Writing

Writing 101: Basics of Writing

  • October 31, 2007

Scores of books have been published that are aimed at making the “reader” a bona-fide “writer”.  Are these books worth reading?  Every book is worth being read, but are these writing books worth being purchased?  The decision to spend money on such a book is entirely yours, but there are far more articles available fr free on the Internet such as this one that will tell you just what you need to know to get started.

Methods
The first thing you need to start writing is something to write in.  I prefer spiral-bound notebooks for many reasons.  For example, I feel notebooks are perfect due to their inexpensiveness, portability, and their non-reliance upon batteries or electricity.  Others as you might imagine, prefer computers (I don’t know why because they’re expensive, require electricity, and aren’t that portable).  The truth is that I do 99% of my writing in notebooks, but when I decide to share something, I type it into a computer.  But regardless of what method you choose, you need to choose the method that works for you.

Whatever method sets you free is the right one for you.  Experiment with different paper, bindings, pens, pencils, etc.  If computers are your thing, try out various word processing applications before deciding upon the one you like.  Also be sure to have at least one backup copy of your writing stored separately from your computer hard drive, just in case.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve lot irreplaceable works of writing because I never made a backup copy.

Finding A Place To Write
Now that you’ve found your perfect writing method, you need to find a place to write.  I’m not picky about where I write.  I’ve written in laundromats, in cars, on park benches, in bookstores and coffee shops, and of course, at home.

Just like your perfect writing method, you need to find your perfect place to write.  The perfect writing spot should have just the right amount of quiet, the right amount of light, and most importantly, the right distractions.  A little distraction at the right time can go a long way.  I prefer silly little toys and games scattered all around my writing area, and there’s no better light than that of a candle or two with mellow music playing in the background.  Again, it’s all up to you.  Don’t let anyone tell you how or where to do your writing.  What works for others might not work for you, and likewise, what works for you might not work for anyone else.

Schedule Time For Writing
Once you have decided upon what method you will use to write, and where you plan to write, the last remaining step before you begin writing is setting aside time to write.  Some folks stick to a very specific schedule, while others (like myself) wait for inspiration to hit, whenever and wherever, which is why I carry a notebook and a pen with me whenever possible.  Again (I know this is getting redundant), whatever works best for you is the way to go.

Write!
So now we’re hopefully ready to start writing.  You’ve gotten your materials together (notebook/computer/whatever) and some time, precious time.  Now just select a topic and begin writing.  Don’t worry if what you’re writing isn’t spelled correctly or even makes sense.  There will be plenty of time for editing once you’ve finished writing.  What is important here is getting your writing out of your head and into a form in which you can work with it.

When you feel like you’re done writing, stop!  Take a break from your writing ad do a different activity for awhile.  When you feel like returning, you can either edit what you have already written or write about something else (or both!).  It’s all up to you.

Share Your Writing
Once all your editing is done, you might wish to share what you’ve written (or you might not).  If you’re like me, sharing is half the fun.  In recent times, people have been sharing their writing in blogs.  I use WordPress for my blog, but there are lots of other options on the Internet, a majority of them being free.  Who doesn’t like things that are free?  I know I do!

Blogs are a great way to promote, share, and develop your writing because in seconds your words become available worldwide to anyone with Internet access.  It also opens up bold new opportunities to the writer that allow your readers to comment, subscribe, share your writing with others, and most importantly, interact with you (the writer) and your other readers.

Some might argue that there is and never will be a substitute for writing groups.  I for one never seemed to grow or benefit from writing groups, but for some, they can be a great source of inspiration and networking.  If groups are your thing, go for it.  If blogging is better suited to your busy schedule, then blog.  The point I’m trying to make here is that to grow as a writer, you will eventually need someone else to read what you have written and then (hopefully) discuss your writing with you.

Keep On Writing!
The biggest mistake made by writers is that they stop writing.  Did Mark Twain or Ernest Hemmingway stop writing after they published something?  Of course not, and you shouldn’t either, for any reason.  Just like everything else in life, practice makes perfect.  You can develop your skills just by writing; the more you write, the better you write.

Don’t worry what other people think or say about your writing, because for every one person who dislikes or unfairly criticises your writing, there will always be a handful of people who will think very highly of your writing.  Pay the most attention to those who appreciate you and your writing, while at the same time, ignore those who condemn it.

Your comments and ideas are what inspires me to write.  Please leave some.

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2 Comments on Writing 101: Basics of Writing

  • Jo Ozden says:
    April 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Love this article Tom, I just need to turn your advice in to my confidence and JUST start writing.

    Reply

    • Thomas says:
      April 1, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Thanks! No matter what your confidence level, it’s better to write than to put off writing, especially if at the time of writing, you don’t have plans to share it.

      Reply

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