Regardless of what kind of writer you want to be, writing is a niche that requires absolute dedication and practice. Although one’s innate skills might help to an extent, you need to polish them in order to become a professional and prolific writer.
That said, there are no strict rules or tips that can put you directly on the path of success. However, there are some simple habits that you can develop to hone your craft.
If you want to become a better writer, here are the 7 most important professional skills that you need to muster:
1. Your Unique Voice
From the curt prose of Hemingway to Faulkner’s rich and Gothic style, every writer has a unique approach to writing. This is what makes their work singular and extraordinary. Developing your writing style can be challenging at first. But the more you write, the more you will get to explore. A daily writing habit is the best way to push past the writer’s block and unlatch the full potential of your creativity.
2. Have Strong Influences
The reason that you want to become a writer is because of the books you read. They shape us, influence our taste, and have a significant impact on our writing style. As such, if you want to evolve in writing, you want to seek out writers who are acclaimed well.
Try to read writers from old eras, as well as contemporary ones. Even an academic essay writer from an essay writing service could drastically sway your writing style or thinking process. There is no rule against poor writing, but do not let the click baits or cliched language pervade your own writing style.
3. Read With Purpose
Perhaps, reading for pleasure is the most natural thing to do. But as a writer, you cannot afford to simply get lost in the beauty of the words. Instead, as you work your way through a book, analyze how the author has phrased their sentences, developed the characters, how the story evolves, and how they control the dialogue.
Every book is a lesson for you. Some can teach you how to build a fictional world, while others can tell you how to incorporate humor in your work. All you need to do is study their work religiously.
4. Choose the Right Words
Good writing leverages the rich thesaurus of the English language. That does not mean you have to use complex words to prove your command of the vocabulary. Instead, make sure that you use the precise words that will make your writing terse and more comfortable for the audience.
As always, the best way to expand your vocabulary is through reading. For instance, if you read Ulysses by James Joyce, in all likelihood, you will come across a few new words. It does not mean your writing will sound like his, but your process will be more informed, you will familiarise yourself with new terms.
5. Grammar and Syntax
You do not need to be an expert or a literary professor to become a writer. But you should have a solid working knowledge of grammar and syntax. From using the right punctuation to structuring the sentence to referencing your sources, you need to be aware of the standard practices and rules. You cannot always memorize every grammar rule. But you can try to absorb them while reading.
On the other hand, certain online tools such as Grammarly can help to brush up your writing skills quickly. Alternatively, you can also check out a few books, like The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. There are also hundreds of online courses and websites available online that can help you with writing courses.
6. Focus and Efficiency
The one thing writers struggle with is focusing on their main idea. It is quite simple, respect your audience and give them the information they seek. Of course, other elements such as the eloquence of your writing and its taste will come into play. But, significantly, you do not lose sight of what you are trying to say.
The same applies to efficiency as well. Precision is equally tricky to achieve, especially in writing. Moreover, when you are trying to match a word count, you aim to meet the requirement rather than focus on what is being communicated. But brevity is one thing that can set you apart in the world of professional writing.
7. Ambition, Dedication, and Persistence
As it goes with anything and everything else, your persistence will be what drives you to success. Your talent does not do much unless you are continuously trying to improve them and pitching your ideas to the right people. Take a look at Dan Chaon biography, and you will notice that he had dedication that went alongside his passion. If you want to become the next great writer, you will have to take action and effort to make it happen.
Remember, being a writer is a full-time job. The skill develops as you practice. To thrive in the field of writing, you have to be first able to clearly express yourself, both in spoken conversations and in written communication.