Most would agree that writing is a grueling process because of its complex methods, rules, and forms – that’s why most writers construct their personal process to alleviate and get rid of what we call writer’s block.
However, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Writers tend to go through a meticulous step-by-step process such as brainstorming, researching, drafting, editing, proofreading, and the like. So, it is inevitable that writing takes persistence and dedication.
While writing, it is crucial to consider these tips to make things free-flowing, and sooner or later, boost your confidence and simplify your writing process:
- Make a precise plan.
As we are trained and used to strategizing & brainstorming what type of content we must produce, establishing a precise plan increases cohesiveness and consistency throughout your piece. As most writers would say, prior to writing, you must begin with the end in mind to know where you’re heading – in other words, be clear of your end result.
Constructing the flow of your story, article, or prose beforehand will direct you to come up with ideas, its impact to the reader, and think of possible back stories and events that you may incorporate in your piece.
Hack: Utilize key messages such as the what, why, where, when, and how (known as the four wives & one husband). This method will help you guide you through your thought process.
- Research your topic!
Do your research. We couldn’t stress this enough. Whether or not you are knowledgeable on the topic you’re going to write about, accompanying facts will help your piece be credible. You may go to your local library or gather information online.
You may use the following web directories:
– Google. Definitely the prominent search engine. Google is loaded with articles, blogs, and even multimedia stuff such as videos, images, even scholarly research!
– Google Scholar. The go-to website for scholarly research & articles. If you aim your piece to be backed with history, facts, and academic research, you may want to try this search engine.
– Bing. Other than serving itself as a search engine, it has a rewards program for users to obtain while searching.
– Ekoru/Ecosia. This is an environment-friendly web directory, claiming that every search helps animal welfare & tree planting. Approximately more than half of its proceeds directly goes to charitable causes advocating for climate action.
When doing research, take note of the important details, summarized points, and remarkable information (add the sources as well). What you could do after notetaking is to reflect on them and write them in your own words. This is useful because it helps us gather new knowledge!
- The title says it all!
As much as possible, we would want to make our title engaging – as well as attention-grabbing to increase clicks and engagement on our written works. Make your title short but simple, and it must encompass the idea of the piece in 5-10 words.
- Stick to your plan.
To enforce productivity and fusion, you might want to fabricate your writing habits and integrate them while writing.
You may even create a schedule when writing specific parts of your story/piece, e.g. writing the summary could go first, then the lead, then the ending could go last.
- Feel free to add your own style.
Even with these writing tips, ultimately, you’ll be able to devise a personal writing style.
If you aim to create your own writing style, mind mapping could help in organizing your ideas and thoughts to familiarize the flow of your insights.
It’s not bad (even recommended) to read other works and observe their writing style and acquire inspiration from, but developing your writing voice supports in expressing your story and makes it more genuine.
Hack: If you’re writing a story, bring it to a complete and full circle.
- Less is more.
A common error committed by writers is writing excessive paragraphs, and it may be irritating for the reader. Avoid breaking your ideas into mini-paragraphs when the though can be articulated just the same in only one sentence or paragraph.
Take into consideration the KISS (keep it short and simple) rule. Adding a ton of verbiage on your written work will result the reader to discontinue reading your work & search for another book/article related to your topic.
- Grammar is essential.
More than anything, we all care about good grammar, and it is important. Just like the holistic writing process, good grammar indicates that you are writing with professionalism and authority – meaning you are knowledgeable on your piece & aim for your readers to understand your work.
- Read & revise.
According to William Zinsser, an American writer, rewriting is the “essence of writing well”, and we could vouch for that.
Revising includes reconnecting with and restructuring your piece. Here, you’ll have to omit pretentious words, check for present errors, organize your composition, and look out for conflicting perspectives, i.e., the first person point-of-view should be consistent all throughout, vice versa.
If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or relative read your work and criticize it, take note of their comments and suggestions and hopefully incorporate them in your succeeding pieces.
Rather than sticking to the tough process of revising as time-consuming & relatively frustrating, think of it as a gift.
- Stay on the topic.
As mentioned earlier, consistency is key to keep your piece flowing in the right manner. Keeping in touch with the movement of your story & end goal will establish a structured, well-composed piece.
- Most importantly, enjoy writing!
You learn to write by writing. Being interested and committed to your topic will result in interesting pieces. Just the thought of being able to write an organized piece is deemed a success!
Along with these tips, it’s also advisable to:
– read books (no specific genre), articles, along with others
– listen to podcasts
– search for at least five unfamiliar words every day
– engage yourself in writing prompts
It is noteworthy to mention that writing (regardless if fiction or nonfiction) doesn’t require you to be a great writer. It’s fine if your thoughts may come off as scattered and not even good at all, because those who start from scratch originate their writing prowess in due course.
Writing is indeed a painstaking process; you have to keep in mind the principles and methods of writing. These may come off as overwhelming, but with incorporating these tips, you’ll eventually improve your writing skills.