Would you say that writing is a gift we are given or a skill we learn?
Well, if you ask me; I’ll say writing is a both a gift and a skill.
No matter how gifted one is in writing, if they don’t develop and use that gift, they’ll never be excellent at it. In the same way; with the right training, one can learn to write excellently.
Looking back, the first time I remember loving to write was in my Junior Secondary School. I used to write letters to my friends and I also loved writing fictional stories.
I can recall vividly the excitement with which I looked forward to writing those essays in past question papers in Junior and Senior West African School Certificate examination (WAEC) especially those that ended with “I wish I had known” or “My first day at school” or “The most memorable day of my life.”
I simply loved the idea of being able to imagine and create my own characters, dress them up and make them do what I want. At the end up, I always came up with a good story, I think.
Now that I have grown past that stage, I have come to realize that writing is one skill that needs to be constantly used and sharpened. It is said that the more you write, the more you know how to write and I can’t agree less.
Whether it is a blog, a book or a work of fiction, I found out five things that are foundational to being a good writer.
So today, I’ll be sharing these five tips I have learned over the years that have helped me stay on course.
The Right Motive
Your motive for writing will help shape your interests and will most likely determine what inspires you.
Your motives will also get tested in the course of time. So as you set out to write, make sure you are writing for the right reasons.
A writer should never be too busy to write. There were times I ‘abandoned’ writing because I got busy but I realized that I was only giving myself unnecessary excuses.
You have to be consistent in your writing. Don’t always leave thoughts in your head; get a pen and paper and put it down or in these days, a notepad in your device will always be handy.
If you keep making excuses, you will loose touch with writing. But if you keep at it one day at a time, you will get better.
Laziness suffocates the flare for writing.
Read, a lot
Every good writer you see is a good reader and they read wide too. The beautiful thing about reading is that you can travel the world, see new places, meet people and learn cultures right in the comfort of your room with you head tucked into the rusty brown pages of a good book.
Reading is an inevitable art every writer must imbibe. Not just reading out of compulsion but really loving to read passionately.
The more you read other people’s works, the better you are at writing yours.
Have a style
It’s good you carve a niche for yourself with your writing. Don’t try to sound like anybody but maintain your voice. I really love the fact that writing enables one to express his/herself in uncountable ways and in an unrestricted manner.
When writing, especially fiction; feel free to engage your imagination and even outdo yourself.
There is a whole lot of room in the writing world that you can’t afford to be regular.
Be loud, yet soft. Be funny, yet firm. Choose your style and own it!
Hone your skill/gift
Whether you are naturally gifted or you learnt to write, you must continuously develop yourself. Take up classes that will help you write better, learn more about editing, new words and their usage and improve your grammar.
There is never an end to learning and becoming a better writer. I bet it’s a lot of work, but the satisfaction is priceless.
Let’s get to work! You won’t regret it.
Cheers to the beautiful week!