Thanks to the internet and the plethora of advice around (like on this blog!), anyone can become a writer. But this doesn’t mean writers’ lives have become easy. Writing still requires dedication, persistence, and hard work!
So, whether you’ve just decided to become a writer, or are a seasoned veteran – or somewhere in-between! – then remember these 7 crucial things:
1) The Basics ALWAYS Matter
It might be tempting to simply start writing. However, this could be a mistake in the long run. While some writers think typos and grammatical errors are insignificant, readers actually pay attention to these things. It’s not because they are picky, either. It’s because the mistakes easily noticed! Forget this at your peril. MORE: 10 Common Errors In Your Writing You Need To Fix Right Now
2) You MUST be clear
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a logline, a pitch, a treatment, a novel, a screenplay or a blog post – you still should be clear. The best way to find out whether your writing is clear is to show it to someone whose opinion you trust. Sometimes even good writers skip the details they find obvious. However, they may not seem ‘obvious’ to readers. Always make sure you deliver your point well.
2) You MUST know your audience
It doesn’t matter what type of writer you are: novelist, screenwriter, blogger. You have to know the audience you’re writing for! WHO your audience is affects your writing greatly, starting with the words you choose, but also including tone, genre and other stylistic choices.
An example: if you’re writing a science article and your target audience are actual scientists, you can obviously skip explaining the basics. But if you’re writing the same article for laypeople, you shouldn’t skip explanations – instead, you should focus on how to make your article easy for them to understand. Obvious maybe, but often forgotten.
4) ‘The Rules’ are NOT everything
Rules, schmules! Rules are really guidelines, but you need to know what they are! Many great writers actually ignored the rules. But crucially, they knew the rules in order to break them. Make sure you do to. MORE: Top 10 Rules Writers Love To Hate
5) It Can Be TOUGH
Even though writers can earn a living doing what they love, it can still be tough sometimes. Harsh reviews or even hate mail can really get to a writer! Some writers never get used to this. Writing is not just a job, it requires passion. Being criticized harshly for something you work you put your heart and soul into can feel terrible.
But remember to treat such comments professionally. Never respond to haters and negative people. Focus on your fans and their good comments, instead.
6) Reading is STILL important
When a person wants to become a novelist, one of the first bits of advice they usually hear is “read a lot”. You’ll need to, not only to write better but also to have a better understanding of others’ style, as well as find out about things that interest your audience. That’s why you should always find some time for reading.
7) You Should NEVER Stop Learning
The hardest thing to realise is your writing will never be perfect – at least, to you. You’ll always have to polish your writing skills and to build the new ones. Even if you are a professional writer, this still doesn’t mean you have to stop learning – otherwise, your talent will die.
Remember that you’re not alone in this. There are plenty of other writers going through same challenges every day and overcoming them successfully. So no matter how hard everything might feel, don’t give up and simply continue writing. MORE: 5 Easy Resolutions To Make You A Better Writer
BIO: Christina Battons is a web content writer and blogger from LA. I am a graduate of the University of Southern California. Currently, I write for various blogs like ProWritersCenter. I am obsessed with topics about writing, blogging, education, etc. My writing I use as a tool to further the education of others. You can connect with me through Twitter or Facebook. I’ll be happy to hear from you, just drop me a line!
Thank you, Christina. Great post! I really enjoyed reading it)Especially, item 7. It is very important not to start thinking that you already know everything and stop learning.
“Reading is still important” – I totally agree with you. I am a teacher and it’s really difficult to persuade children to read books.
Yup! I was a teacher back in the day too … Always shocked by how many GROWN UPS forget this as well. Stephen King says that if you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader. SO TRUE!