So you want to write? 10 Ways to get started

Hey Shehu, I want to be a Writer. I love writing but it’s difficult for me to start, what can I do?

Whenever I write, I feel my writing is not fascinating enough, do you face that too?

I have written many articles in the past, but I am afraid to share it with the public, what’s your advice on this? And the list is endless.

These are some of the questions I get from readers of my blog, friends and colleagues. Though they are passionate about writing, but don’t know how to start.

get started writing
get started writing

Let me tell you this: “While some believe that writers are born, others believe that they are made”. Irrespective of your belief, writing is an art that can be learnt and improved upon when you follow the right guides and learn from great writers.

So Today, I will share a 10 step guide, that can ease your writing career, and make it easier for you to write despite the challenges you face.

  1. The hard part is beginning: Writing is a herculean task I admit. It’s always difficult to write and even more difficult to continue writing. But the hard part of writing is writing. You should write regardless of whatever you’re facing or the content you churn out at first. The most important thing is to write. “Good writers write regardless of the content”. As soon as you begin your writing, everything will fall in place.

  2. Follow your writing process: Every writer has a process he or she follows. This is a routine that comes naturally, and not a step-by-step guide. The processes you follow while writing include the following
  • Pre-writing (Where you find your idea, build on it, plan and structure it)
  • Writing (In this stage, you write, concentrate more and avoid distractions)
  • Revision (At this stage you add, remove, rearrange and replace). Then, the editing and the publishing processes. When you follow these processes, writing becomes much easier and your contents are of more quality. You can read more about these processes here and here.
  1. Reading: Reading is important for writers. Good writers are avid readers. When you read, you equip yourself with the right words, vocabularies etc. you need to find time to read always as a writer, and it’s not limited to particular topics. You not only read, but read wide too. When you inculcate the habit of reading as a writer, you’ll see yourself becoming better at it.
  2. Learning: While it’s necessary to read always as a writer. That does not suffice only, as you need to learn too. As a writer, you need to learn about the usage of grammar, how to write compelling sentences, punctuation, spelling, etc. When you read, and complement it with learning, you are sure to super-charge your write-ups quality always.
  3. Researching: As a writer, you should be able to make lots of research always. Researches help your writing by making it more apt, qualitative, informative and factual. As a writer, you should research always even on topics you can write about. This helps you to improve the quality of your contents, and shows how deep your understanding of the topic is. So whenever you want to write, research first.
  4. Time: If you seriously want to increase the quality of your write-up, then you should dedicate time to it. Without dedicating time to writing, it will be difficult to produce quality contents always. Writing is time-consuming, and the more time you spend on it the better. Many wannabe writers are not one today, because they find it difficult to find time to write. Find a time to write always.Motivation photo
  5. Start small: One thing you must know is that, when you write you shouldn’t be keen on doing everything at once. Do not think you can start today, and be able to churn out Thousands of words within a few hours. As a beginner, you need to start from somewhere depending on what works best for you. Start small and move up the ladder.
  6. Practice: Practice makes perfection, they say. As a writer, you should practise always to become better. Never assume you can become a better writer without practicing. Yes, you become better by writing, and you write by practicing. Practice daily with few words, and see how far it’ll go in improving you. Write 300, 500, 750 words at least daily. Resources like 750 words, Twords and Daily Page are good for this purpose.
  7. Motivation: When you motivate yourself, it helps you to write better. Lack of motivation is something that can hunt you as a writer. Because when you are not motivated, you’re not spurred to write. As a Writer, the first step to motivating yourself is by sharing your writing with your readers, for appraisal and comments. When they do this, it helps you since you are sure someone is reading what you write. Likewise, you can motivate yourself in a negative way too. Whenever you write have it in mind that, someone will learn and be motivated by what you do. But if you don’t, your ideas will perish with you. Motivate yourself always.
  8. Discipline: As a writer, you need to be disciplined to succeed. Without discipline you will find out that, you’ll not achieve your goals. With a lot of distractions on the social media these days, you must be disciplined to follow your routines and schedules. It’s discipline that makes you to write when you have an interesting movie to watch, or an online hangout with your friends. When you are disciplined, you’ll improve your writing.

