I’ve got a lot of emails and LinkedIn messages asking for writing tips and how I got started. So I decided to compile my eight best tips for beginners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 4% growth in the writing market between now and 2031. The tips I’m sharing in this post are to help get you going.
When I was starting, I was eager to learn everything I could. So it was tough knowing where to start – especially when there’s so much information and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools flying around on the internet.
Here are eight essential tips for anyone starting in the writing world. By following these tips, you’ll cut to the front of the line and become a successful writer in no time!
Read and Write Daily
When learning how to write, the best way to learn is to read and then write. Make writing fun. Try reading your favorite blog or newsletter, then email your cat with three things you like about it.
If that doesn’t work, start journaling and flexing your writing muscles. Like anything else, practice makes perfect. It’s not just about quantity but quality—schedule time to write without distractions and ask for feedback. You can join a writer’s group or online forum to get feedback and improve your skills.
Reading other people’s work is a great way to learn from mistakes and analyze their writing style. Try reading essays, short stories, biographies, and blogs. There’s a lot of great stuff out there.
Practice Brain Dumping
As a new writer, figuring out where to begin can take time. You might research and then feel paralyzed when it comes time to start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
Luckily, there’s an easy solution; it’s called brain dumping.
I learned this technique in a mastermind, and all brain dumping is, is writing down everything that comes to mind on the topic you’re writing about (hours after you’ve done the research) without worrying about grammar or structure. This approach helps you get your ideas down on paper (or screen), and you can start shaping them into a cohesive piece.
Keeping a pen and paper nearby during this phase is a good idea. You never know when an idea will pop into your head, and you want to be ready to catch it.
3 Step Story Planning
When writing a story, make sure your message is clear and concise. Here’s a strategy to plan your next novel in three easy steps.
First, figure out what you’re trying to say. Once you know that, mapping the rest out will be easier.
Second, pick your entry: where does your story begin? Is it at the beginning of the day? The end of the day? Knowing where your story starts helps with the story’s development.
Lastly, lay the story out. What obstacles will the antagonist face? What motivates your character to act or overcome obstacles?
Art of Storytelling
The best stories always capture our attention. They have a good beginning, middle, and end. The hero’s journey is exciting – but how do you make your writing just as captivating?
It all starts with you – the writer. You need to be emotionally invested in your story. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and feel what they feel. Let your words flow.
And most importantly, remember that everyone loves a good story.
Play by the Rules
Before you submit your work, make sure you’ve read the submission guidelines carefully and double-check your short story for mistakes. That way, you’ll increase your chances of getting published – and perhaps avoid a rejection letter.
When submitting or pitching a story, follow the publisher’s rules. Know the audience you’re talking to – do they use specific terminology? Do you meet the minimum word count? Missing these tiny details can lead to rejection.
Basic Writing Tips
It’s vital to get the little things right when starting – like grammar and punctuation. Always edit your piece multiple times before submission. Some editors are lenient, but too many errors will affect readability.
I still utilize my college “Rules For Writers” manual by Diana Hacker. It’s a quick and easy way to remember all English language rules. A Thesaurus can be your best friend when you’re short on synonyms.
Unmovable Belief You Can Succeed
Rejection and fear are all common emotions that will challenge your faith. You’ll be ready to throw in the towel after your umpteenth rejection letter or when that online writing course tells you you’re not “there” yet.
But don’t give up – because success as a writer is possible if you have the right attitude, mindset, and tools.
Here are two writing tips you need to remember:
- Things won’t just happen for you – you must work hard and put in the effort.
- You have to be hungry and want it bad enough.
“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve.”Dennis Kimbro
Enjoy the Process
Do you like writing? Do you love it? Or are you trying to make money? Whatever your reason is, cling to it and remind yourself daily.
If you don’t enjoy writing or its process, you will have difficulty becoming a successful writer. If the thought of sitting at your computer fills you with dread, you should stop now.
But if you’re excited to put your thoughts into words, if exploring new worlds and characters fills your heart with joy, stick with it. The lessons you learn from stumbling in the process will bring you closer to success.
Here’s a recap of the eight writing tips to help you on your way:
1. Writing daily is the best way to improve and keep up your skills.
2. Read as much as you can. Not only will this help your writing, but you’ll also learn about different styles and genres.
3. Join a writing community or workshop. It’s a great way to collaborate with other writers and get feedback on your work.
4. Perfect your storytelling skills.
5. Brain dump and keep a notebook and pen with you to capture ideas when they come to you.
7. Brush up on basic writing rules.
8. Be patient and never give up on your dreams
Now start writing!