name of their beloved palta, my host mother fed me pyramids of bread and cheese, and Spanish dumbfounded me. But during this chaos, I managed to write every day.
In the past three years, I have written (almost) daily, published regularly on my blog and on Medium publications, earned a living by writing for freelance clients, have published poems out of which one has been accepted in a book, have contributed to big and small websites, have send stories and articles to magazines and newspapers, and have become a top writer on Quora and a top Travel Writer on Medium.
Are you joking?
Insider Tip for writers: Answer your readers’ questions. Don’t throw a rhetorical question right back at them. They leave.
Related Read: Two years of Blogging – My best blogging tips for beginners
As I sit on my desk in my room alone and write for hours, I realize that a writer walks on a long, lonely path. Like all solo journeys, a writer’s voyage is also scary. I never know if my travel memoir is believable or if I have justified my character’s breakup with her twenty-three-year long partner, or if the readers appreciated my life inspiration ideas or they were bored out of their guts.
But these doubts started coming much later. When I was a beginner writer, I faced the basic issues of developing a writing habit, having the discipline to write, finding the right stories to tell, choosing the most impressionable words, and creating a story out of mumble-jumble.
Writing at the beginning felt like driving in the mountains at night on a curvy road bereft of street lights. Watch them hairpin bends. Leave the gear to neutral. Trust the angle. Push the accelerator. Switch to high beam. No. Low beam. Now. Switch off the ac. You fool. Phew.
But then why do we continue writing? Shouldn’t we just drive in the morning? Or let us not go to the Ooty hill station at all. Damn them 32 hairpin bends.
No. You can’t leave writing.
For writing is liberating. Writing is rewarding. Writing is breathing. All solo journeys are. Every late-night drive in the misty mountains becomes a memorable memory. Once you know how to make your readers tick, you get addicted to writing. This sounds right. Let us continue this train of thought.
Now when I don’t write on Diwali or when I trek in the Malaysian jungle, my fingers feel itchy. A clattering sound escapes out of my brain as if unscrewed parts are being thrown around. I daydream about giving lectures on issues I had never thought of before.
Why? I didn’t write that day.
Throughout the ruckus of the past three years, when I have struggled to write on days and at times when words have gushed out of me like spaghetti slips off a fork, I excavate one or two secrets about writing every day.
I am not saying that writing will become easy if you follow my writing tips for beginners that I will now share. But I can vouch that these ideas will help you write when you scratch your mind but find nothing worth saying about. And then these tips on writing will walk along you to express those thoughts powerfully.
Let us start with this promise. A promise that I make as a fellow novice writer who is still learning.
Related Read: Read why the Process of learning is more important than the result.
Here are my 25 writing tips on writing better for novice writers —
1. Write honestly —
Whenever I have had a gush of writing, I have written something I care about. Some nights I weep and tell my partner that my writing won’t take me anywhere. He places his hand on my heart and reminds me that writing oozes straight out of my heart. How can my writing be bad if it is honest?
When I read Jhumpa Lahiri’s stories full of complicated relationships amongst immigrated families, I crave to create a labyrinth of human emotions. Ruskin Bond’s short stories make me want to live in Landour, plant cherry trees, and write about a boy Suraj who peeps through my window on his way home. In my articles, I debate the arranged marriage culture in India, favor following a daily schedule, and push people to follow their goals and dreams.
All these ideas matter to me, so I write about them.
Some of you beginning writers want to become the best copywriters. Some want to write novels. Others are short story writers. A few are poets. Many millennials are travel bloggers. The rest like providing personal growth advice.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Write what you feel like writing.
Instead of treating your writing as that perfect plot you have created in your mind, let her be a thriving character who gets angry and parties until morning or sleeps untill noon.
My partner suggested me to write about my year-long South-American trip this week. Though I am following his advice, today morning my fingers started typing this article on writing better, and I let them.
Allow your creative juices to flow. Be yourself. That is when words will pour down.
2. Don’t be shy to write about your childhood —
In the book Letters to the Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke suggested the doubtful poet to think and write about his childhood for his growing up memories will make his poems vehement.
Childhood is a heap of innocent memories. A collection of events that happened thoughtlessly.
You know your childhood. You remember yourself as the kid with a runny-nose who waited for the Amul ice-cream truck to pass her street, dashed to it when he heard the horn, only to flutter back to ask her mother for two rupees.
