A writer writes, that much is self-evident, but when you begin talking about what he or she writes and how it is written, things is far less clear. Each author has a personal style and it is that style that sorts the wheat from the chaff. Everybody almost certainly has a favourite writer and that normally means that the person likes the style in which that author writes.
Knowledge is also important, but style is important even in technical writing although in technical writing, the best style is to being fair and impersonal. After all, a mechanic does not check with a handbook on a certain car’s gearbox to read the author’s personal opinion of that gearbox, but the same individual will read a review of the car as a whole by a writer whose opinion he or she respects.
I know people who have not read a book since school because they were put off by Shakespeare. In one case, a teacher told the boy that he was clearly a moron if he could not see why Shakespeare was the best playwright ever. He still cannot understand why, and it ended his reading.
The first tip for a author is to read lots, but never to imitate. No-one wants to read work that attempts to be a copy of someone else’s style. If you like Shakespeare and you read it often, it will almost certainly affect your style of course without you having to do it on purpose, but that is different from impersonation. That is influence and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
After you have had the urge to wrote, you have to take the decision what to write on. Are you going to be a novelist or a writer of ad hoc pieces? You could do both. You have to eat and a (first) novel could take years to complete, writing articles can place food on the table in the meantime.
There are many web sites that offer writing projects for article writers. Often, you have to list what you can write on and supply a free sample. If you are accepted onto the register, you may browse the list of articles for which clients have placed orders. When you have written it, you upload it, which is very simple, and if it is accepted, the payment is transferred to your account.
In my experience, writers become better the more they write, so do not become discouraged if you find it a problem to get going when you first begin in your writing career. Confidence comes with practice. in most lines of work, including writing.
The best piece of advice on writing that I have ever been given is ‘to write for at least ten minutes every day’. It was the daily tip in a diary I had around 15 years ago. I remind myself of it at least once a week.
The best thing about it is that I find it not possible to write for merely 10 minutes. It might take a while to get going, but when I’m off, an hour or two flies past without me noticing. Try it and see for yourself.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece writes on quite a number of topics, but is at present concerned with Professional Translation Services. If you want to know more go to our web site at Real Translator Jobs Advice.