On a Final Note

As I addressed in this post, writing is something you cannot do without in the world today. There is no alternative to it. Since it is a necessity, you not only need to learn how to do it, but doing it well matters most. As it is said: “What is worth doing, is worth doing well”. With these guides, be sure to see yourself writing quality content always.

Over to you

Which of these guides, do you practise the most, and how has it helped your writing career. Make your submissions in the comment box.

Sidestep your fears: Why You should start Writing Today

“If you don’t want to be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten in the grave, either write something worth reading or do something worth Writing.”- Benjamin Franklin

It’s common to see wannabe writers, afraid of starting a writing career. While many are afraid because of the notion that writing is hard. Others think that they do not have the requisite skills to command a clout of active followers. Not only that, many others do not know why they should start writing.

Today, I want you to sidestep your fears and do nothing but writing. I am revealing in this post, reasons why you should pick up your pen, switch on your computer, and start writing.

Sidestep your fears and start writing today

But before that; let me tell you this:

“Without a good writing skill, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good.”

Reference.com puts it this way: “Writing is an important part of life, whether in the workplace or school, as a hobby or in personal communication. This skill helps the writer express feelings and thoughts to other people in a relatively permanent form”

Likewise Skillsyouneed describes writing thus: “Writing skills are an important part of communication.  Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations.”

As you can see, Writing is an essential part of our daily life, there’s hardly a day whereby you’ll not meet writing.  Be it in College, University, Workplace, and Conversation via Social Media and the list is endless.

Still thinking of writing? Here are 7 reasons why you should:

  1. It expresses your personality: In writing, you express your thoughts and personal convictions. So when you write, it demonstrates who you are as a person. Writing is a personality booster and shows your audience what/how/why you think/believe in whatever you write. As a reader of this post, you should decipher that I believe you need not only acquire a writing skill but do nothing today, than to start writing.
  2. It gives you credibility: Writing makes it easy for your audience to believe in you and want to relate with you. When you are a writer, you automatically express your thoughts which makes your audience see you as someone who is credible. It makes them see you as someone who is intelligent and can be trusted. Even in colleges, universities and schools writers tend to get higher grades and seen as more intelligent than their less literary counterparts.
  3. It aids Networking: Writing travels farther than you, and makes it easy for those who won’t have heard of you, revere and want to associate with you. With a good writing skill, you will meet new people, go places, and have memorable experiences. Many popular writers in the world today, have only gotten that privilege because they write. If you want to network with the right people today, start writing.
  4. It’s an essential job skill: Employers place a high value on sharp writing skills. There is hardly any job today that doesn’t need you to write. You need to write a report, grant application or press release, exchange e-mails with your colleagues, etc. So, you need a good writing skill to enable you do that. Without one, you might not be able to get a job. It might even be difficult to get along with your colleagues (if you have one). According to Grammarly, major companies spend upwards of US$3 billion (£1.8bn) per year training their employees to bring their writing abilities up to scratch.
  5. It’s a profession: Writing is a profession. If you are a Journalist, public relations professional etc., you need to start writing because it’s your profession. For these professions, you need to write because that is what you do. Apart from these professions that traditionally need writing, other professions do too. Thus, if you dream to work as a professional in these fields, you need to write.
  6. Means of communication: Before the advent of the internet, many people communicate via the telephones. We can say then that it is easy to defy writing. But today, writing has become the major means of communication between persons, businesses and organisations. With emails, notes, tweets, texts and so on. It’s hard for you to communicate without writing. Communicating via this platform can hinder or boost your career, relationship, networking etc. Remember, good writing leads to good communication.
  7. You can make a living: Of course, you can make a living writing, and affecting others’ lives positively. Many writers, bloggers, freelancers and so on are earning a decent living just by writing. Some writers and bloggers make six figures and more monthly writing Of course it’s not a day’s job but with efforts, perseverance and persistence you’ll join them. And the most interesting part is that, making a living from your writing not only gives you freedom, you can continue earning forever.
Start writing today
Start writing today

Why not sidestep your fears?