You have lived these stories. Now write them.
Let art happen to you. Childhood and art hold hands and walk and play. They dance and sing. They laugh and cry. They run and hide. They are fearless and frightened.
Write about that childhood which is long gone but has made you who you are.
Suggested Read: Let life flow freely – My adaptations of Rilke’s ideas on life and art.
3. Push through the first drafts —
When I started writing, I didn’t know when to stop. Should I continue writing even though I have written a thousand words or should I change the red words that stare at me? I tried both — correcting while writing and leaving the editing for later as I dumped my thoughts on paper.
I realized that typing incessantly and emptying my mind helped me write better and faster. If I edited or spell checked while writing, I lost the creative flow.
One of the best tips to improve your writing is that you have to first write. Treat your first draft as a mind dump. Write it out. Let it be long. Let it be red. Let it be awful. Let it embarrass you.
In Bird by Bird Anne Lamott says, “The only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts. The first draft is the child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later.”
A long, tedious first draft shows that you care. Write on.
4. Let the Ganga of first draft flow out of you but follow a few best practices —
You might be a new employee of a multination firm who is ignorant about the culture of the company. But you still hold the door when you walk out of it so that it doesn’t slam into the face of the person walking behind you.
Like real life, in the writing world, too, you can follow some basic etiquettes even if you are a beginner writer. I follow a few rules when I write down my first drafts so that I restrict myself to falling down to the benchmark I have set, thus minimizing my editing time later.
Some of these best tips to improve writing is to never use words that you know have to be deleted sooner or later. I am
very hungry. As soon as I wrote that sentence I had to cut the “very” right out of it. But I want to say I am very hungry. As I don’t let myself write “very” my brain pops up another word from the queue to replace the weak verb. I am famished.
Even if I shake you up at 3 in the night to ask if you would say I was very angry or I was furious, your answer should be the latter phrase.
Another rule is to use correct grammar. We aren’t talking about anything creative but all methodical work here.
You are wondering that I asked you to write freely in the above bullet on writing better but now you have to practice rules and write carefully? My friends, like everything else writing is also a game of habit. If you develop a habit of filling your first drafts with rubbish (as you are lazy), your writing won’t bloom into golden marigolds. It might, but once you spent hours weeding out the weeds.
So instead of cleaning up later, develop a habit of using stronger words, at least the ones that are at the top of your head. The habit of promising yourself to not use words that you will have to delete later would make you think of the replacements, help you write faster with time, and reduce your editing time.
Start with one or two of these basic etiquettes. Set a benchmark of how much you can suck in your first draft given that you write out the story that you wanted to tell. Soon you would unconsciously be writing up to a minimum writing standard.
5. Let your writing sit —
When we start writing we can’t publish frequently. The invisible likes and shares on social media or the Medium timeline notification that you published a story one week ago make us anxious. We are impatient to publish the blog posts or memoirs we are almost satisfied with; We rush to edit what we wrote yesterday.
Don’t give in to a publishing pressure. When you are a new writer, this anxiety to write and publish every day even when you are not able to finish stories and articles quickly makes your stomach growl. But remember that you have a steep path to climb as a novice writer, and you are learning the foundations of writing which will help you write at all.
Let the draft rest for a day. Look at it the next day or the day after that with a fresh mind. You would notice awkward words and broken sentences that you might not have seen with a saturated brain.
The process of learning is more important than the outcome. Let the writing sit and ferment.
6. Read your writing out loud —
While reading my articles and short stories out loud, I always catch the redundant words and the over-ambitious dialogues.
When you hear your story, you are able to distance yourself from it as a writer, momentarily, for you try to grasp the piece as a listener. When you read your writing aloud, incoherent words or phrases startle you, and you pick up the details that don’t sound right.
Always read out your drafts while editing them. (Even if you have to throw your partner out in the balcony.)
Insider Tip: You can also right-click and try the speech option of MacBooks and other laptops.
7. Shift-delete the boring parts—
I was a lazy novice writer. Whenever I read a draft of mine, I neither deleted the lines that made me yawn nor erased the paragraphs that I skimmed through; For editing meant I had to work.
If you are bored by your story, would others enjoy it? Even your family thrills at your narration of being hit by a scooter if you add punchlines.
Delete the uninteresting parts.
I will now talk about the technical tips which you can use to strengthen your writing and make it more visual.
