I know, this topic has been discussed many times all around the internet. And I know that there are tons of this kind of lists all over the place. But anyway, I want to share my personal tips on how not only become a better writer or poet, but also how to improve your inner-self and your living. It helped me, at least! Nonetheless, I believe that I have a right to write this type of post, although, I am not a professional writer yet, I have been doing this for at least five years now. Thus, I do have some experience in the area. I really hope that some of the thought will help you!
Thus, let us begin the “list”, shall we?
Be daring and adventurous both in your life and on the paper. Go and explore the life around you. Go to the places you have never been to. Finally do the activities you have been scared of even trying! If you have an exciting life, you will improve as a person, you will be more experienced and intelligent. Your creations will improve and stand out as well. When you are creating, do not be afraid to go beyond the limits, talk about the bold topics (race, disease, sexuality, religion, etc.). Have an interesting life and you will write the same way.
Read. A lot. You need to read in order to be inspired, to find new ways of expressing your feelings and to learn, of course. What is the most important, is that you should not limit yourself to only classical books or highly appreciated poetry. Try everything! Explore blog posts, magazines, newspapers, writings of your contemporaries and do not forget your own pieces of work (they hold a lot of forgotten knowledge). Everything can be used to get inspired and also to have more topics to talk about with your friends.
Exploit miseries of your life. This may sound as a horrible tip, but I believe that breakdowns are some of the best times to write. It will not only help you relax and clean the head of all the sadness or anger, but it will also work as a stimulus to create. I have experienced myself that when I feel strong emotions I want to write, I just need to jot down all the thoughts. The results might not be the brightest ones, but in the future, they help as a source of some interesting language usages and as a reminder of your life’s ups and downs.
Always be yourself. If you have to hide your real self in the public life, please, at least do not do that in your writings. That piece of paper will never judge you, it will never criticize you. Thus, you are free to express whatever is in your mind and heart. To say the truth, after some time of creating, your “paper self” will naturally transfer itself to your “social self”. Thus, being yourself will not only make your work unique and one of a kind, but also will help you to break out of the shelf by the continuous exploration of your inner world.
Never destroy your old writings, but do not be afraid of continuous editing. I suppose that this tip speaks for itself, but to be more concise… Never destroy what you have previously written, no matter how hideous it sounds when you read it after a few months or years. It is always useful to look back and see your progress. There is no point of getting rid of that precious history. On the other hand, do not be afraid of editing your pieces again and again, even after a long time. If you have not published it yet, you can erase and re-write what you dislike. However, save the original, otherwise it will become an act of destruction not an improvement.
Lastly, you do not have to write every day! I do not believe all that nonsense about writing every single day in order to improve your writing skills. I does not work that way. If I were to produce a poem every evening, it would become a forced mass production, my pieces would lose their meaningfulness… Writing is not supposed to be a habit, it is a way to express the feelings, it is a hobby! Thus, do not force yourself, take breaks, get your thoughts ripe enough and only then release them. As they say, quality over quantity!