So, I’ve been writing books and stories since I was about eight, and, since then, I’d like to think I’ve come a long way. I mean, I used to write about unicorns and tacos; I hope I can do better than that after almost nine years. Because pretty much my whole childhood and teen years have revolved around writing, imagination, and creativity, I’ve done many things to help myself get better without even noticing it.
Write every day. Simple enough, right? Just form words and put them in beautiful sentences in a journal or on a napkin, or maybe on a blog. Since you want to be a writer, I would think you like writing, at least I hope you do, so this task should be nothing.
This is for everyone in school, pay attention in your English classes. You should probably pay attention in all your classes, but if you’re going to listen in at least one class, make it your English class. You have to learn when and when not to use commas and the significance of alliteration. Wen you study books, pay attention to the way the author speaks through their writing; learn their voice and their techniques because if you’re new to writing, you most likely don’t have a voice yet and you need to find it. Give your teacher your best work for every question and essay so they can give you feedback, or tell them you want to be a writer and have them read what you’ve written. They know what they’re talking about and you need to learn from it. I have kept all of my best essays and every writing journal I’ve done since I’ve gotten into writing, but in my sophomore year I had a great teacher who always helped me and told me how amazing my writing was, and it really empowered me. I kept the journal we did all our work in and she wrote a notes throughout that made me feel a lot better about my writing and about myself in general. Embrace your teachers, but maybe not physically because some of them may not like that.
Keep a journal. Journals can keep your thoughts organized (and we learned last week how important organization is). It will also help you with the first task of writing every day because even jotting down a short blurb of what you did throughout the day will help you write.
Vocab word of the day. How many people laughed at the thought of a word of the day? I know I used to; it was only the nerds who did that kind of stuff. Well, as an official nerd, I’d like to say that I was right. But I’d still like you try this. I wrote down a word and a definition for every day of the next few months, though I originally started this to prepare for the SAT. You could also take the easy way out and buy a word of the day calendar or something. No matter how you do it, it will help enhance your vocabulary and add some variety to your writing.
Read anything you can get your hands on. Most of you will already be accomplishing this task, but I want to put it on here anyways because I cannot stress enough how important reading is for writers. One quote that I really love is from Stephen King, and he said, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” He is so incredibly right and there is no way to avoid it. Exposing yourself to different types and styles of writing will enhance your writing without you even realizing it. The differences in writing between “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Twilight” are so different, even though they are both from the first person and involve pretty depressed teenagers, and by reading them both, you’ll help create your voice. But don’t limit yourself to Holden Caulfield and Bella Swan, read about Frodo or Bilbo and their adventures, or Percy Jackson and Annabeth and how they save Olympus. Read the book you found at the book store two years ago for fifty cents.
Change up your writing. If you’re a girl, try writing from the perspective of a boy and vice versa. If you live in sunny California, try writing about someone who lives in rainy England. Nothing can hurt your writing and you’ll only get better. Challenge yourself and write outside of your comfort zone. If you want to be an author of fantasy or science fiction, you’ll be writing about a lot stranger things than the point of view of a boy. Mix it up and never get comfortable.
I’ll probably do another post like this in the future, but that’s it for now! Thank you for reading and I hope you found this helpful. Leave a comment down below if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, if you’ve ever done any of these, or if there’s other things you do to help you write better.