How to Write
Good. Well. Like a Champion.
We all get it. Words are hard. How do you string along a series of sounds into a somewhat coherent and enjoyable sentence? Is there any hope for the verbally challenged to improve their writing skills? Will you ever become the overnight Twitter sensation that you know you’re destined to become?
Fear not for the internet is on your side! There are a number (myriad? plethora? oodles? WHICH WORD SHOULD I CHOOSE?!) of online tools that allow you to organize your thoughts, proofread your material, and most importantly…practice. The only way to get better at writing is to keep writing.
- DailyPage >> This is a daily writing prompt that gives you a new topic at the start of each day (you can also opt for weekly, monthly, etc.) and has no required word limit. You have the ability to either keep these prompts private or share them publicly and receive feedback via the site.
- 750 Words >> This is yet another daily writing tool, although this one has no set topic it does have a desired word count of 750 words (3 pages). The site then compiles and shares statistics about your writing pace, even letting you know how often you get distracted.
- The Most Dangerous Writing App >> The concept is simple, but treacherous. Pick an amount of time you want to write and write non-stop for the allotted time. If you pause (even for the duration of a sneeze), the site will erase everything you’ve written. Seriously.
Edit Your Work
There are also tools that can facilitate the act of writing rather than simply providing an online outlet. Here are some notable ones (lol):
- Grammarly >> This free app goes beyond the standard spell check functions and can identify passive voice, weak construction, and whether certain sentences are difficult to understand.
- HemingwayApp >> This app assesses the readability level of your work and grades it accordingly. Hemmingway also helps in discovering a target audience and making sure you are achieving the right tone.
With these tools in your arsenal, you are ready for the next step of honing your craft: receiving feedback.
Get & Give Feedback
Feedback is enormously beneficial for any level of writer, as there is no limit to the amount of editing one can do to a piece of written work. This is one of the reasons ISL created the group lovingly coined, Word Nerds. The group gets together bi-monthly before work to participate in writing prompts and provide constructive feedback. There are also a large amount of Meetups, where you can go and flex your muscles among similarly motivated individuals who can offer suggestions and/or support to your endeavor.
Feedback can seem scary, but remember that it can also be positive. Constructive criticism has a time and a place, but just giving your fellow fledgling writer a pat on the back or a word of encouragement can make a world of difference in building the confidence needed to pursue the pen-paved path.
Don’t forget, writing is a highly nuanced art that takes time, practice, and lots and lots of workshopping to perfect. Understanding the resources available and being both willing and passionate about putting pen to paper or hand to keyboard is what it is all about. So go forth my fellow writers, and create.