Thinking of becoming a writer? Even if you already are one, sometimes it’s useful to go back to the basics to make sure you are doing all you can to be successful. Below is a list I made up of 10 tips that, as a writer, have helped me tremendously. Hope this helps you too!
1. Keep a Notebook
So many ideas and inspirations can come into your head when you’re least expecting them, let alone when you’re ready to write them down! That is where a notebook comes in handy. For some, nighttime is the best time for the breeding of ideas, and without a notebook, those ideas could be lost! Although I keep a few notebooks, I tend to use my phone a lot to jot down some ideas or scenes that form in my head when I’m out and about. Just remember to keep your notebook beside you when you are writing so you don’t miss out on including those ideas in your book!
2. Get Visually Inspired
Sometimes the best ideas can be drawn from looking at a beautiful picture or scene. That is what the internet is useful for! But don’t let browsing through pictures turn into procrastinating on writing your book! Look at pictures that have to do with whatever subject you are writing about and take notes on what ideas you get from the pictures. Another way to be inspired visually is by going for a short outing, a nature walk, or just going outside and sitting in your backyard. If you are in the right mindset, the ideas will come on their own as you look around you.
3. Experience Everything as a Writer
As is the case with me, and many other writers, inspiration and the development of our stories don’t always happen when we are thinking about them. Watching a movie, or listening to music can both be done without thinking of the book you are writing. Later, when you sit down at your desk, you may want to change one of your characters to be more like the one in the movie, or that one scene to produce more of the emotions you felt while listening to that song. Whatever you experience during the day, there will always be something new you can apply to your book. Your life and experiences don’t have to be separate from your writing. If you’re writing what about moves you, it will move your readers. So, if you experience something that moves you, write about it.
4. Write in a Space that Works for You
Now, as a writer, you can write anywhere you’d like. Your location shouldn’t stop you; however, sometimes writer’s block can be avoided by simply working somewhere else, or cleaning up you work space. A cluttered desk can bog down your brain, so be sure your work-space is always neat and tidy! Another thing that can help is finding a nice coffee shop to sit in, perhaps with a hot chocolate and donut. You will look very scholarly to everyone else if you do this, and being in a different environment will refresh your mind and make you better able to write.
5. Listen to Music
Listening to music while writing can be a lifesaver! The momentum of the music will keep your fingers moving and give you the emotion you need to write a certain scene. Before writing it down, let your scene play in your head a few times while listening to the same song and let it develop. Instrumentals are the best for writing and are super easy to find on the internet. The scene written to music will give the readers the same emotions as the emotions you felt while listening to the song. Music can give your scene more depth and feeling–just be sure to add to the scene afterwards as, the faster you type, the more could be missed from you book. You don’t want it too fast-paced or choppy!
6. Learn How to Draw
This doesn’t mean that writers must also be artists to be successful! Yet, as an artist, there have been countless ways in which this skill has helped my writing. Keeping track of your characters’ outfits and certain objects in your story can embellish your descriptions and avoid inconsistencies. Drawing can also help with describing poses you might be struggling with. Suppose one of your characters high-kicks another character’s jaw, while simultaneously punching him in the chest–and tripping him with the other leg. Not only is this highly improbable, but it would look weird. What I’m trying to say with this is that, drawing a pose can often reveal glitches in positioning that will need to be fixed. You don’t have to be Michelangelo–but learning the basics of how to draw can come in handy for your book.
7. Take Care of Yourself
As when studying, your brain needs time to rest and recharge. It’s as simple as going for a five-minute walk, getting a snack, or taking a nap. You can’t write forever, so take breaks, breath, stay hydrated, eat, sleep. Take care of you body and leave room in your day for exercise. If your body isn’t happy, your brain won’t be happy, and this will reflect in your writing. What you do to yourself is what others will get from you. Be kind to yourself and keep your mind healthy.
8. Know Thyself
This is probably one of the most important points for writing, and for your life. Just think about it. Someone who has written a 300-page book has a lot of themselves contained in that book. The essence of your writing is part of who you are. Wouldn’t you like to know who that is? Regardless of what you think and believe, all of it will be within your writing, and, if your beliefs and opinions are inconsistent and don’t have any foundation, neither will your writing. What is the theme of your book? What message is it sending to its readers? Are you directing readers towards revelation and hope, or destruction and despair? Your writing is you. Know yourself and your writing will not be in vain.
9. Don’t be Alone
Your journey as a writer does not have to be traveled alone! Find like-minded writers and start a club! Talk about your stories, share ideas, and hold each other accountable! Help each other out! Writers can be found anywhere. Find a writer’s blog to follow and make friends with other writers. The community is stronger than the individual, so stay connected with other writers like you and let them motivate you and inspire you to become a better writer.
Anyone who writes is a writer. That means that if you aren’t writing, that fifth-grade student working on a 100-word essay is more of a writer than you. Making up stories in your head is not enough. Write them down. Set aside a few hours with no distractions, no breaks, and no stopping, and just write. You are capable of doing it. Sorry to end this so bluntly, but none of these tips will matter if you don’t write. So do it. Show everyone and yourself that you have what it takes.
Thank you for joining me on this writing journey!
The Dragonfly Net