8. Write proper nouns —
When I started writing, I used to write a lot of category names, such as a red car, street, city, food, necklace, dress, instead of using proper nouns. My pieces read boring, and even I couldn’t relate to them.
Now I write proper nouns with descriptions. A crimson-red Hyundai, the cobbled Rue Bonaparte, sultry Pondicherry, butter-toasted glistening buns, an Amrapali silver choker carved with motifs of peacocks and elephants, a black jumper suit.
Who cares about a plant? But everyone wants to admire the medley of pink, purple, and yellow bougainvillea hanging off the courtyard wall.
Don’t throw the category nameplate at the reader. Hold the item in your hand and show her. Else the reader would try to imagine the color of the car, and you would lose her at that moment. Or worse — she wouldn’t believe you and move on to the next story.
9. Don’t tell but show —
He left me. And I was sad so I cried.
Now read this.
As soon as I was about to bite into the avocado toast, I remembered how he used to peel the ripe avocados for me. I choked. My swollen eyes were brimming with tears, again.
Show the story to the reader rather than telling it plainly. That is what I have done using proper nouns above. Rather than talking about an object or action or scene, describe it using your senses. How you feel, what do you see, how does it smell, what does it sound like, et cetera.
Let us say you begin an article with this line, “San Pedro was a beautiful town, and I fell in love with it immediately.”
Now read this.
Crowds of stars shone above us, the snow-capped volcanoes watched us from a distance, and folk dancers whirled around in the moonlight. Indeed, San Pedro was stunning.
I had to take more effort to write the latter description. I had to think more. And the hard work shows, doesn’t it?
You can write an article which will tell your travel readers the 10 best things to do in San Pedro Chile but you cannot imprint the desert city in their mind if you haven’t taken any effort to bring it to life in front of them. But once you have been able to send your readers to a country at the other end of the world with your words, they will never forget your story and will come back for more.
So show not tell.
Insider Tip: The story should feel like a real scene and not a story. When a piece starts feeling like someone wrote it, something is wrong. Edit. Cut. Delete.
10. Use powerful adjectives to stir readers —
Read the following pairs of sentences and tell me which ones make you empathize with the subject of the sentence more.
I was very upset. I was heart-broken.
She looked really beautiful. She looked ravishing.
You look too tired. You look worn out.
The second sentence in each couple was more impactful, right?
Words such as very and really precede weak adjectives. Replace the frail adjectives with stronger ones and see how much more impactful your writing reads.
11. That Being Said, don’t overuse adjectives —
I walked by the side of beautiful, golden sunflowers that swayed with the cool breeze. The blue sea was silent and peaceful like it is before a storm.
I walked by the side of golden sunflowers that swayed with the breeze. The sea was silent and peaceful like it is before a storm.
In the second style of writing, I cut out the redundant adjectives cool and blue for breeze is always cool and the sea, if nothing said, is blue.
Sentences stuffed with adjectives stand out, and the reader feels that the writer is trying too hard. Add adjectives only if necessary. Else rewrite the sentence to show the effect you wanted to bring in with the adjective.
I walked by the side of the golden sunflowers that swayed with the breeze. I couldn’t help but stare at the sunflowers that looked like pink faces of new-born babies — Instead of using the word beautiful, I make the reader imagine beautiful baby faces.
The idea is to show what you have to say rather than putting in another word to convey the feeling.
12. Don’t hide behind redundant words and phrases —
Words —such as at least, absolutely, just, things, aspect, as a matter of fact, in fact, as far as I am concerned —dilute your writing.
I didn’t worry if Jamie would show up at the opera or not. In fact, I knew he was coming — I knew Jamie would show up at the opera. (Let the reader figure out if the protagonist would worry if Jamie didn’t show up).
Things to remember as a beginner freelance writer — Tips and tricks to remember as a beginner freelance writer.
As far as I am concerned, I don’t care if Anushka joins us for the dinner — I don’t care if Anushka joins us for dinner.
Redundant words and phrases are breaths and pauses that give you time to think while you write. But remember to take them out in the final draft else the reader would also pause, and you will lose her.
Imagine your story as a tight rope. If the rope slacks, the reader will fall right off. For the reader to balance herself on that rope, it has to be taut.
Don’t diminish your writing with redundant words. No stammering. No hiding. No playing from the fence. Jump right in your writing field and fight those battles. You have no other choice.
