By Guest Blogger Robbi Hess
You’ve long dreamed of being a writer. You’ve read a lot about how to go about becoming a writer but it still seems out of your reach. You have chosen your niche – you’re going to be a pet blogger. You’re a lifelong lover of pets and have one or more of your own. So, how can you go about becoming a great writer? Well, it won’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort but if you’re looking to build a niche, become an expert and be recognized for what you do and what you know, the benefits are worth the hard work.
Whether you’re looking to write for newspapers, magazines or blogs (or even fiction) here are some tips to help you hone your craft and achieve your dreams of greatness!
- Read. Read. Read. If you don’t read you can’t become a good writer. If you don’t know good writing when you see it, how can you expect to put forth good writing? You can’t.
- Write. Write. Write. Yes, you need to write every day to hone your craft and perfect your skills. The more you write, the better your words will be. It’s a skill like any other. You can’t be a concert pianist without practice, nor can you be a great writer without practice.
- Grab ideas, all ways and always. Never leave home without a notebook and pencil or a recording device (or even your smartphone in which you can jot notes). If an idea hits you, write it down. Ideas are elusive and as hard to grasp as a wisp of smoke.
- Get into the routine. Decide which part of the day is best for your writing and grab onto it. Make a date with yourself and stick to it. Let friends, family and colleagues know that this is your writing time. Having a writing ritual will help your mind stay in writing mode.
- Kick the perfectionist to the curb. If you’re like me, you have a hard time writing “just anything.” Some days though, I just have to write junk and fix it later. The idea is to just get the words and ideas on paper. You can massage them into greatness later.
- Pre-plan what you will write about. Say for example you read an article that piqued your interest and you want to expand on the topic and make it your own. Read the article a couple of times and let it roll around your head for a while and then when you sit down to write it should fall out of your thoughts and onto the keyboard.
- Know what kind of writer you are. Do you want to write humor? Are you known for humor or will it be a struggle? Are you a “just the facts, Ma’am?” type of writer? Once you know who you are it will be easier to know what to write.
- Spare your words. It’s easy to use “all of your words” when you’re writing, but don’t. If you’re writing about a sunset, be spare with the words, it will paint a better picture. Get rid of your adverbs. In his book, “On Writing” Stephen King wrote, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Lose the adverbs and adjectives and go for stronger words.
- Don’t write in a vacuum. Find a trusted writing partner – or a reading partner – with whom you can share your writing. You’re looking for honest criticism.
- Get out there. Now that you’ve decided to become a writer you have to put your words “out there.” If you write only for yourself and your cat, you’ll never achieve your writing dream.
Patience and perseverance pay off. Once you’re writing and you’re ready to share your word with the world, look to Facebook and other social media outlets to help spread the word about your words!