I had a friend once who I told I wanted to be a writer. He said, “Don’t say ‘I want to be a writer,’ say ‘you are a writer’. You write everyday don’t you?” I replied yes. “Then you are a writer. Just keep writing every day. Practice.”
That was the first time someone ever told me to start calling myself a writer until I became one. He was right technically. I write every day all the time and what do writers do? They write all the time. I just wasn’t calling myself a writer because I felt I had to be published to be considered a writer. How wrong I was.
His little words of encouragement gave me the confidence to call myself a writer and by calling myself a writer I started acting like one. I started to take my writing more seriously and really focusing on making a book which I am doing now. I decided to share that story and these 3 tips to help you become a more effective writer.
1. Discover Your Uniqueness
Many potential Stephen King wannabe’s try to write like their favorite writer. I mean exactly like their favorite writer when in reality they can’t. Not because they’re not good enough to mimic another’s writing but because every one’s writing style is different and it can never be 100% duplicated. Become comfortable in your style of writing and never feel like you have to compare your writing with someone else’s because guess what? It’s not going to be the same. And that’s a good thing. Your writing style is like your fingerprint. Only you can be the master of your writing and only you can do it best. No, not everyone is going to like your writing because everyone liking everything isn’t possible. Once you become comfortable to distance yourself from imitating someone else’s style and embracing your own you will notice your unique voice come alive in your writing.
2. Finish Something
I’ve been writing since I was nine years old and in that time I’ve completed about three stories with a complete beginning, middle and end. I have started and stopped writing about 10 potential stories that I never finished because a new idea would pop in my head and I would start over. When I did finish my mini novel called stop the wedding, when I was 12 years old, I was so proud of myself. It gave me the confidence to start writing to finish another book all because I was able to say, ‘I did it’. Finish what you start because if you keep giving up and moving on to a different story because you think the new idea is better than you’d never get done. Of course new ideas are going to pop up as you write but instead of starting over brand new, you the new idea and incorporate it into the story you already started.
3. Write About Something You Have A Passion For
Writing a novel takes a lot of time, effort and energy that you could be spending with your family and friends. You’re investing all of this when you’re writing your novel so you better make sure it’s something you’re passionate about or you’ll lose interest and all that you’ve invested would be wasted when you give up. Don’t have your time wasted but stick to what you like even if the topic may seem unpopular. You never know. Think about it. If you have a strong passion for a writing topic like how to properly grow your grass seeds you make think no one is interested but in reality people buy grass seeds everyday and would probably love to read a book about properly growing them. Write what you love because you’re the one writing it.
4. Learn From Other Authors
Every author struggled at some point wondering if their writing was good enough including me. I thought if someone didn’t immediately say ‘oh, I love your writing this is perfect!’ Or something similar then I’d feel like I’d have to improve 100 times to really please them. But as I said before not everyone will love your writing and once you learn this and move on you can focus like the other authors and write your book and love it.
5. Remember To Write
You’re a writer so writing is important. I don’t always feel like writing but I know that if I stopped for days I’d feel guilty and have that insane itch to reach for a pen and paper to write the next creative thing that pops in my head. Writing for writers is like brushing your teeth. You need to do it every day and if you don’t you feel bad or guilty or not like yourself. I’m not saying that you have to write two pages of hardcore writing but any fiddle-faddle writing to keep you going would do. Writing makes perfect and the more you write the more comfortable you are with writing in your real voice and making your work come alive and jump off the page.