13. Don’t let the pronouns confuse the reader —
Ravi loved Akshara. Akshara fantasizes about Aditya. He told me that he didn’t love her as his best friend loved her.
Who is he here? The closest antecedent rule makes Akshay the “he” but we can’t be sure.
If there are two antecedent nouns to which the pronoun can refer to, use the noun or reframe the sentence.
Rewriting the above sentence to make it clear – Ravi loved Akshara. Akshara fantasizes about Aditya. Aditya told me that he couldn’t love her, as she was in love with his best friend.
14. Make sure you don’t fall for the dangling pronouns —
When I started writing, I was lazy and it showed in my writing.
What showed in my writing? That I was lazy? “It” was a dangling pronoun in the above sentence because it has no antecedent noun.
Don’t be that girl (or boy) who leaves her pronouns hanging loosely. Point your pronouns to their rightful owners. If you can’t, name the fellow.
15. Get rid of the ghost nouns now —
It is a privilege to have you here Vs We are privileged to have you here.
There is a cat in the cafeteria Vs A cat sneaked into the cafeteria.
There are many Hindu houses on this street Vs Many Hindu houses fringe this street on both sides.
The ghost nouns — it is, there is, there are — sneak into our stories from nowhere and haunt the beginner writers the most. But popular authors are also known to be guilty of leaving the ghost nouns intact in their stories.
Ghost nouns take the stage from the hero and throw the spotlight on someone called it is, there is, there are. But we don’t know these “there is” and “there are’ s” to care about them enough. We are not writing our story about them so why do they get to wear the protagonist’s cloak?
Even if you feel that beginning the sentence with “it is” makes your dialogue sound better, rewrite the sentence. Trust me. Period.
16. Don’t overuse a noun or a verb in a paragraph —
I love hiking. Hiking energizes me, and when I arrive at the summit, I feel at the top of this world. Hiking is one of the best adventure activities you can do on a trip.
The snippet above reads more like an essay written by a schoolboy in grade 6 and less like an adult’s reason to travel.
I love hiking. It energizes me, and when I arrive at the summit, I feel at the top of this world. Trekking is one of the best adventure activities you can do on a trip.
Practice using variations of a word.
17. Don’t let the auxiliary verbs overshadow the action verbs in your writing—
If you can say what you want to say in five words, never use ten. Let me show you how we stuff our writing with auxiliary verbs(to be, have, do) when we can write crispier.
I was walking down the aisle looking at him— I walked down the aisle looking at him.
I am in love with her — I love her.
Apart from the auxiliary verbs, we use many other feeble verbs.
Here are some examples –
Was, is, am, are — the forms of to be — makes the main verb weaker vs Auxiliary verbs weaken the main verb.
I have to go to the doctor vs I have to visit the doctor.
I am helping him find his wallet vs I am searching for his wallet with him.
He is making lunch for me vs He is cooking lunch.
I am thinking of a plan to increase my income vs I am planning to increase my income.
Verbs show action and move the story forward. Don’t let them limp when they can run. Use powerful words instead of weak ones.
18. Avoid writing in passive voice —
You can use the passive voice when you don’t know the doer of the action.
I was pushed on the railway platform and fell flat on my face.
But if Ritika pushed you, you should rewrite the sentence.
Ritika pushed me on the railway platform, and I fell flat on my face.
For if you say I was pushed by Radhika on the railway platform, you have taken away the impact of the action by shifting the subject-object.
I was told to shut up by the Geography teacher vs The Geography teacher yelled at me to shut up.
But you should definitely use the passive voice if you want to emphasize on the object on whom the action was done.
For example, if you are writing about the movie A Star is Born and the song Shallow’s effects on Lady Gaga’s career, you should say,
Lady Gaga was stunned by the overwhelming response of the audience on the song Shallow.
For if you say, the audience stunned Lady Gaga with their overwhelming response on song Shallow, you focus on the audience here instead of Lady Gaga, though she is the focus of the write-up.
The action takes the story ahead. If you use the passive voice, you throttle the action, and in turn, weaken the story.
Conclusion — you should avoid using passive voice when you know the doer unless you want to focus on the object.
19. Write in short sentences —
I was listening to Maria Popova’s podcast when Hari walked into the room, threw his keys on the coffee table, and dashed straight to me for we had fought yesterday, and we’re seeing each other for the first time since the fight.
