Content writing is both a skill and an art. While one can easily learn the vocabulary, sentence formation, language grammar, etc. and start writing, it takes a lot more finesse, experience, and magic to captivate your audience with your writing. All businesses, corporates, govt, media agencies etc., need excellent content to get their readers hooked and associated with the brand. Therefore the demand for skilled writers is increasing in the industry every day. As a beginner, it is essential to be versatile and try your hand in different writing styles to understand your strengths and weaknesses in the area.
What to focus on while writing?
Professionally writing for a domain is different from journaling or other types of personal writing. There are a lot of nuances and aspects involved in the writing process. As a fresher, it is fundamental to understand the different limbs of the elaborate writing process. Here are the key pointers to address when you start out with writing.
1. Understanding your audience
Understanding your audience is the most important step to become a good writer. Focus on their knowledge level, technical expertise, age, cultural beliefs, etc., to understand them and then deliver a curated writing piece specifically by keeping that audience as the focus. Since you are writing to be read, deciding the subject matter or topic for the right audience is the logical first step of writing.
2. Depth of Knowledge
Since writing is about communicating your thoughts and providing the reader with a perspective, the writer needs to have a clear and complete understanding of the topic he or she is writing on. Having a proper depth of knowledge helps to make sure that the writing is impartial and is not home to the individual biases of the author. It becomes tough to keep your prejudices aside and deliver a less strongly opinionated piece of writing. A pro tip is to list out the pros and cons of the topic at hand and distribute them evenly throughout the length of the article and leave the readers with an option to make an informed choice.
3. Sentiment or tone of the article
Each sentence can communicate any emotion and has enough power to motivate or influence the readers. Hence, it becomes very critical that the article's sentiment or tone is set according to the information being communicated. Some various tones in a writing piece can be factual, emotional, reporting, criticism. Sentiments help the readers associate with the writer and see experience the writing instead of simply reading it. After all, it is the sentiment that makes you relate to your favourite protagonist in a novel.
With so many writing styles available, different types of writing, various sentiments and generalities to take care of, it can become overwhelming for a writer to know what to practice, which way to move forward and how to improve their writing skill by a big margin. While practice, ensure that the considerable focus is spent on writing and delivery instead of knowing the topic. Some various writing exercises which can be easily practised by beginners and are usually in abstract form are as follows:
Best Writing Exercises
There are a few easy warmup exercises to get you in the midframe of a professional writer. As you practice them religiously, here is a sneak peek into the psychology of writing.
1. Write an Advertisement
Pick up any of your favourite products or brand, and try to create a newspaper or magazine advertisement without mentioning the brand or the product. Show it to a group of people on whether they can recognize it correctly and whether on seeing the advertisement, they would be interested in purchasing the item.
2. A Letter to your younger self-motivation or criticism
You are your best critic. Write a letter to yourself every week, describe significant events, goals, achievements and failures. Try to use various sentiments while writing the letter. In spare time, compare each of your letters with the previous one and see how you have improved yourself as a writer over time and track your writing goals via the letters.
Writing a blog digitally is straightforward and gives you your own space to experiment and get feedback from the audience. While being a free service, it gives young budding writers a perfect platform to showcase their writing skills to the world, see what is working for them and what’s not and finally incorporate all of their feedback in their next writing. When beginning with blogging, you will need prompt feedback. How about showcasing your work to a community of writers who will nourish your growth with their first-hand tips and experiences? Seems like a good learning opportunity, doesn't it? Well, we have curated a safe haven for all you learners to enhance your skills and develop new ones in the company of skilled individuals or other like-minded people. Download the knowledge sharing platform Kool Stories now and join a flourishing writing community.
Websites like Quora also help you connect to your audience differently and understand how different people write answers to the same questions differently. It helps you make your writings more lucid and simplified so that it easily captures your audience's attention and can relate to it.
4. Summarization- Summarize an article into one para
While everyone can write in a long and unstructured form, an experienced writer can communicate the intent in very comprised and structured writing. With today’s fast-paced life, and apps like Inshorts getting popular, readers want more byte size and information. Hence, summarization is one vital skill for any budding writer. Pick any article from a magazine or a newspaper and try to make a concise summary of the same, without cutting on the important information. A similar practice can also be done on famous speeches to observe the difference between reading and writing.
