Goodness that title makes me sound a little full of myself, doesn’t it? Of course my amazing friend Amanda, who had to figuratively slap me back to reality a time or two (…or more), could probably share some of our daily chats to prove it couldn’t be further from the truth. And it’s because of one of those virtual smacks that I got to thinking, this whole strange blogging journey from the last few years has really changed me…for the better!
Do you dream of becoming a full-time blogger but think your writing skills aren’t up to snuff?
I will be the first to say that I was in those very shoes not long ago. Growing up a math nerd who would rather work a difficult calculus problem than be given a writing prompt, the last thing I wanted to become was a writer. In fact, it took months (or maybe years) after my first blog post before I would call myself a writer. I just couldn’t accept the fact that a girl who was happy with C’s, but celebrated B’s, in English class would ever be good enough to be considered a writer.
And when I created my first blog, which is now lost somewhere in the blogosphere, it wasn’t focused on writing at all. I didn’t care how horribly written the posts were because it was all about my crafting experiences. And we all know that people would rather see pretty pictures of crafts instead of read about them. Especially if the author is horrible at descriptive writing…*shudder* I still have nightmares about that assignment in high school.
So what changed?
I can tell you that I didn’t wake up one day and instantly be a writing genius, but I did have one trick up my sleeve.
Practice makes perfect.
As much as I hate to admit it, there is so much truth to that statement. I didn’t stay up late at night studying. I didn’t meet with a writing coach. I just got behind my keyboard (or grabbed the closest notebook) and wrote. And when I wasn’t writing, I was reading other blogs.
I’m no pro at blogging (although I dream of one day becoming one), so take my tips with a grain of salt. But I will say that I’ve improved leaps and bounds from where I began. We can all learn from others, so here are a few of my tips on improving your writing:
- Write a little every day. You can work on blog posts or just write in your own personal journal, but whatever you do make sure you write a little every single day. Not only will this help you develop your own writing voice, but you will now have something to compare your future writings with and see how far you’ve come.
- Read. It might surprise you, but reading can do wonders for your writing. Now blog writing can be very different than book writing, so make sure that you are reading in formats that you want to improve on.
- Pre-plan your posts. If you want to make sure that you share the best posts you can write, planning is key. Jot down notes. Outline. Mind map. Whatever method works best for you, do it! Not only will it help keep your posts on point, but it could save you some precious time when you actually sit down to type.
- Sit, then edit. If you are going to edit your own writing, make sure you take a few hours/days break before doing so. We know what we mean to say, so sometimes we can look at something that is pretty much nonsense and process it as what we actually meant to say. I’ve seen it numerous times as I proofread my dad’s books.
Being the perfectionist that I am, I still have a long way to go before I will be completely happy with my writing. But practicing these tips each time I work on a post is helping me get one step closer with every word.
Moral of the story?
Even math nerds can write, with a little practice.
If you dream of becoming a blogger but feel you lack the skills, then practice! Heck, it’s true for just about anything you dream of being or doing. We live in a time where a degree isn’t always required for that dream job, if you take the time to practice.