How Writing Regularly Changed My Life (and How You Can Get Started)
June 02, 2016 - Posted to Catchy Research Paper Topics
Ask any famous musicians, dancers, artists or sportsmen how they came to be winners in their various professions and you will invariably get the same answer - practice, practice, and more practice.
Writing is much the same. You need to practice consistently using the language and seeing how you can create magic with just 26 letters. How amazing is that - if you think about it? Everything from Shakespeare through John Steinbeck and Tom Wolf, all the way up to Dickens, was created simply by using combinations of those 26 letters in different ways and different scenarios.
In order to write, one has to have a subject, and often, by default, that subject is yourself. Besides school work and set essays, often, the usual way into writing is by keeping a diary or journal of your day-to-day life. This creates a reason for you to commit pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, and in it, you can write about whatever you wish - you are both writer, and Editor in Chief, of this venture.
Many of the greatest writers in history kept diaries; W.H. Auden once said that his journal was “a discipline for [his] laziness and lack of observation.” Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, and Virginia Woolf, amongst others, all kept a diary. It is, above all, a great discipline to set yourself half an hour or so to note the best and the worst of your day, the people that you met, the way your thoughts are leaning, observations on life, and anything else you want to comment on.
Another way writers practice their craft, is by reading. They regularly read anything they can get their hands on - and read many different genres - not just the ones that they particularly like; sometimes it is good to slip into something uncomfortable and unfamiliar and to see another type of construction, or method of writing a plot. Rather like painting and music, many writers will consciously copy the style of a favorite author or two before they subliminally discard them and adopt their own style, and way of expressing themselves.
The other aspect which nobody really discusses, but which lurks unsaid in the background, is that of getting paid. This is all part and parcel of being a writer. Anyone can write; the secret is to bring in some dollars for it! Work out which side of writing you want to go into. Do you want to write novels and short stories? Magazine articles? Blogs? Sales copy? Film scripts? Plays? Poetry? Travel articles … the list is endless.
There are correspondence courses you can take or online versions too.These courses usually involve you writing assignments for a tutor on a variety of subjects covering all genres and types of writing. You send the article, essay or paper to the tutor, and they mark it, and critically appraise it; telling you what you did right, and what you did wrong, and how to correct it.
Doing a course such as this is useful to give you an idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and may well throw up some surprises by making you realise that you had a talent for a style of writing that you were not even aware of.
This is the beauty of having an objective third party to look at your work - it takes a very honest friend or family member to tell you that your “amazingly awesome” novel is, in fact, garbage. The chances of them then telling you what you can do to address the issues and create a readable and, more importantly, a sellable piece of work, are fairly remote too, whereas, with a course, this advice comes as standard.
So, just practice writing about the weather or writing about yourself.
Alternatively, writing about your friends, writing about work, or indeed, anything else will get those creative juices going.
Get yourself a decent dictionary and a thesaurus and use them because it will improve your vocabulary immensely. The more ways you can think of putting something the more likely you are to hit on a winning formula for it.
Do not get too hung up on the grammar and the way in which your sentences are composed. You can always type them up at a later stage, and the important thing is getting the words down on paper. When you look at the success of authors such as Jackie Collins and Jeffrey Archer, you can see that there is a fine line between the "best written" and the "best seller."
At Glorious Essays, we often have papers in for editing and proofreading from college and some of the worst, (in a grammatical sense) are the most fun to read, because the writer is expressing themselves and an idea, not being constrained by the rules of language.
Trying to stick to perfect grammar will kill your motivation and make writing a complete misery for you.
Have a look at these typical poem by EE Cummings - a hugely successful poet - and you will see exactly what we mean.
Just go for it - practice, practice, practice ... and good luck with the writing ...