This post has been in my draft section for quite some time. I’ve been rummaging through old workshop papers, reading old e-mails from poets, and listening to a wide array of writers in order to make a list worthy of sharing. I’ve been to a few workshops ranging from essays, short stories, to poetry. Here are some helpful tips I’d like to give to the community of writers.
–Create a title last. Complete your piece before you add a lovely title. Once the title is developed as a writer you feel obligated to stick with the said topic instead of letting the language guide your way. (I know this from experience that this is difficult). If you must have a title use a number or letter.
–When writing if you are always writing in the same style or point of view change it up. Try a haiku, a sonnet, write in a different form or rhyme pattern. If you are writing a short story, write from the antagonist view, write from third person, write the story in a different setting. Simply changing the way you write or where the story takes place can enhance your writing.
–Never stop reading. A simple Google search will help you with this mighty task. By reading another authors work you may be inspired to recreate a similar piece. A friend of mine would do this for all of her poems except relate it back to the LGBTQ community. She’s a brilliant writer.
–Get feedback. This is my favorite piece of advice. Share you work with others and see what they say. If you don’t want to hand it to your friends or family share them with other writers. I love getting creative criticism on my work because that means I can improve my message. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy it when my message comes across clear as day but I want honesty.
– Lastly, your work is never finished. Paul Valery once said, “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” First I’ll address fiction writers, your characters will always exist. The story may have ended but in time they will drift back into your mind (I know mine have) and you will want to know what happened to them. For poets, when you clean out that box in your closet or under your bed and you find that old piece of paper withered away with sweet words on it. I suggest you pick it up and recreate it. Keep doing this every so often, by the time you are ripe in age you can reread them and recall where you were at in life when writing the piece.
I’ve noticed in my own writing that I write what is going on in my life. Some of my short story scenes involve friends and dilemmas I faced when writing. I reread those works and can tell you exactly what I was feeling. The same goes for my poetry. I can pin point who I was thinking about or what emotions I was going through at the time.
*Bonus: Revise your work. Get rid of useless words. Example: Many local farmers plan to attend next Friday’s meeting so they have a very good idea about the regulation changes at the farmers market. Example rewritten: Many farmers will attend Friday’s meeting concerning the farmers market regulation changes.*
I hope this has been somewhat helpful for you while you trek through the writing process. There is much more I could write about but I thought this was the best advice I would give a class of upcoming writers. If you’d like to learn more please feel free to contact me. Also, if you have any tips you’d like to share on how you write please share! I love to learn new strategies in writing.