5 Ways to become a better writer » Beard Bros
Writing can often be labelled a thankless mistress. Contrary to popular belief, writers in the digital age do not have it easy. Sure, you have a wealth of humanity’s collective knowledge at your fingertips, thanks to the internet (and that’s a good thing), but how do you use that resource, to say something original and addictive (from a reader’s perspective). Back when I started writing, at the age of 16, it was never from a commercial standpoint, the true craft of the business made itself known to me at my first copy writing gig. Today, nearly 10 years later, I sit penning down what works for me as a writer, and I hope will help any and everyone, who will be reading this.
1. Let chaos prevail
Just as the earth emerged from the chaos of the primordial ooze, so should innovative and original thoughts emerge from your ‘chaotic’ mind. Let your imagination run wild. especially during a brainstorming session. You never know, where the next great thought, concept or idea may stem from. So if you’re thinking about purple cabbage, while your team is stuck for a pertinent thought, go with it, for all you know, the color of the cabbage might just help your art buddy with the perfect tone for a logo.
2. Read, not just what you like, but read on recommendation
As writers we often suffer from what I’d like to call, “Know-it-all-ysis”. How many of us actually take the recommendations of our peers seriously. That’s where our arrogance becomes our downfall. Reading is of vital importance to the craft of writing. Most of us (writers that is) read what we damn well please, often ignoring colleagues’ recommendations. If you’re anything like that, mend your ways, read, and read not only what you like, but read on recommendation. You never know, what pearl of wisdom you may pick up. Worst case scenario, you’ll learn something you never knew existed.
3. Write for fun, even if it is just a rant
Writing is as much about wit, as it is about passing on information. The only way of injecting your writing with any wit, whatsoever is developing a perspective. Many-a-times, this will happen when you are ticked off about something and you are bursting with something to say. At such times, let the juices just flow. Rant away, but do it on a closed forum, and when you’re done ranting, read your work and then edit it. You will be surprised at how witty it can get. Also, have fun while you write.
4. Be unafraid
What will they say? What if they don’t like what I’ve written? What if I don’t make sense? If you’re going to question yourself this much, you may as well choose another profession. You can take this for granted, you’re not always going to be right, maybe 6 times out of 10. Never be afraid of being wrong, of other people’s opinions, and least of all, don’t concern yourself with whether you’re going to be liked/admired/’have fans’. Just be true to what you put out there and you will find that most of your fears were unfounded to begin with.
5. Take a walk, at least once during your work day
Hell! If it worked for Robert Frost, it should work for you. Sitting in your cubicle all day long, travelling the world virtually and watching kitty cat videos on YouTube will only get you that much inspiration. So a walk during lunch hour, or whenever it pleases you, will divert your mind from ‘work’, besides I needn’t extol the health benefits of a half an hour walk. You never know, a certain visual stimulus may probably trigger a thought that could help you with that blog post, you’ve been slaving over since daybreak.
Writing has been a source of unbridled joy, relief and income to me. It hasn’t been an easy ride, but I can unequivocally say that I wouldn’t trade this gig in for anything. These ‘hacks’ as it were, have helped me negotiate a career that has spanned the best decade of my life, and I hope it will help anyone that reads this as well. As always, we’d love to hear any comments, feedback (both bouquets and brickbats are welcome) or opinions you may have in the comments below.