Becoming a writer is a journey characterised by learning, improvement and shaping your writing skills, it’s a journey to no particular destination, It’s a journey that starts from point A – the moment you decide to become a writer to an unknown destination – which is becoming the best writer you can become.
Within point A to wherever the journey leads you, it’s always going to be about becoming better, trying different styles, tone and techniques to see what works best for you.
So far, this has been my experience, i started badly on the journey, but I can testify that I’m getting better. I’m not yet the best I can become as a writer, but I’m sure I’m getting better.
Looking back, getting better as a writer has always been as a result of applying some techniques.
Here are some techniques that has been helping me improve my writing.
Yes stealing, this might sound weird, but I was relieved when I read one of my heroes explained stealing people’s ideas is ideal as a writer.
Before then, I used to wonder how on earth are my going to invent new concepts, new ideas, new thoughts about a subject, because it seems like every subject out there have been written on by someone, if not today maybe 2000 years ago.
I used to ponder on this question, How will I write about a subject without directly or indirectly repeating what someone has said where, some time ago?
The idea about stealing ideas changed my perspective about writing.
The thing is, in our world today, no one can brag about having final knowledge about a subject, understanding this will not only help you as a writer, it will shape your world view.
Here is how ideas are formed, even ideas like the invention of electric bulb by Thomas Edison, you get input from A, input from B, input from C, input from D and so forth, then combine them to perform what one writer calls ‘Idea s*x’, then a whole new idea is born.
This is an act that might seem simple, but this is what most people refer to being genius or creative, that is what I call creativity 101.
Stealing ideas has helped me improve my writing by making me more creative.
Here is how I use this technique, whenever I read about a subject from different writers, I gather all their ideas and opinions on the subject, then I think over them, evaluate them, interpret them based on my experience, knowledge and the environment around me, I then write about the same subject from my own perspective, with my own understanding which is mostly shaped by reading other people’s writings about the same subject.
This is literally how every great writing you have read are written, this is creative writing.
2. Write regularly
Writing is like building a muscle, you don’t hit the gym and hope to build all the muscle in a single day.
It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend exercising in one single day, a day is not enough to pump out those fat muscles you wish for.
This is the same with writing; writing just a day, weeks, or even months is not enough to make you the better writer you wish to become. Becoming better in writing requires that you write regularly, you need to build your writing muscle, it might take some time for your writing muscle to be developed. But become a better is all about developing your writing muscles.
For me it took me a few years to get to where I’m on this journey, I’m probably not a fast learner, but I’m getting better because I kept writing even when my writings where almost unreadable.
The tip here is to write regularly, as often as possible, create writing time and taking it seriously, write as badly as you can write and when you know how to write better you can write better.
3. Rethinking everything
Before now I thought of looking at the world with one lens, my own lens, lens that was passed down to me by people who raised me (parent, guidance, etc) whom have acted on my best interest with the best knowledge they are able to acquire from their own experience through life.
I used to feel that everybody should act according to what I think is right, when people’s act contradict my view of what I think is right, I become resentful.
But now, I’m rethinking everything.
It’s obvious to me that everything I believed from the time I became a conscious being, was sold to me. I know the people that sold it to me meant well, they wanted me to be a better person.
But, what is interesting about this is that, these great beings who have shaped my beliefs taught me based on their own beliefs and what they think is right.
The question is, are their beliefs universally right or it’s just how they choose to interpret things? are their believes empowering me? Does what they think is right – right for me – this is just me rethinking everything.
There is more to how rethinking everything can help you become a better writer, but the thing is rethinking everything can make you a curious being.
And that is where the impact comes from to affect your writing life, because curiosity is one of writers greatest tools.
Curiosity here is not about doubting or arguing about every topic you have an opinion on, curiosity is mostly to help you not to close the book of knowledge and think you know it all, it pushes you to learn, because learning helps widen your perspective and how wide you see things most times determines how you write about things.
Recently, I mentioned in an answer I wrote on Quora that whatever opinion or advice I will give relating to personal development, reading will always be on the list.
That is how important I see reading in anything that has to do with personal development.
How will it be possible for me to steal people’s ideas if not by reading their writings?
Reading will help you build your knowledge bank, when you have knowledge about your subject, words will flow on the blank page.
One of the ways to know what you don’t know is by reading.
I can’t think of a better way to emphasize the importance of reading to a writer, than telling you that reading is important. The thing is you can’t differentiate a great writer from a great reader.
If you can steal ideas, write regularly, rethinking everything and read the books I’m certain you will start seeing more improvement in your writings.
What techniques are you using to improve your writing? Are you going to try any of these techniques? please share with us in the comments section.