I’ve written here before about “tips” or suggestions for new writers. I thought of two very important tips you need to be aware of if you want to succeed as a new writer.
You’re free to take notes if you like, but I doubt you’ll pick up much that’s really new to you, perhaps just something you hadn’t thought about it the context of writing before. So here goes:
1. If you want to keep the creativity fresh and the ideas flowing, you need to read a lot as well as write a lot. Read fiction, read non-fiction, read jar labels and cereal boxes. Make a good newspaper website or information portal like Yahoo! the home page in your browser and read through a couple of news stories every time you go online. If you’ve got the “right stuff” to be writing, call yourself a writer, or whatever, you probably by nature are a voracious reader.
But it’s worth a reminder — read, read, and read some more. When you aren’t writing, turn off the TV and read.
2. Ignore a great deal of what you’ve read and heard about writing when you set down and put your fingers to the keyboard and start writing. Perhaps that sounds a bit bizarre. But the more you write and the longer you write, the more you will realize that writing is a frightfully PERSONAL thing to do. No one can give you the best tip, the key to success, the Master Plan you need as a writer. You have to find it yourself.
I do not mean you should forget what you have been taught about basic English grammar and writing fundamentals. If you have been unfortunate enough to miss getting some “hardcore” grammar training, get a good style manual, a good English grammar and/or composition textbook, and read them with determination. Study through them. Stay on top of the fundamentals and editors will love you for it.
See? I told you these “tips” weren’t going to be revolutionary, didn’t I?
Now get busy and write something that’ll make us all proud.