November 8, 2008

The one about that writing hobby

For all the writers and writer-wanna-be: Write, write, write!

Some tips from the not-so-best-writer around

My office mate asked me to teach him how to write. I pondered and told tell him my habit on how I make my own article, blog or simply doodling words to be able to come up with random topics to write about.

I think everyone can write. It's just that there are some who are born to be one or has honed their skills through continuous writing. It's not even an issue whether this skill is inherited or not since I'm the only one in the long line of my family who has love for writing. My brother is just starting to bring out his skills just after I have been constantly publishing some of my works.

I don't know which of the two established my ability, but might as well put it to another good use by giving some tips to those who want to hone their skills too.

1) Read.

Even if you read only one category, say newspaper or FHM (=.=), it doesn't really matter what you read. Reading could give you ideas on what you want to write about. It also helps in seeing other people's writing composition and eventually pick it up and evolve it to your own. Like they say, You are what you read.

(If you wanna know, I'm a novel bookworm. I started reading Hardy Boys back in GS then went for Sidney Sheldon (May he rest in peace) and James Patterson who has greatly influenced my writing composition (Minus the "sexy" parts. XD). I'm currently inlove with Neil Gaiman and his insanely great ideas although I still have a long way before I write like him.)

See? You really don't have to idolize Edgar Allan Poe or Jose Rizal just to be a writer! You're the one who makes a name for yourself! :)

2) Write.

Of course one would really get nowhere without constant writing and practice. Write down your thoughts however jumbled they may be. It's from there you could start to fix the puzzle and make a story out of it. Just try to lessen superfluous words. You want your readers to READ... not get nosebleed. XD

3) Ask someone to give you constructive criticisms.

You'll really never know your fault or wrong grammaring (LOL) without asking someone to see it for you. My parents were my first editors until i finally submit my first article to the Kiddie newspaper I first wrote for and saw the final outcome. My 200 word-article turned into 80. LOL! XD

4) Study .

Well in my case, I picked the Journalism course (now you know) to fully hone the skill that I have started ever since I was young. I learned from books, teachers and fellow writers. I can't say I'm a good writer already, but I just keep on writing for the love of it.

I could say intermmediate English would suffice just to fully give one a grasp of all those writing rules and what-not's. Self help books might help too. :D

5) Blue's Clues anyone?

It's not about the blue dog or their mail... mail... maiiiiil! (XD) It's their "thinking notebook" that's very handy dandy specially when one thinks of an idea and doesn't even have a notebook (and pen for that matter) to pour out what they are currently brainstorming. Well if you have super memory, you might be able to wait 'til you get home to type in all those ideas. But then again, any piece of material that's writable enough would do, take for example J.K. Rowling who started Harry Potter in an ice cream tissue paper! XD

6) Last but not least, DO NOT FORGE.

This is like the unforgivable sin in writing. If you want to write about something and you got most words from someone else, it's not shameful to inform them as your source. It not only gives that person the right to his or her intellectual property, but it also shows that you DO read to broaden your thoughts and eventually incorporate them on your own article.

That's all I can think of right now. I hope it's useful to those who want to have this passion or simply as a hobby. For those who already know how to write, maybe you could share your own tips too! :)

If you want to write, just write! No language or inability should hold one down. Heck, writing in a personal Diary is considered a step already! What's important is that you get to express your thoughts and or opinion write? errr... right? XD

From a news article I read about the comic artists of Trese and what they have to say about writing: (from Manila Bulletin, Nov. 1, 2008: G-1 Section)

"Don't let comic books just be the only source of inspiration for your stories.
Read anything you can get your hands on.
Finding inspiration from life. When you fall in love,
write down how it felt, try to describe it to a five-year old.
Watch a band perform for the first time in some hole in the wall
and remember how the singer stuttered and how his sweat
glistened on his forehead. Talk to your parents what
they dreamed about when they were kids.
Talk to the kids about what they're most afraid of.
And after that, go back and write."

Very inspirational if I might say. :)

The Pen is the tongue of the mind.
- Miguel de Cervantes

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Related Post:

+ Writing Tips Part 2


Linda Aragoni said...

The idea that wide reading is essential for anyone learning to write is true to a point.

The problem is that when a person reads widely, that person is exposed to a range of genres that have little in common. We wouldn't expect someone to learn to play lacross by watching football, basketball, tennis, and rugby, would we? But we act as if all writing is the same.

From a teaching perspective, it is far more useful to have someone read widely within a genre. At least then the person has a chance of figuring out how work in that genre is put together.

For more on this idea see

Linda Aragoni

jaythegame said...

that was a fun read joan. always been entertained by your blog.:)

kincaid said...

SUPERFLUOUS? *nosebleed*


Nice article btw~

Lady 'K said...

Awww shucks, thanks! :)