In my opinion, writing is an art form: creative and free flowing, allowing voice and melody and personality to shine through the words on the page. The freedom to express yourself in whatever way that you please is alluring and captivating. I feel as though writing provides a plethora of opportunities and experiences to be had, and aids in expanding my knowledge and understanding.
Many of my writing mentors and teachers have commented on my ability to integrate a very specific voice into my writing, making it personal and unique. As I wrote, keeping the idea of voice in the back of my head, I discovered that having a strong and specific voice is one thing that comes simply from writing, itself. Working towards voice, or focusing on it specifically while writing actually hinders your ability in the long run. When it becomes a chore, or a specific, monotonous goal, (similar to better comma usage), a choppy, unnatural sound will push through and take over your writing. Voice has to be natural, improving and becoming stronger with each and every piece of writing that you take on. The more you write, the more unique and melodic your specific writing will become.
One of the biggest issues that I have encountered whilst writing is writing the first word, phrase, or sentence… where do I start? Often finding that initial push and motivation to just start is the most difficult aspect of writing. One method that has proven to be quite successful for me over the years has been simply starting. Generally speaking, I have no desire to put words on the page that are unimportant or not grammatically sound; however, when attempting to begin writing, I find that it is just important to start. Allow messiness and lack of direction because organization and direction can come later. Once you begin, the words seem to just flow out, not allowing anything to be in their way. First phrases or sentences can be returned to and fixed, so just begin.
I have never been the most eloquent speaker, always tripping over my words or being unable to find the correct words to express exactly what I desire. However, when I write, I have power over every aspect of my thought-into-word process: formulating the ideas, attempting different words and phrases to get them across sufficiently, and displaying my ideas as well thought out, intelligent forms of opinion or fact. In the writing world, I can rewrite my sentences and paragraphs as many times as I desire, only showing them to the world once I believe that they are everything that I want them to be. I feel in control, and powerful as I write, as I am able to be the master and director of every word that I put on a page.
I have been taught, over and over, that words are my tools, and I can do with them as I please. There are over 218,000 words in this English language: over 218,000 tools for me to utilize to speak my mind. The challenge of writing truly intrigues me. Each form of sentence variation and each poetic clause hold so much potential. The meaning, the form, and even the artistic aspect, all join together to create endless opportunities.
I strongly believe that for someone to be good at writing, at least some aspect of it needs to be enjoyable. For writing to become a monotonous chore, or just another assignment to hand in removes the intriguing and inspiring aspects of it. To write well, write because you want to, and write completely for yourself. Often I will allow drafts of blog posts to sit unedited, unread, and unpublished for weeks on end. They are enjoyable and exciting to return to and work on, and I allow them to be my little personal projects before they are available to the world. Having the ability to successfully write to specific audiences is highly essential to academic writing; however, when writing is a hobby, keeping your readers out of the process can actually be quite enjoyable. Write entirely for yourself, and not to impress or please others. Allow your opinions to be portrayed loud and proud, as if you were writing for your eyes only. Let your writing be solely yours before it becomes anyone else’s.
Something that I have been taught by one of my writing mentors is that experimentation is essential to improving writing. Sticking to the processes, methods, and forms of writing that you know best is comfortable, but almost never challenging. To expand your skill and genuinely find what your favourite kind of writing is, trial and error is definitely the key. Another extremely important strengthening tool is editing, feedback, and constructive criticism; if possible, having a more experienced, exceptional writer read your work and point out things that you can change and improve can help immensely. By pin pointing weaknesses that can be focused on and corrected, your editor/critic will be able to aid you in smoothing out the rough edges of your writing, allowing you a higher level of competence and, therefore, confidence.
Although I’m no expert, open-mindedness seems to also be an essential quality for successful writers to uphold. However, having a strong sense of personal beliefs and values holds just as much priority and relevance. Opinionated pieces of writing often hold the reader’s attention, allowing them a peek into the writers mind and drawing them in with the uniqueness of the stance and opinion. However, the writers must also be willing to hear out and respect other’s opinions as well. So much can be learned by listening to other’s ideas and beliefs; having the maturity and respect to appreciate and be considerate of them, whilst still upholding your own opinion, will only be beneficial to you in the long run. In conversation, I generally much prefer speaking to people who have had vastly different experiences than I have, and who stand by very different opinions than I do. It is both fascinating, and helps me to improve my writing by increasing my knowledge of the world.
I love writing, and here’s a little bit about why, and a few tips that I have seen help me to improve.
Thanks for reading,