I was listening to Maria Popova’s podcast. Hari walked into the room. He threw his keys on the coffee table and dashed straight to me. Anyone could tell that we were anxious to see each other after the fight on the day before.
Every author has her own writing style. Some write short sentences, and some like to write long lines. I write both, short and long.
If writing long sentences comes to you naturally, pen down long ones. But re-read these complicated sentences to make sure you use the right punctuations and that the sentences make sense. A misplaced comma in a long sentence is like a drop of lemon in milk, and you know that curdled milk isn’t milk anymore.
Short sentences became popular since Ernest Hemingway mastered them.
Dave looked down. He sat. He moved his collar. She came. They talked.
We even have a writing tool called Hemingway Editor which highlights the long, extra long, and complicated sentences in your text.
Try the Hemingway Editor and see what I am talking about. But while staying true to your style, don’t overcomplicate the sentences so that a reader has to read them multiple times to understand. Break a complex thought in two or three lines. Sometimes when a reader reads a lengthy-phrase, the impact of the many actions that you have cozied up in one line diminishes. That is when you should break the line and give each action its due space.
20. Break your writing into meaningful paragraphs —
When I read the first few drafts that I penned down as a beginner writer, I see long, arduous paragraphs, which sometimes even continue to a few pages. If I don’t feel like reading my own monotonous paragraphs, then would anyone else enjoy those congested pages which don’t even have a single white space to breathe in between? (research says that more white space in an article ensures a higher read ratio.)
A long paragraph demotivates the reader to read. I have seen myself skipping many lengthy paragraphs in interesting articles because I couldn’t gather the courage to read them. I was hungry for some empty space in between, and when I didn’t find any, I scrolled over without feeling ashamed.
The dictionary meaning of the paragraph is, “a distinct section of a piece of writing, usually dealing with a single theme.”
Break your ideas into paragraphs. Introduce the theme in the first sentence of the paragraph, explain the idea with one or a few more sentences, and then close the paragraph with a conclusive line.
If the theme is bound to run longer, cover it in a few paragraphs.
21. Always check the grammar of your writing before publishing—
I used to publish an article after proofreading it a few times and running it through a free version of Grammarly. But the free version wasn’t enough to foolproof my writing against missing and misplaced commas and overly-complex sentences or repeated words. To be a hundred percent correct, I bought a subscription to Grammarly and now edit all my writing with it.
You might not need a paid tool to improve your writing. But I didn’t understand how punctuations worked, especially in long sentences which I write often, and also needed help with other grammar mistakes. Now when I run my articles through Grammarly, I know I have a grammatically perfect piece. Grammarly has also helped me use synonyms of a repeated word, rewrite complex or monotonous sentences, and delete redundant words.
Now I won’t renew the Grammarly subscription because I can write error-free (almost) without depending on a grammar tool. But if you are a novice writer, you should think about a paid tool or any other robust Grammar tool which will find out even the most deceptive grammatical errors.
22. Don’t forget the background noises, while focusing on your protagonists—
Though you have to throw the spotlight light on the protagonists, you cannot leave the rest of the stage empty if you want to create a believable story. For one or two scenes can survive without background noise, but not the whole movie.
When I wrote a story about a tall typist dumping her unimpressionable boyfriend in a cafe near her office, I forgot to write about the group of college friends who watched them from an adjacent table. I ignored the waiter with a big coffee stain on his t-shirt who kept disturbing my hero and villain for another coffee. I silenced the honking and screeching that was blazing into the cafe through its windows.
When I read the breakup scene, even I couldn’t believe that the protagonists were sitting in a busy cafe. The scene looked unnatural. To avoid writing about the background noises, I should have closed them in a dark basement. But then also I would have had to write about the hidden cockroaches who were ready to sneak out of their crevices but just hushed inside until the breakup ended, the eery silence echoing through the basement, and the damp smell that wafted through the stuffed basement air.
Irrespective of wherever you go and whatever you write, remember that like every painting needs a canvas, every story needs background noises and the surrounding scene. As a new writer, we are so focused on writing about the main characters that we ignore where they stand, who is looking at them, what are they shy of, the trees that sway right in front of them, and the lavender air that they breathe.
Read your writing carefully to see if you have forgotten about the surrounding noises. If you have, rewrite the scene including what you see and feel and hear and taste around you.
This rule applies to all kinds of writing. Whether you write a short story or a travel memoir or 10 things to do in Thailand, you have to include the sensory details of the place to make your writing better and believable.
