Writing requires certain steps, just like successful recipes! For a recipe to be successful, taste great, and leave your guests wanting more, there are key ingredients to include, or else the recipe fails. If you shop for the ingredients, read the recipe, and follow the instructions, more than likely your recipe will be a success.
The same is true for writing. But remember, unless you have stories to tell and a passion so deep within you to write, do not become a writer. Write because you love to write; not for the glory or for the wealth. Those are not givens. With that said, to begin your path to successful writing, familiarize yourself with the four key ingredients necessary to make it work: read, observe, write, and live. I’ll discuss each step below.
Remember this when writing!
- Read: Read whatever you can put your hands on – Classic literature, literary fiction, commercial fiction, and read books on writers, and the art of writing. Read magazines, the newspaper, the funnies, and the dictionary. Read the ingredients on your food containers. The more you read, the more ideas you’ll have to write about and it will help you determine the style of writing you like or don’t like.
- Observe: Observe everything around you; observe the genres you read – which ones do you like, which ones don’t you like? Pay attention to the style of writing. Is it formal, analytical, or narrative? Which do you prefer? Do you like comedy, romance, fiction, or nonfiction? Observe your surroundings; when you walk outside, ride your bike, look at the sky, or just sit and relax notice everything around you. This will all come into play when you start to write.
- Write: Keep a notebook with you (something sturdy and used only for writing) and write down any ideas when you have them so you don’t “lose” them. Then, when you are ready to write, you’ll have a place to start. Pick a topic and write, write, write. It doesn’t have to be perfect at this stage; your goal is to put your thoughts down on paper and you can fill in more complex details later.
- Live: Through living you have material to write about. Visit as many places as you can and, if possible, live in different places if you have the opportunity. The different experiences you have in life help you write with knowledge. Also, as a writer, empathy is an important trait you need so you can understand people and encounters beyond what you have experienced in your personal life.
Writers have a passion for what they do; it’s part of them. Do you have the passion? Do you read, observe, write, and live? If so, your writing will come to fruition. I’d love to hear from you. Which of the four ingredients resonate most with you? For me, I love to read whatever I can and whenever I am able.