So you want to be a writer? Well, guess what! You already are! Yes, that’s right! Each of you is already a writer! How so, you ask? Writing is not something you are born knowing how to do. It’s something you grow into over time — with lots of practice.
I truly believe that writing is more of an effort than a skill. What you put into it is what you get out of it. The time, creativity, and energy you incorporate into your words have the potential to radiate to your readers. If you are passionate about something, then share it through writing. Whether you love motherhood, cooking, travelling, or history, tell the world about it in some way or another. Your words, expertise, and insight have worth on the literary landscape. You just have to find the right avenue and niche that suits you.
In order to improve your writing, I highly recommend becoming more observant, a good listener and an avid reader. Pay attention to your surroundings. For example, take notice of the dance a leaf does as it separates from its mother tree and makes its way to the ground. What colors leak out of the horizon as the sun makes its slow entrance in the morning? Do you hear a difference in sounds in the day versus the night? How does the air feel against your skin on a cold evening? These are just some examples on how true authorship begins by appreciating even the smallest of details. Take time out to talk to people, hear different stories, learn and see new things, find creativity in the simplest of things, and read, read, read! The more you read, the more you build your vocabulary, develop story ideas, create interest in different subjects, and learn various writing styles that are out there.
Another thing I find useful is taking notes on a regular basis. If I see something I like or that interests me, I jot it down. I also suggest keeping some of type of notebook or journal next to your bed, so you can write down any thoughts that pop into your head at bedtime or right when you wake up. You never know when you may find your muse, so always be ready to capture it with your pen. It could be a cool dream, a good story you heard, or something you witnessed first-hand. Inspiration is everywhere!
Also, the more you write, the better. If you have a strong interest in something, find some type of publication that caters to it. Submit some topics to local newspapers or subject-based magazines that you would like to write about. Your voice matters and needs to be heard. Work towards getting as many bylines under your belt as you can, even if you are writing for free. Publications are always looking for fresh voices, so go out there and share yours.
Don’t get stuck on the mechanics of writing if you have a great idea or something that’s truly worth sharing. If it matters to you, then it matters. The first step in bringing out your inner writer is to just write. Free-hand writing is one of my favorite things to do when I am working on an article or a book idea. I let the pen intertwined between my fingers run freely on the paper, sometimes not even making sense to another reader. I know what I’m writing, though, and can always go back to edit and format it later. The key is to release my thoughts as they come to me without restriction. We don’t always think in a linear fashion, so our initial writing doesn’t have to be either. As long as ideas are coming, keep them coming.
Congratulations on believing in yourself. Yes, you do have what it takes to be a great writer. Know that there’s a whole world inside each of you. No go ahead and let it out through your words.