If you’ve been a writer for more than a week, you know there are times that what you’ve written is equal to crap; it’s so bad you can’t show anyone, not even your best friend. And there are days that you write stuffs so good, it’s like pure gold is pouring out of your pen onto the paper.
Weirdly, this is a metaphor for how life works. There are good days, and bad ones. There are good writings, and bad ones (let’s not mention the very terrible ones) but we know there is a need to deliver quality consistently, that’s what makes us good writers.
Okay, let us agree on something before we move on – we are not all equally talented when it comes to writing. Some might say the difference is divine. After all, Shakespeare probably saw an angel before he writes. Some may say it’s genetic, for all we know; bestselling authors can be children of Harvard law professors. But what I know we will agree on is that anyone and I mean anyone can improve their writing game. Maybe not as legendary as Shakespeare but close to it.
Writing is a skill just as singing, programming and painting. You don’t wake up to find yourself singing like Adele or painting like Michelangelo. Even Adele did not wake up to find herself singing like Adele. My point: It takes intentionality to become a better writer. In light of this truth, I will focus on 3 important factors that’ll help improve our writing game: Deliberate practice using feedback, a supportive community and good reading habit.
Let us start with Feedback. Feedback is often misconstrued as “criticism” or even worse “hating by my haters” but the truth is you can’t become a better writer without getting appropriate feedback from the right people. The mistake writers make is they expect the appropriate feedback from strangers on social media – strangers who can’t write a coherent sentence without their phone autocorrecting the grammar.
Whenever you write (and you should as much as you can), you should share it with more experienced writers who will point out your lapses to you and show you better ways of expressing yourself. Simply, you write, share with a more experienced writer, get feedback, act on the feedback and write again. As you keep this cycle on, you start sharpening your rough edges and you will discover your writing is getting better.
This leads us to the role of a supportive community. Copywriter and Entrepreneur Dan Lok said, “Your environment is more powerful than your willpower”. The moment you decide to become a better writer, try and get involved in a community of writers. Participating in these communities will challenge you to write more, get feedback easily, discover creative trends in writing and develop new relationships that will take your writing game to a new level ultimately.
And it goes without saying; you cannot be what you’ve not seen. You cannot be a great writer if you have not exposed yourself to great writers. The authors you read should probably depend on the niche you want to focus on but some authors will impact you positively either ways. They include Paulo Coelho, Steven Pressfield, Chimamanda Adichie, Wole Soyinka, Neil Gaiman, Tim Ferriss and obviously a lot more. Read as much as you can, expand your horizon on what you think is possible in the art of expressing yourselves.
Practice deliberately using appropriate feedbacks, get into the right and supportive communities and develop a good reading habit. It might not make you the best writer in 3 days but I can assure you that your writing skills will improve greatly. Cheers to letting pure gold pour out from your pen as you write.
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