There is a hidden author in you, this could be the week when you start your globally-awaited journey towards being the novelist that God wanted you to become...thoughts like these will continue to traffic your mind but the fact remains that like most things in life, at least crafts that need every nuance of the trade to be baked with extreme effort, Writing is not that easy!
ACCEPTANCE - swallow it if you want to become a better professional writer
You have to wake up and download the reality - there is a huge difference between having a great vocabulary, being bestowed with amazing creativity, and translating thoughts into words. When it comes to more professional, data-driven writing, the challenge is even harder. Here, you need to mold yourself and many times, the subject might be outright hateful and you will feel like dropping the ball. Some people, who can just about write a bit, assume that just because they can get paid to blog a bit or author social media snippets, they are on their way to becoming a bestselling author. There are some overnight, fluke & fate-fueled author success stories but largely, it takes a lot more than a polished formal education or awesome college degrees to write well. There is a massive difference between penning a few paragraphs and writing consistently well, along with ensuring the writing is engaging enough.
UNINTERRUPTED: not the usual tips to become a better writer
Here, you need to understand that drafting an email at the workplace that makes the bosses ponder & smile, writing a love note, or penning an autobiography - all of these are very different forms of writing. Ask a professional writer from a digital agency and things seem even more perplexing. However, there is one common factor, one skill that is common across all forms of writing, and I mean, writing well - you should be fluent in connecting thoughts, sentence structure, and sustain connectivity with the subject. You have to hone your skill to the extent that this comes naturally to you, organic enough to the extent that you don't need to stop in between and remind yourself that the last few sentences might have strayed away from the subject. Most amateurs tend to use their mind for collecting thoughts, turning them into words, and then creating a supply chain from the mind to the fingers. This usually takes time and does not move in a fluid, spontaneous manner. This is not what you want! There should be no downtime when you are writing. Everything that you want to say, express, compile, or communicate should be instantly put on the canvas, and the canvas can be an A4 sheet or a Word document. Writing well consistently needs this mechanism to function like one smooth machine, even on days when the concentration levels are not that high. Writing for the web is very different from the art of creating a script or plotting a movie idea or authoring books but even these mediums, no matter how creatively superior, cannot afford someone who takes ages to mature a thought into something that can be punched on the laptop. The ability to write should be as natural an instinct as sweating - the mind, the fingers, and keyboarding efforts should become one cohesive unit, and only small gaps to refuel your mental reserves should create temporary pauses.
VERSATILITY: usually not counted in best methods for becoming a better writer
One of my teammates once told me that it was weird that how I could write about a dot, a dot that was nowhere to be seen but still I could story-it-up, mold it into a product description, or get all philosophical about it without taking long sips of coffee or looking bewildered. Does that make me a great writer? NO. Does it make me a good content developer? YES. Does this mean I can write better than you? Probably NOT. Does it mean I have the core skill that it takes to turn into a full-time author, a children's book developer, or a brand story-writer? YES! All forms of writing need a lot of practice before you can get anywhere close to having a style or tone that has some degree of uniqueness. This individuality in your style comes after having practiced the art across many types of mediums, after having exhausted all the writing tools - classical, contemporary, vintage, and emerging.
ODD SKILLS: usually not shared in online guides to become a good writer
I often share with my team that how training myself to type faster was necessary to maintain the flow in my writing. Eventually, I had to join a shady-looking typewriting school to ensure my typing speed could keep up with what my mind was pouring, relentlessly. I had to time myself for the maximum output per minute. Here, the outcome that mattered was creating a copy that looked much, much better than a shabbily put together first draft, grammatically good, if not perfect, and not committing more than a couple of typos. While the mind collates visuals, creates conclusions, and provides the assurance of having understood a subject, your writing shouldn't be stalled - like I said, all of these activities or sub-processes need to gel well, blend in, not camouflage but work like a Mercedes model that might go out-of-production a decade from now but will always rev-up even after years of negligent handling. And yes, something as basic as smooth typing abilities contribute towards becoming a better writer.
HANDLING THE UGLY: skills professional content developers should possess
I had to torture myself to get to a point where, unless the topic was too technically specific, I could write about it in some way with negligible guidance and still, the copy was never horrible. When your blog or article about anything that you despise or don't connect within the remotest way is cerebrally digestible and cannot be called "crap" at the editing table, you have done well. You can now write better. However, you are not anywhere near excellence! You have to pay your dues, digging your fingers into the keyboard because there is no other way around it. Even if you have the gift of glib, even if you graduated from the best institutions on the planet, there is nothing that guarantees a delectable finesse in your writing.
DUMP PERFECTION: contradicts the usual, top tips to become a better writer
You will never be a perfect writer for the web because the audience remains largely susceptible to repeatedly changing its perception. There are very few inborn abilities that can help you flourish in a content development profile - it needs constant exposure to cynical reviews which push you harder towards banishing some habits and inculcating new practices. What about the perfect day to start writing with seriousness and with increasing regularity? There is no such thing. There is no ideal day to start practicing. The most horrible days weeks are equally good enough. In fact, on days when the psychological fuel is rather low, try to challenge yourself into writing about something.
PLENTY OF RAINY DAYS: stop searching for easy ways to become a better writer
Another misconception lies in believing that writing or even casually blogging will always be a creative, rewarding process. This is not always true. Sometimes, you have to get mechanical about it. These are days when the words will not come to your mind. You will feel handicapped for the simplest expressions. Leave alone metaphors or awe-inducing introductory titles, even basic sentences will seem flawed but you have to challenge your mindset. You have to procure the best from that scanty portion of the mind that is still functioning. Even on such horrible days, you should be able to create five alternate titles for a published or soon-to-be-published write-up in less than 5 minutes! Perhaps, not the best day to start your autobiographical account, such days can be used for revisiting the basics of the game and then introspect your most recent copies. Not keeping at it means you are breaking away from habits that can transform average expressions into a very likable piece of published work. It is about doing the grind. It will take time and then, just like Shifu-guided Po, you will realize that there are no secrets...you always had it in you!
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