To tell a unique story that only you can tell, you have to write about the tiny things that only you can see and sense.
23. Read your drafts multiple times to make sure they have a story —
I proofread a draft many times to see if it tells a story. If I feel that a sentence is out of place or a paragraph should have been a little further down or a scene is taking the focus away from the main theme, I follow my intuition and edit.
Every writing piece should have a (striking) beginning and a believable end and a connecting bridge. A story is necessary for all forms of writing— even if you are copywriting, writing blog posts, publishing travel articles, or giving writing advice.
Word your thoughts seamlessly in a story.
Read how the travel blogger Jodi from LegalNomad talks why travel blogging also needs more storytelling.
24. Write and improve —
Now I am giving the cliched advice that writing more is the best way to improve your writing skills. When writing feels really hard and I want to give up, which still happens, I remind myself that I have to write to get past the fear of writing. Otherwise, I will never make it to the other end.
Write, my friend. With time, the words you write hold each other’s hands to climb like a vine in the beautiful garden where red roses of stories blossom and honeybees buzz on the marigolds of poems.
The mathematics of writing is simple: If you write more, you write better.
25. Have a friend or a writing colleague read your drafts—
You might be scared to show your writing to a friend or a partner, but you cannot improve your writing without listening to readers’ feedback.
How would you know if the mother was right to punish her daughter because she stole money for a new bridal dress even though she is not getting married any soon or if your travel article on Malaysia is too self-indulgent? Your readers will tell you. They are the ones you write for, or for at least one of them.
As Stephen King says in his book On writing, write in a closed room. But then when you feel happy with a draft, open the room and let your most trusted readers in.
Your first readers could be your partner or blogger friends or writers you met in a monthly meetup in Cubbon Park. But pick one or two readers you want to write for or who look like your ideal readers. Let them read your story once you are ready, listen to what they have to say without interrupting them by justifying your stance, ask them if the character was believable or if the essay read boring, and edit the story to weave in the part of the feedback that you agree with.
Don’t feel bad if your wife tells you she didn’t find your story believable. She is talking to the writer within you, and you have to accept the possibility that he might not have done his job properly.
If not, get to work, my writer friend.
26. Read —
Even if you don’t have time to write, read. If you read, your writing shows that you have read.
By reading you are introducing yourself to a myriad of writing styles, new words, interesting stories, various voices, a plethora of genres, and more. Like a chef cannot cook or understand flavors without tasting the ingredients and a whole lot of dishes and preparations from around the world, a writer cannot write without reading other writers’ work.
New writers don’t realize that books are their raw material. Never stop being hungry for books.
27. Live —
Most of your writing would be the essence of your living style. Don’t shut yourself in a room away from friends and family to write. Go to a bar. Meet friends for coffee. Call them at home. Bake a bread. Fire a barbeque. Marry. Divorce. Love. Get hurt. Wash laundry. Sweep the floor. Join a writing club. Run with a group. Take a walk in the woods. Swim at the community pool.
When you are enriched with experience, you can then close yourself in a room and write it all out. And when you feel that the brain is exhausted and flushed out, go out again.
If you want to write well, live like there is no tomorrow.
As a writer, you cannot cry or weep or fight or blame or get buried in bed over the misery in your life. As a writer, you need to write. You have to write. You have to find the experiences that sadden you and treat them as your prompts. Everything that makes you cry or laugh is a cue for you to write. You write.
You discover the power of words. Use them wisely. They trust you. Compete with yourself. Try to overdo yourself. When I started writing full-time, I wrote for a few days and then I was lost for the next few. When you start writing, a gush of emotions hit you. But our job is not to get swept away by them, but to hold onto our path and onto our pen and keep writing.
Though I have written since childhood, I never tried to improve my writing. I didn’t write for anyone else; I was writing for myself.
But now I look back and repent — why didn’t I try to improve my writing when I was younger? Why did I write for months in my journal when I could have published online and had a larger audience by now?
We may think about the past and wonder why didn’t we know better back then. But the truth is that we needed to pass that time the way we did to reach where we are. That invisibility was crucial to arrive at this transparency. Our life is our unique story. So don’t think about what you didn’t do.
Write, edit, read out loud, cut, delete, and repeat. That is all there is.
Do you have any other tips for novice writers to improve their writing skills? Please let me know in the comments.
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