Constantly, I find that I’m asking myself this very question all the time. As a student, I want to improve my academic writing. As a fiction writer and author, I want to advance my storytelling abilities. As a human being, I want to continue to develop my communication skills.
When I type this question into Google or ask friends and family for advice, I get a trillion answers that all sound both completely different, and yet exactly the same:
“Read this.” “Try this.” “Do this.”
Basically, I get a whole bunch of quick and easy answers that are incredibly specific. This never satisfies me, and it never will. However, I also don’t want someone to lecture me on everything I do wrong or overwhelm me with a hundred ways to better my writing.
This “problem” of having too many answers, ended up being a blessing in disguise.
Instead of getting overwhelmed with all of this advice and information, I decided to combine everything that was given to me, and form it into what what my aspirations are for writing, with some room for exploration.
Thanks to my friends, family, teachers/professors, co-workers, and even my dog, I feel like this is working out pretty well. The way to do this for yourself? I have some steps below!
#1 Ask yourself: what it is you want to be able to do?
Maybe it’s writing a short story! Or maybe, what do you want to improve on? Is it imagery? Diction? Dialogue?
#2 Once you’ve decided what this is, find a minimum of at least 3 ways to assist you in achieving this goal.
You could go on walks and practice observing the world in detail. You could learn a new word every day and practice using it in a sentence. Want to enhance your writing to be more lyrical? Maybe try poetry!
#3 Don’t limit yourself to these 3 options! Step outside of your comfort zone!
Maybe you despise research. Tell yourself to read one article about how using imagery can enhance storytelling. Or perhaps you use the same ten words to describe forests. Go find a dictionary and find maybe 5 new words to describe a forest.
These steps are not only simple, but they allow you to explore new realms of writing and include both traditional and modern ways of enhancing your writing. Good luck! I hope this helps!