How to sort yourself out as a writer
It is pointless to sit and ponder on how to become a writer; anyone who writes is a writer. Now the question is whether one wants to take up writing as a profession, or as a part of life which shall work as a breather in stressful situations. If the answer is yes, one must identify which form of writing he is most comfortable with. Writing can be of various types, viz. copy writer, content writer, technical writer, communication writer, journalists, grant writer, poet, columnist, author, and it is important to identify in which field one is most comfortable. Thereafter set realistic goals and design the movement. If one plans to become a blogger, he needs to select a platform, set up the blog and start publishing. Likewise, if one aspires to become a copywriter, start listening to the lectures and podcasts of eminent copywriters and build a bridge with some of them. Next important thing is setting a routine.
For writing skills development, the foremost requirement is one must identify under which circumstances the writing is at its best. Some may be comfortable with tranquil surroundings while some may like to listen to music while writing. Similarly, some may find it comfortable to write in the morning while some in some other part of the day. Some may be comfortable writing sitting on the bed while some need a chair and table to write. Hence only the person can identify in which format he is at his creative best- and accordingly set up the routine of writing.
It is very important to write regularly as practice and perfection are co-related and hence developing writing habit is of extreme importance for anyone who aspire to become a writer. Ideally one should set a target of minimum numbers of words he shall write daily and accordingly write every day. Once this process is regularized, one shall start enjoying the writing job more interesting than ever- as with the development of expertise the writing shall become more free-flowing with smooth transition of thoughts to words. The next more important thing is reading as the more a person reads on a subject, the more quality he delivers through writing because of his newly acquired knowledge. For a beginner, it would be a better decision to write in simple words and with short sentences without excessive usage of adjectives.
Experiences enrich writing hence one needs to be an explorer looking around for variety and new experiences and keep a stalk of all the new experiences he acquires as in the long run, these would make the writing richer and more compelling. Nature and human behavior- both are amazing sources of experience with the variety and uniqueness in them. Ideally a writer may keep a journal where he would pen down interesting things he hears, interesting things he has met, interesting pictures- even interesting dreams which people forget very fast- all these shall contribute to writing later.
It is also important for a person to commit to himself about finishing the project if he aspires to be a writer. After writing till a certain time, one may tend to get lost and loose track. It is the determination that shall make a difference there and that shall drive one to finish the writing. And while writing, it is important to keep in mind whether the reader shall be interested in the writing. However, to glue the readers, one should not divulge from the area of core competence. One should write on areas where he has good command and not on topics which are difficult for him.
Giving a structure to the story from the time of conceptualization itself always helps an author in writing. Structure is chosen depending on the progression of the story and there are many structures that one can follow (like flashback etc.). However, it is always wiser decision for an aspirant writer to take the linear structure which is simpler with a beginning, a climax, and a resolution.
There is no thumb rule for the writer on how to start writing. If one waits for that moment, the waiting shall be futile as the golden moment shall never come. All one must do is to start writing. And what makes writing different is the experiences- not the opinions.
Writing is a process which starts with the invention stage. This helps the author in generating ideas for writing- whichever form he writes in. Questioning is a very good invention strategy which helps in testing a topic. One may use the questions ‘who, what, when, where, why and how’ to determine whether the topic thought of is worth writing about and if so, only then develop ideas on your topic. Next, one should write for ten minutes on the subject whatever comes to his mind- in a free-flowing way. This works as the plinth of the main writing and reading this later helps to add more ideas and content.
Understanding the target audience remains critical for any writer. Attention span varies among audience- a small kid can’t sit still for more than 10 minutes- so if writing for a kid, it has to be kept in mind that the content should be attractive enough to hold back the kid. At the same time, an adult gets bored with children story. J.K. Rowling or George Orwell are one in million who has attracted both set of audience with An Animal Farm or Harry Potter- so it is wise a new author doesn’t aspire to imitate them. Appropriateness and targeting the right age is also important in order to understand the target audience. A book with lots of sex content cannot be considered for the kids. Again, Mills & Boons type novels are widely read by women- so a fantastic response from the young male folks should not be expected from a book of soft romantic genre. Building a persona helps an author in this regard as that helps him in understanding the need and desire of the audience and based on that, the author finds out their interests and how they spend their time. To develop this persona, one first has to establish the demographic status which shall include the age, gender, location, income, education, family, and interests. Based on that, the author may contemplate developing goals, fears, values and challenges to understand the need of the consumer. And ultimately, this would help in identifying the niche as well.
There are many writing style in literature. Narrative writing is almost a storytelling in written form which capture a journey from start to the end with a proper beginning, interval and ending. Descriptive writing provides each aspect of the event, person, or place in detail giving the reader a feeling as if the reader himself was present when the incident took place. Expository writing is written to teach the reader on some topic and they are not written for entertainment. Persuasive writings are written to convince and persuade the readers on any issue. Though creative writing, an author breaks free from the existing writing structures and surprise the readers by sharing a story in a new way. Objective writing is a formal way of writing with true facts and figures which acts as a support to the writing. Subjective writing is just the opposite of objective writing and does not bother on correctness and accuracy- instead portray the writer’s beliefs, preferences, perspectives, feelings, and opinions on things. Review writing is a style where one review things- which can be anything of reader’s entertainment. In poetic writing, the author uses rhyme, rhythm, and meter to convey a story or idea. Technical writing is a style adopted for writing on a special point that is factual and logical or about a scientific purpose. From all these, choosing a writing style is very important for any writer as it is nearly impossible to absorb all the writing styles that attract the readers. A writer need to identify his comfort lies with which style- in which style his communication is at its best.
While writing a book proposal, ideally it should start with a header which is the working title for the project along with the writer’s name and contact details. Thereafter a brief synopsis of the book is to be added on the proposal that describe the content of the book in a compelling way. A long description of the book is to be added which would explain the book more in detail and what makes the author the best person for writing on this topic. A chapter breakdown shall follow with few sentences describing what the author shall cover in that chapter. Certain details about the author should be there in the proposal in a short biodata format with specific objective of linking it with the book. To clear the cloud in the mind of the publisher, it is wise to mention the target audience as well along with the market of the book.