“Your words reflect your character. Write accordingly.”
Everyone is different. That’s what makes the human race so spectacular. We all have different personalities and interests, and just that alone makes each and every one of us in the world so unique. It’s funny – when it comes to reading something, you can often guess what someone is like as a person just through the way they write. You can read how creative a person is or how serious someone is through the way they use words and build sentences. We don’t realise it sometimes, but our brains are quite clever like that.
It seems obvious, but it’s something that must be said. As you get older, and as you keep doing something, you get better at it.
Practice makes perfect, as they say.
The same applies to writing. There are so many styles of writing, so many reasons to write, and there may be times where you have to alter the way you write to fit a particular task. I do this multiple times a week and the more you do it, the more it seems second nature. (And you get a great sense of achievement, by the way.)
I think I first started a diary when I was a kid, writing about how my day had been, how I’d fallen out with my best friend at school at the time or when I’d been forced to do P.E in the rain. Trust me, those were bad times if they got included in that diary! Diaries are well known for being extremely personal and most of the time, no one else will ever read them. It’s fine to talk complete and utter rubbish that no one else will understand, because you understand it. You sometimes find that writing a diary doesn’t actually require a great deal of thought. You’re talking to yourself in a way, so if you’re a writing newbie, it’s a fantastic idea to get stuff written on paper that you may not want to share with anyone else. Well, maybe not just yet.
In 2016, I had a pretty rubbish year, and this is the year that I decided to write a diary again. The first time since being a child. I will admit, it did feel a little childish, but writing down my problems, the ones I didn’t necessarily want to tell anyone about, really helped me to make the decisions I knew I needed to. I used to read back on how awful I felt at times and think ‘I don’t deserve this.’ I wrote in it every day for 365 days, and by the end of the year, I felt better than I had done for a very long time. Thanks to my diary writing, I now find it a lot easier to describe the feelings of characters in my story writing, or putting myself in the shoes of my fictional friends. I think I enjoy solving these imaginary problems more than I should!
I think the next step up from writing a diary is writing a personal blog. As I write about my experiences, like a lot of bloggers do, it feels similar to diary writing…but public! It’s about giving advice and writing about your opinions and experiences, but you also have to tailor this to be something that people will want to read. Think about something you’re interested in, a hobby you are active with or something you know quite a lot about. You’ll find it a lot easier to write that way and it’ll be easier to keep it interesting and informative.
Each day at work, I write blogs, but in a completely different way to this one. It’s not writing from a personal perspective, but from a business one, and again, this takes practice and skill. It’s upgrading what you already know about blogging and adapting it to fit the requirements of the business or subject area. You need to explain your services, or give that advice that’s really going to make the difference to people who are looking for it! Even though creativity and imagination is needed for all writing styles, there is one style that really has an endless stream of possibilities.
Creative writing. The part where you can get lost in world of your own creations, where anything could happen and anywhere can be reached. I think this style is my favourite as there is so much that can be done and explored. The story I’m on with at the moment which I’ve named ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ (for now, anyway) is a story of complete nonsense. None of it would happen in real life. None of it can be experienced by a human being. And do you know why it works?
It works because I’ve grown my imagination and creativity through the range of writing styles I’ve practised over the years.
I love getting inside the heads of my characters to help them solve their problems. I thrive when I think of even the slightest twist that could throw my readers of course. And the best part? The more I write fictional pieces, the more I will learn. The more I’ll think of even more people to meet and places to go. All that is so inspiring to me and all I’m thinking of right now is that I want to write another chapter!
My advice to you would be to start small. Grow your experiences and experiment with different styles of writing, upping the difficulty each time. Sometimes, you may even find that writing a diary or writing about yourself is more difficult than writing about a fictional character. You may enjoy poetry or want to have a go at writing a song, a musical or a play script. It’s all about where your comfort zone is, and where you know you can grow.
What is your writing ‘comfort zone’ and what are the styles of writing that you’d like to have a go at? There’s always time to learn something new 🙂