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” says Nelson Mandela. It’s always difficult to start, easy to procrastinate, and easier to dream of becoming a writer. Why not sidestep your fears today, ignite your passion and follow it up with actions. Definitely you will become a writer who will enjoy these benefits and more.

Over to you:

What other reasons do you have, for choosing to become a writer? And what are your fears of not yet becoming one? Make your submissions in the comment box.

Can’t keep up? 7 ways to write quality blogposts always

Blog
Blogging

It is 7am, your night was awesome. You have forgotten that you slept worriedly the night before. After deciding to take action, you want to serve your readers with fresh articles on a weekly basis. Still basking in the euphoria of the success of your last article, the number of shares you got in the social media was mind-blowing, you have gotten new friends on Facebook, new followers on Twitter and quite some views on LinkedIn. Yes, a writer I am, you tell anyone who cares to listen.

Today, is another day and you have to write, you want to replicate last week’s success, you want to gain new followers, but there is a problem. Yes, you have ran out of ideas, you don’t know what to write about.

The truth is, every writer faces this situation, writing is a lonely and arduous task, but how is it possible to churn out quality articles week in week out. Today, I reveal the secrets of established writers, and how they are able to write articles, that are always interesting, enlightening and factual.

  • Writers Read always: Reading is an activity that established writers do always, they are never tired of it,  hence they are full of ideas. As a writer you must read something out of everything. Good writers are avid readers, because when reading, you get a lot of ideas which shapes your writing always.
  • Make Google thy friend: Google has been around for a while, but most writers have not found it a worthy friend. If you are a writer, and you think you can generate great ideas always without Google, then you need to rethink your strategy. Many a writer are under-utilising the search engine, and have forgotten that it has the best answers to our questions. In fact Google, can give you an insight into what people are searching for, and you can write about it.
  • Learn from the best: There is no industry where there are no authorities. Writing is not an exception, as we have writers who have made names writing and have been doing it for decades. Many writers fail today, because they feel they can be independent. Kallen Diggs puts it this way:

    “There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Accepting the help of others will usually shorten the learning curve in anything you want to pursue in life. It does not make you any less independent.”

    As a writer, you need to visit the authority blogs and websites. Topics written on these blogs can give you ideas of what you’ll write next.

Write

  • Be a good listener: A good writer must also be a good listener. Listening will let you know what your readers want, how they want it, and why they want to it. Today’s post is a product of a question one of my readers asked last week. Every writer must listen to the readers always, this could be in form of reading their comments, conducting surveys, and asking them what they want etc.
  • Write down ideas: This is natural, and many writers fail to utilize it. Many a times, you could be walking on the street, be in the public bus, or on the train, and an idea on what you can write about comes to mind. Established writers do not joke with this, they jot them down and revisit when it’s time. You should always write down the ideas you have as they come. These ideas if not useful now, will count one day.
  • My niche my Interest: Have you ever asked yourself, what interests you the most? Every writer MUST have an interest, which is referred to as niche. This interest could stem from your course of study, religious/social/cultural affiliations. Your niche is unique to you, and you should develop it. Many established writers/bloggers have gone ahead to build an empire with their niches. Examples of this include: Darren Rowse, Brian Clark and Jon Morrow best known for blogging tips, Seth Godin known for self-development, Zac Johnson known for Affiliate Marketing, Carol Tice and Bamidele Onibalusi known for Freelance Writing. Jeff Goins and Abdullahi Muhammed known for coaching writers. These writers/bloggers have honed their skills in these niches over the years, and they have been writing about them ever since.

On a Final Note:

Writing gives you the voice you crave for. It gives you a right to pen down your thoughts and make an impact in the world. While it’s generally interesting, it could be frustrating at times especially for newbie writers. Knowing these secrets and putting them into practise will ensure that you don’t run out of ideas anytime soon.

