4 Tips to Help New Writers Grow | Chirasree Bose
So, you have just started to write! Or maybe, it's been a while, not long but a while. Although you are improving your writing and enriching your vocabulary by reading loads of books, there's this constant thought that batters you at all times -
How to grow! Reach more people! Get feedback that helps! Diversify your writing style! And finally, publish a book (every writer's dream, eh?)!
Well, to tell you the truth, the journey isn't easy. It is time-taking, for sure. And it requires immense hard work. But above all, the undying passion for sticking with it - writing!
Let me give you 4 quick tips to grow as a writer. 🚀
Note: The idea isn't to surpass other fellow writers; that's not your aim for growth; your aim is to surpass yourself, what you were yesterday as a writer, and to strive to become a better (and a more mature) writer with every passing day.
Tip 1 - Partake in Writing Competitions
When you're a new writer, do not try to be choosy. Just go all out and submit your write-ups to any and every writing competition you come across. Small or big. Far-reaching or not. community-specific, national-level, platform-specific. Whatever. Of course, time is a factor. But your aim should be to find at least an hour of time every day and write. And an hour is a lot if you're focused and can keep distractions at bay.
Storymirror, Juggernaut platform, Wattpad, etc. are popular writing platforms for you to choose from a list of writing contests and reach a wide set of audiences. They reward their writers, showcase your stories on their platform comprising hundreds of other writers, and give you a chance to get likes, views, and ratings of your work. That keeps you motivated.
Of course, do not expect to win each of those contests. But also, know that losing at a contest does not mean you are a bad writer. You are, in fact, getting to know many other writers, getting to read a lot of content, getting to learn, receive feedback, and challenge your writing limits/style every once in a while. This...I repeat...all this will help you grow.
Tip 2 - Start Your Own Blog
I did this myself when I had just started to write. It was a small, basic storytelling blog on WordPress. In a week of time, I had over 100 followers on my blog and every morning I'd wake up to tens of notifications on my stories. You know how that helped me as a new writer?
My confidence was up and my passion got a boost. Every day, I found a reason to write more, go on the platform and interact with my fellow bloggers, and broaden my network. Gradually, I began to reuse the stories to participate in writing contests and to send them to magazines and writing platforms. Some I shared on my social media profiles and garnered immense appreciation. In a couple of months, my blog link started ranking on Google and it fetched me over 1000 email subscribers in a year.
Keeping all this aside, I, as a writer, found readers for my work. Those who visited my blog and made it a point to leave their feedback. I mean, really, what else do you need to start with?
Tip 3 - Write What You're Not Comfortable Writing
Does the thought of writing action scenes give you cold feet? Do having to imagine and going into the depths of romantic intimacy make you self-conscious 😰 ? Are you not comfortable with topics needing in-depth research? Or...are you avoiding a particular genre (especially, while participating in writing contests) just because it will involve a lot of brain-racking, homework, and diving into the subject?
Seems like something that happens to you quite often?
Don't let any of that get the better of you. Read similar books if you must. Watch movies or TV shows that are action-oriented. Close your eyes, set in motion the wheels of imagination, and pen down your idea of a perfect intimate scene. Spend a day researching topics you've no knowledge in, do some reading (blogs, research articles, guides, Quora QnAs, etc.), and make notes. Dive into history and learn what you must. Take time. But don't cower away from taking on challenges. Especially, while you're a new writer.
Want to read something I wrote 4 years ago to challenge my taste and style of writing? Here it is - a short story based on the never-told-before love story of Shivaji and his first wife Saibai.
Tip 4 - Don't Rush into Publishing a Book
Read that again. And again. As many times as you must to digest the fact. Do not rush into even writing a book, if you ask me about it!
Focus on improving your writing for the first couple of years and leveraging as many platforms as you can. These days, you have social media. And the scope of growth and reach is unending. Spend some time exploring your art, your style, your confidence, what people like about your writing, your areas of strength as a writer, also the weaknesses. Take a breather and enjoy the process while also challenging yourself enough to grow at a moderate pace.
Writing a book requires a sense of mature thinking and an understanding of human emotions at a broader scale. Remember the story is yours but it will be lived by million hearts. You cannot hold on to a confined mindset and create a piece of art that is meant for many. That is why I mentioned, "explore". The more you do that, the more mature you get as a storyteller. Trust me as I say this - you'll know when the time is right. Wait for your instincts to show you the way 😇
I am sure you've more tips to share with me and the rest of the #writerscommunity. Share them here, down in the comments section. Let us all know your experience of growing as a writer. Together we'll explore #writing, #blogging, #storytelling.
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