Writing is like dancing.
Just as there are trained dancers, there are trained writers. Some writers learned to write in school, are self-taught, or a little bit of both. Although we each have a story to tell and can essentially call ourselves writers once we get that story down on paper or a computer screen, there are essential steps you can take to become an even stronger and more effective writer. The first one is to...
Embrace Your Authentic Voice
The key to being an excellent writer is knowing how to unitize and incorporate your own voice. Using your voice requires you to have a level of understanding about who you are and the story you are wanting to tell. In order to reach this level of understanding, you must learn to be true and honest with yourself first and then with others, which includes your readers. In the age of social media, for a long time curated images and stories have been the thing to do. Only share it if you look your best and sound your best. Only write super positive captions and post super smiley or sexy photos. That is what social media culture has told us we needed to do to get the attention and approval of others. Yet now, in recent years, authenticity is what people both prefer and embrace. Each of us are beautifully multifaceted and the stories we write should reflect the layers and authenticity of your own voice. Being authentic in your writing is better than trying to sound like even the most prolific author any day.
Each of us are beautifully multifaceted and the stories we write should reflect the layers and authenticity of your own voice.
Make the Scene Come Alive
Detail, detail, detail. Details are key to making your writing come alive. Whether you are writing about the moment you knew you were in love or the first time you rode a plane by yourself, details are everything. Sometimes when you are writing your own story, you may wonder how important certain details are. You may think to yourself, "this is meaningful to me, but why would anybody else care?" The reader needs and enjoys the details because it helps them better understand who you are and the story you are telling. You must paint a picture for the reader by adding colors. Colors of emotions, dialogue, and actions. Just like a black and white photo, when a story has no color, it is absolutely noticeable.
Know When to Take a Break
Writer's block happens; it is often a part of the process. Instead of trying to avoid it, accept it. Sometimes when writer's try to avoid writer's block, they end up writing simply for the sake of writing, which means without focus, intent, and expression. The writing becomes robotic. This is why I recommend to my writers that when they feel stuck and unable to write, step away from their manuscript and embrace another form of creativity. This can look like writing in your journal, doing a one page fiction or creative nonfiction writing activity, reading, or even people watching. The goal is to keep your creative juices flowing by being present and letting life inspire you.
Sometimes when writer's try to avoid writer's block, they end up writing simply for the sake of writing, which means without focus, intent, and expression. The writing becomes robotic.
Write Now and Perfect it Letter
When you write, focus on getting your story out. Paint a picture. Add details. Incorporate dialogue. Include tone and inflections. Make the story come alive, just get it down on paper (or your laptop 🙂). Getting caught up on writing in the most perfect, most poetic, most grammatically correct way, can you get you stuck on one sentence for fifteen minutes. This can take you our of your creative flow and make it harder to get back into it. It is better to write as much as you can in the best and most clear way you are able to in the moment, and then when you have finished writing your manuscript, a SBP editor will clean it up and turn your authentically written manuscript to a professional, authentically written book.