Guest Post: The 4 Secrets to becoming a successful Writer

Photo by Anubhav Kulshreshtha

Although hard to believe, there are just four key ways to becoming a successful writer.

Although we live in a society where technology seems to reign supreme, the power of the written word should not be underestimated. Whether you’re creating a compelling narrative, persuasive essay, memoir, or simply expressing your thoughts to clear your mind, the art of writing is a skill worth maintaining as you age.

In this blog, I’ll be exploring the world of writing and communication in a guide outlining the main ways you could improve your skills and become a successful writer in the future. Within the complexity of the modern media world, understanding the steps to becoming a truly inspirational and successful writer is a process worth exploring through dedicated practice. I have analyzed these practices myself and listed them all in detail.

Whether you’re hoping to refine your abilities, following along to learn, or taking your first steps into the realm of writing, this blog will usher your understanding of what refined written work should look like and how you can develop your skills to achieve success. Join me as I dive into the secrets of conquering writer’s block, developing daily writing habits, perfecting grammar style, and analyzing peer/mentor strategies when building an online presence.

Now that you know the steps, let’s dive in!

1. Developing Daily Writing Habits

Why are writing habits important?

While many individuals would not choose to practice their writing abilities daily, there are many ways in which this can significantly improve your writing prowess. Developing daily writing habits is essential for a number of reasons. The first reason is that these habits hone your writing craft over time adopting discipline and consistency within your creative thinking. It is similar to the idea of practicing something until it becomes effortless, allowing you to continually improve over time. Maintaining daily writing practice helps a writer become more self-reflective and thoughtful about the work they are creating.

Secondly, it aids in developing story creativity and overcoming writer’s block. This happens when regular writing stimulates newer ideas and inspiration. The act of daily writing prompts the brain to generate new ideas and connections between many themes and concepts that you may not have realized before trying. The final reason for daily writing habits is that it opens the door to self-expression, personal growth, and improved communication in various aspects of life. These types of habits provide you with a safe space to experiment with new styles, genres, and especially topics.

How do I start daily writing habits?

Daily writing can be anything from personal journal entries to poetry and even blogging! You don’t have to start by writing a whole paper, you may simply write a few sentences at the start if it feels like too much commitment. To begin a daily writing habit, you will first need to set aside a specific time slot each day that works best, the time of day does not matter. Next, you will designate a writing space to avoid distractions and stress.

It is best to start with some goals that are manageable and begin writing for at least 10 minutes each day, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable with the process. Lastly, choose a form of writing that interests you the most, whether it’s journaling, creative writing, poetry, or other styles that resonate with your goals. Over time the daily writing habits will begin to seem more bearable with each session, and you will begin to develop a routine.

“Daily writing has other benefits besides helping you sharpen your writing skills. It forces you to clarify your thoughts and arrange them logically. It helps you become a more creative person because you must think up new ideas each day to write about. Finally, it gives you a constructive way to redeem the time by training you to work productively every day.”

Nicole Bianchi

Writing, Copywriting, & Marketing Strategies

2. Conquering Writer’s Block

Photo by Ken Miyamoto

Writer’s block, everyone knows what it is and how it has haunted creative minds throughout history. It is one of the oldest challenges in writing, leaving even the best of writers feeling drained and unimaginative. While this obstacle looms as a steep mental hurdle in the creative process, there are a few simple ways of turning a creative drought upside down. In this section, I will dive into the cause of writer’s block, discussing the causes and introducing you to effective strategies that help overcome this challenge. But first, it’s important to understand the ways in which writers block arises as a problem.

What are some ways writer’s block can occur?

  • Burnout: Prolonged periods of writing long memoirs or creative narratives without breaks may lead to a mental burnout, leaving a writer lacking energy and enthusiasm within their work.
  • Stress and external pressures: Things that sit heavily in the back of your mind like deadlines or life’s daily stressors may overwhelm a writer’s thought process, causing mental fatigue and blocking the flow of thoughts.
  • Fear of Failure: The fear of not meeting the criteria or expectations can create writer’s block as an author struggles with the idea of falling short or producing subpar work.
  • Lack of Inspiration: It can often feel like a writer has tried so many genres of writing and methods of work that they find themselves struggling to discover fresh ideas or compelling concepts to try.
  • Procrastination: When putting off a writing project for too long, you may suddenly find the project becoming more daunting the longer you avoid it, causing your focus to divert to other things and potentially a rushed final product.

How do I handle writer’s block?

The best way to start removing a creative block from your mind is to start allowing yourself to write poorly in an initial draft. This will begin freeing your mind from feeling the need to create something perfect and allow yourself to embrace the process of writing exploration and stress-free brainstorming. Once you are able to do this, ideas will begin to flow without judgment, and you are able to move on to the next steps.

The next step in the process is often overlooked and undervalued. You should take a break in your thinking to engage in other activities that stimulate your creativity. Many writers find creative stimulation and inspiration in activities like walking, running, reading, exploring, discussing topics with others, immersing in new environments, and many other mindful tasks. Once you return to your writing space, you will have a refreshed mindset influencing new ideas and perspectives within your work.

After overcoming some of the creative blockage, it is essential to appreciate your efforts and not overwhelm your mentality. You might consider establishing a sustainable routine that balances your work time with breaks. This will ensure a consistent writing process that helps prevent creative burnout from occurring. Finally, you may want to discuss strategies with other writers in order to develop a supportive outreach where you and peers can sharer insights on overcoming these types of obstacles in future projects.

