A plethora of writing how-to’s

Do you always find yourself reading about how to be a better writer? There are numerous books on the subject and countless blogs and online forums. Whereas the Internet is an unlimited stream of wisdom flowing towards you from every corner of the world, this can also turn out to be a great problem. It can act as an escape, or a route to the kingdom of procrastination. Don’t feel like writing? Start reading about how to write well. This thought came to me while reading this blog post on 23 writing tips from famous authors. It contains advice from various famous authors on how to become a better writer.

So I was just wondering, how much writing advice do you need? I’m sure you must have read hundreds of blog posts and articles by now, and even a few books on writing. For instance, recently I read “On Writing” by Stephen King. This is the first writing help book I have ever read. Being a content writer, I constantly read about how to be a better content writer, a better copywriter, and in general, how to communicate yourself clearly using the right words and expressions.

But after the first 10 odd articles, it becomes repetitive. Even in the book “On Writing” most of the writing advice is something you already know. For instance, every serious writer knows not to throw in weighty words just to impress people. On the other hand, you should definitely build up your vocabulary so that when you need to express something the right words and definitions are always within reach. Avoiding passive writings – I have been told, etc. – has almost become a cliché. So are things like using correct grammar and spellings. You should read a lot. You should write a lot. Also, using lots of action words while creating sales copy. I mean, you come across these, the so-called tips almost everywhere. Then why do you go on reading them? Why do people go on writing about them and then publishing them?

I have nothing against writing such how-to’s and writing tips articles because for every one aspiring writer who knows this stuff, there are scores who don’t. New audience is always building. So people writing such articles and blog posts, and even books, shouldn’t stop writing simply because many people have already written on the same topic. In fact, continuously writing on how to write better also keeps you focused.

The problem arises when you keep on reading this stuff mainly because you want to feel as if you’re doing something, as if you are learning. Most of the stuff you already know. So instead of learning how to write, the best thing to do is, write, Even when you are not feeling like writing. This is the toughest thing to do – writing when every pore of your body doesn’t want to. This is when you inch towards being a successful writer.

Having said all this, a comment about the link I have put above, the authors who have shared their tips, don’t necessarily talk about how to write, they basically tell you what makes you successful, and I think it’s good to read such things. Successful people have habits and some of these habits can be emulated. You can either acquire these habits, or you have them inbuilt.