One tip many published authors have given is simply…. to write. The very act of writing, and writing regularly will help improve writing. This means you should find the means to get something down every day such as a blog, short story, or whatever medium you’re writing in, but to get something written every day.
I also found some other tips have helped me immensely;
- Writing should be a daily habit. In fact, one might even consider creating a routine in which you write such as lighting a candle, wearing a favorite shirt, or listening to music before cranking out the words. The time of day, the duration of writing, and even the process of writing should all be habit forming. If you write best in the morning, then set aside a half hour or longer to sit and write. Evenings work best for me, with fewer calls to interrupt and practically no nagging from family.
- Write, even if you’re uninspired. Too often I used to come to a standstill with writing when inspiration failed me. Now I skip over parts where I’m stuck, focusing on another scene, or even immersing myself in another story or article to keep the words flowing. I keep at least three projects open at all times for this reason.
- Join or form a writer’s group. A good writer’s group can help inspire and encourage your writing skills. Check with Meetup.com or Yahoo egroups for local groups. You can also find some online critique groups as well. www.critiquecircle.com, www.editred.com, www.writing.com
- Don’t let bad grammar or spelling stop you. A number of writers I’ve met voiced a concern over their grammar. The easiest way to improve is to learn. Elements of Style by William Strunk is top of the list for the best book on grammar. Here is an online version of it, but having the book in your library can be a huge help for the budding author. Take the time to practice spelling. I used to keep a small pocket dictionary for this very reason.
- Keep an idea book or folder. This can be kept on the computer desktop, or a small notebook you keep with you at all times. The idea is that any inspiration hits you, whether a new story plot forms in your brain, or you need to jot down ideas for articles, character names, or even write a description- you add this to your book. Bear in mind, the idea book is never organized. It should be a mix-match of all manner of chaos that you can use later.
- Find time for reading! The simple act of reading can not only inspire you, but you may find you like an author’s style or ‘Voice’, and wish to emulate. This can only go so far, as you want to find your own unique Voice, but you can explore different methods of writing until you’re at that point of saying ‘this is my style’.
Feel free to post your own ideas, prompts, or tips.