Over to you:

As a writer, what are your secrets to writing quality articles always without running out of ideas?

Taking Action: The Newbie Writer’s Guide to Success

The Newbie Writer
writer’s desk

Admit it. You have always admired great writers in your field. You have read lots of blog posts, articles, and newsletters on how to get started as a writer. You have even joined some writing e-courses that take you through the nitty-gritty of writing. You’re a daily visitor to some of the popular blogging/writing websites in the world such as Copyblogger, Problogger, Smartblogger, Goinswriter, Writers in charge, Make a living writing, Grammar Girl, Seth Godin, TheWritelife and the list is endless.

You understand writing is the calling for you, you respect writers and always wish to be called one anytime, you believe that great writers produce great ideas, and ideas rule the world always.

Just as Paul Graham puts it:

Writing doesn’t just communicate ideas; it generates them, if you’re bad at writing and don’t like to do it, you will miss out on most of the ideas writing would have generated.

But, you’re held up. Not only do you procrastinate beginning your writing career, you are afraid of failure. The ideas are perfectly in your head, but you don’t know how to get started. You read that established writers make a lot of money writing, but you think you can’t withstand their expertise.

The Reality: Being in motion Vs. Taking Action

In his post, The Mistake smart people make, James Clear aptly describes it thus:

Motion is when you’re busy doing something, but the task will never produce an outcome by itself. Action on the other hand is the behaviour that will get the result.

Let’s cite some examples:

  • If I outline 30 ideas I want to write on, that’s the motion, if I actually write and publish just an article, that’s an action.
  • If I read a blog post on How to make money as a freelance writer, that’s motion, if I actually put it into practice and start making money, that’s an action
  • If I study for a test, that’s motion. If I actually take the test, that’s action

Motion is good but action is better

I love the way Leonardo da Vinci puts it:

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

Motion is good because it allows you to prepare and strategise and learn as a writer, but it will never produce a final result. Yes, motion will show you the way but action will definitely take you there.

Taking action
Taking action

Are you ready to take action?

As a newbie writer, you should understand that actions matter a lot, if indeed you want to succeed. It’s the actions that the established writers are taking that stand them out from the crowd. If you wish to be successful in your writing career, I advise you to do the following:

  1. Start small: Don’t be in a hurry. Take calculated and important steps always. Simply put: begin with one task and get it completed before going to the next
  2. Reconnect with the present moment: Don’t be a hurry to make a name
  3. Focus on how instead of ifs: What if’s can really make you lose focus. So instead of letting your mind get lost in what if’s focus on the how.
  4. Put distractions away: These days, our devices are with us everywhere and it takes just a second to get distracted. So you need to be wary of that and do the needful always
  5. Utilise your time judiciously: Your time is an asset that you must guard jealously. While you shouldn’t harbour stress and tension about time, allow it to work towards your goals
  6. Get motivated: Make sure that you have some incentives to get self-motivated. The more motivated you are, the more actions you take
  7. Don’t be a perfectionist: Don’t wait to be a perfect writer before you start. Expertise is not attained one day, it’s learned on the job
  8. Don’t follow the majority: As a newbie writer, you need to figure out what makes you happy, what you can write on consistently over time, and follow it to the latter. Don’t be a copy-cat
  9. Be enthusiastic: Enthusiasm is a great emotional state to be in to take action. Be proud and happy to be called a writer, tell whoever cares to listen that you’re one.
  10. The time is now: If indeed you want to take action, there is no other time better to do that than now. Do not wait for the perfect moment, make this moment a perfect one.

On a Final Note:

John Wooden puts it this way: “Never mistake activity for achievement”. If indeed you want to be successful in your writing career, then you must begin to take actions. And I say: “Don’t wait to be an expert before you take bold steps. Start something today, learn on the job, be determined and remain consistent. Indeed, Expertise is earned over time and not a day’s job.”

What has been hindering you from kick-starting your writing career? Do comment in the box below.