5. Character Sketch
One of the most difficult yet interesting pieces to write is a character sketch. Experienced writers spend months and years understanding famous people and then producing their character sketches in biographies and autobiographies. We can simply pick up any person we know closely and write a short 1 or 2-page character sketch about them for writing practice. For assessing your character sketch, ask others to guess who the person is. Focus on making it engaging, and write interesting things about the person instead of general facts. The writing style of a character sketch can be observed by reading biographies and autobiographies of famous people. After some experience, one can also try to write a character sketch of any fictional character based on any recently read book.
What to keep in mind while performing writing exercises?
While doing any writing exercise, the focus should be on improvement and learning. Hence, one should never be scared to experiment or worry about criticism for their writing. Take it as constructive feedback and try to improve. While your best judge is you, it is beneficial to get a second opinion from someone who writes often or has taken writing as a career.
If one is thinking seriously about writing as a career option, it is also important to know your final goal in mind, ie. What type of writer do you aspire to be? A journalist? A blogger on social issues? A screenplay writer? Creative writer for an ad agency? All of these career options need varied writing skills, and thus, the writing exercises to become better in those particular skills also vary a bit.
How to evaluate your writing exercises?
Writing Groups or Writing Buddy
It is best if these exercises are taken in groups of two or more so that everyone gets the perspective of more than 1 person. While working in a group, one gets to learn from each other’s mistakes and fallacies, and at the same time, you have someone keen to help you improve and shower constructive criticism on you. Any experienced writer in the group can greatly improve the learning curve for all the budding writers. Having someone to work with also helps in regularity through constant extrinsic motivation, while ultimately gets reflected in the writing skills of the individuals.
Various writing and blogging platforms are present, which continually organize writing competitions and challenges for their members and the general public. While getting one-on-one feedback is a little tough due to the huge number of participants, it helps to compare one’s writing skills with that of writers across the world. Finding insights and learnings from the best-written exercises helps a lot in self-evaluation and improvement.
Q1. How can I practice my writing?
It's pretty simple. Write daily. Write whenever you get the time. Think and live writing. Make writing your priority. Try new ways to write your thoughts. Be bold and aggressive with your approach. When you start something, you have all the room to make mistakes. Experiment with words and read a lot of other writers. Be inspired but never ever copy.
Q2. What are the 5 types of writing?
Writing techniques can be divided into five major parts. Descriptive writing, Creative writing, Narrative writing, Expository writing and Persuasive writing. Typically, a person starts with narrative or descriptive writing. With practice, they can jump onto creative writing. Although, it is not meant for everybody. Most of us can master a few of these types, but an excellent hold on all kinds should be the goal of any writer.
Q3. How do I identify my writing style?
First of all, do not explicitly try to evolve a writing style. Be yourself and write as you think. Let your thoughts flow uninterrupted. Gradually, you will develop few ways of writing things your own way. It should never be forced, though. Keep things simple and wait for your creative sprouts. Eventually, you will create something original without starving for originality.
Q4. Is writing a good hobby?
Absolutely! It is one of the oldest hobbies known to the modern man. Writing allows you to be yourself. It is so simple; you can do it even when you are confused and tired. Writing is a liberating feeling, especially for your emotional and creative conscience. Also, writing as a hobby can be your final stop for relaxation and serenity.
Q5. How can I practice writing stories?
You do not have to reach out to an external source to write a story. You have it all inside you. All your experiences can be used to create fantastic stories. They will be authentic and far away from being pretentious. Just keep on describing situations you have faced with dialogues. You can also write about people you know and then get genuine feedback on your storytelling ways.
Q6. What are the basic writing skills?
The basics of good writing are knowledge of spelling and punctuation, proper sentence structure, reading comprehension and editing.
Q7. How can I write a story?
As a beginner, you must think of completing your story in one sitting. Afterwards, you can work on character building, creating tension and its resolution, and dialogues.