This post was contributed by Alicia Rades of The Writing Realm.
Poetry always came easily to me. I recall writing my first poem when I was 8 years old, and when I reached my teen years, I became an avid and passionate lyricist. But story writing and blogging never came naturally to me until I started practicing like mad to become better. Now, blogging is my favorite form (and probably my personal best form) of writing. Take a look at how I improved my skills and what you can do when writing doesn’t come naturally.
Dedicate Yourself to the Craft
If you don’t want to become a better writer, it’s likely never going to happen. You’ve probably heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule, but if you haven’t, it’s the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to truly master a craft. If you’re doing it full-time, it would take you about 5 years to master the craft of writing, but if you’re not dedicated to actively improving, you’re not going to put that kind of effort into it. So, if you really want to become a better writer, make sure you’re prepared to put in the time.
Take a Training Course
Don’t get me wrong, practice is great, but you aren’t going to get everything you need from practicing without learning what to practice. About a year ago I completed a training course in writing shareable content. At the time, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about blog writing, and to be honest, I was scared because I wasn’t very good at it and didn’t know if I would get better. But after I completed the training, my eyes opened up to all these techniques I wasn’t using and tips I should be using. I started practicing, and my skills skyrocketed.
If you’re anything like I was, you’re terrified to take this step, perhaps because you don’t have full confidence in yourself. But believe me, it’s worth it. I’m not going to tell you what course to take since it all depends on the type of writing you want to do and where your skills are lacking, but there are countless bloggers, authors, and businesses online offering training courses. You could even enroll in a local course at a nearby college.
Learn From the Experts
Once you’re done with your training course, you’re still not done learning (and you probably won’t ever be). Take advice from experts who know what they’re doing, have been there, and will help you succeed. I’m not talking about me, either. I’m talking about getting free advice from people at the top of the industry like Joanna Penn, Joe Bunting, K.M. Weiland, and Sophie Lizard.There’s no reason not to learn from these people and read their posts when they have such great advice for free.
Practice Your Writing
Now it’s time to get your 10,000 hours of practice in. Don’t let the 10,000-hour rule get you down. It doesn’t take that long to get good at writing, only to master the craft. If you’re looking to improve your writing, simply practice when you can, and try incorporating these tips into your practice:
- Practice often, if only for a few minutes every day.
- Don’t worry about the quality of your content at first as long as you’re learning something.
- Use feedback in your practicing, whether you ask friends for feedback, post your content online, or evaluate your own writing.
- Continue learning from others.
- Don’t quit practicing just because you don’t think you’re “good” at it. It will come slowly, but it will come.
Now I want to know what you’re good at and how you were able to improve your skills in that area. Let me know in the comments section.