3. Establishing Perfect Grammar

Photo by Anthony Barr

Why does it matter?

What do you think of when discussing grammar and semantics? Some may be reminded of peer revisions and scholarly proofreading but is there is so much more to explore when discussing this topic within your work. Grammar is essentially the writer’s vessel for communicating whatever your subject entails to a large audience in the best way possible.

Mastering decent grammar will ensure that your writing is not only correct but also easy to read and understand. This acts as a way for your work to seem far more professional and credible to your reader, making your ideas and thoughts that much more meaningful. Despite grammar playing such a prominent role in our writing process, it is often overlooked and not as much of a focus when crafting your next big project.

The downsides of poor grammar within professional or formal writing can hinder your success immensely. Some of these ways involve how serious your audience takes you as a writer, creating a barrier between your main ideas and your readers. This will detract from the overall effectiveness of your content, message, thoughts, feelings, or story.

All of these negative elements will leave the readers more focused on your errors than the content itself, diminishing the overall impact of your writing. Ultimately, neglecting foundational grammar knowledge will greatly compromise the professionalism and authority presented in your work. So, what are some efficient ways of avoiding these detriments while also perfecting your grammar?

How should I be maintaining my grammar skills?

There are 3 secrets to maintaining good grammar usage:

  1. Learning Relevancy: It is so crucial to remain engaged with current language updates, style guides, and grammar rules, as they are constantly evolving with the modern world. As our language and communication evolves, staying up to date on relevant changes will ensure that your writing remains current, readable, and correct.
  2. Utilize Tools Properly: In this digital age it is very easy to allow computers to do all the grammar and spell-checking for us but be sure not to let technology hinder your manual grammar and spelling. Digital assistants like autocorrect easily inhibit these skills if used excessively. Despite this, I would urge you writers to use technology to your advantage, as long as you maintain your foundations of grammar.
  3. Seek Feedback: It is widely important that writers seek out constructive criticism from their peers, mentors, and personal editors. One of the most effective strategies in this realm is the writing consultation, where a professional editor meets with an author to help them refine their skills and overcome various obstacles within their work. It is essential that you have others review your writing, so you are provided with alternate perspectives on your topic and deeper insights into any grammar issues that arise upon reading.

All in all, grammar proves to be a foundational piece in the structure of professional writing as this skill stands out as a major component that binds the aspects of clarity, credibility, impact, and meaning. Without the creative means of communication and understanding of the text, there are tremendous downsides to the outlook for your writing success.

“Grammar is essential for communication. It makes texts easier, clearer, and more enjoyable to read. Your content becomes irrelevant if your grammar is so poor that the work is illegible. Whether you are writing a novel, an essay, an email, a booklet, or online content, correct grammar is paramount.”

Millie Dinsdale

Content Manager at ProWritingAid

4. Mentoring

Photo by Lee Anne Doyle

Many of us have experienced a peer revision with one of our papers before, but never quite understood the value in these mentoring strategies. Despite what you may believe, mentoring is one of the main foundational pillars in the writing world. New aspiring writers greatly benefit from the guidance and expertise of professional mentors who provide constructive feedback and provide insights into furthering their creative process along with writing techniques. Through these strategies, writers gain a technical understanding of the ways their writing is and is not working with the audience.

As discussed earlier, a writing consultation is one of the best ways to achieve this type of expert feedback as it is an excellent way of communicating with your peers and receiving the best insights for your work. This also helps build a writer’s network within the community where your ideas are shared with other readers and authors. This is when critiques are exchanged among people and you will become more involved with the community individuals. After you will be able to better navigate the complexities of the publishing industry, as the initial guidance from a writing mentor can be the spark that sends a writer toward their literary goals.

Main goals when conducting mentoring strategies:

  • Improve reader clarity
  • Develop language and style
  • Enhance the story/content
  • Understand your audience and purpose
  • Constructive feedback and guidance

How do I find a mentor?

The best way to go about finding a respectable writing mentor would be to start immersing yourself in multiple writing communities, they can be either an online or offline environment where acclaimed writers meet. The next step is to seek out specific individuals you would prefer to model your type of writing off. If there is an author’s work you deeply admire, don’t hesitate to reach out with genuine prompts and ideas to express your willingness to learn. The final step will be to consider joining one of their writing workshops to further immerse yourself in this type of work. Other things like attending literary events may provide great opportunities to develop a connection with expert mentors who can guide your writing journey.

Once you have managed to develop an author-mentor relationship with a specific writing expert, it’s time to focus on open communication and a willingness to receive critical writing feedback. Not everything they say may be nice, so it is essential to remember they are here to help you and not hurt your feelings. It is also important to be actively participating in any exercises or “assignments” provided by your mentor since they are showing you expert ways of approaching your work through their personal experience and wisdom. The final thing to take note of is the various ways of diversifying your reading so you can explore many genres and broaden your writing perspective. By integrating this broadened knowledge into your work, your mentor can guide you when you get around to creating other genres of literature.

The main takeaways

When dealing with the challenges that arise in professional writing, the process to overcoming these obstacles is easily conveyed in 4 major ways. The secrets to conquering things like writer’s block and bad grammar involve understanding the nuances of developing daily writing habits and collaborating with others who view your work through a reader’s lens. Perfecting these skills is no easy task, but one that influences the professional success that many authors seek. As we move deeper into the digital age, it is important that writers continue harnessing these foundational skills that make writing so impactful, shaping the creative world in a blend of discipline and academic resilience.

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