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What skills that requires me to become a writer?

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Subject: Career question for you


5 answers

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Fernando’s Answer

The basics for becoming a writer are: good knowledge and application of language in written form, strong grasp on the rules of grammar and good understanding of sentence structure. When it comes to the more advance stuff you have: brainstorming, essay writing, proofreading, editing and revising. Now, these are just some of the general skills not counting the ones that come with specializing in a writing genre. There are various writing genres like prose, scriptwriting, copywriting, poetry, novel and many others, each with their own set of rules.

Before you jump into a writing genre focus on the fundamentals. Once you got that down feel free to experiment with any writing genre that draws your attention. When you find one that clicks with you it's all about practicing it. A great way to learn more about writing is generally reading various types of articles and stories. Seeing how others approach the various writing genre can help to give you a general idea that you can use as a springboard to create your own style.
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Kikanza’s Answer

Hello David.
How wonderful that you want to be a writer. I think the first criterion for writing well, is to be a reader. Read anything and everything. Read and notice how the same topics are approached by different writers. Notice how writers use words to tell stories, to paint pictures, to share information. Notice what draws you into a story, an article, or a book. Notice what you find annoying, what causes you to put the piece down and turn to something else.

The second thing you need to do is to practice writing well. No matter what it is, write it as if it were going to be published widely. Use emails and texts as opportunities to practice crafting thoughtful sentences and meaningful paragraphs. Write using complete words and sentences -- no acronyms, no text shorthand. Write as if you were practicing scales on a piano. You practice the scales and hand exercises so that your brain and hands coordinate and know what to do. Then when you get a difficult piece to play, you can focus on interpreting the music, not figuring out how to play it. When you practice writing daily, you will not have to think about grammar and spelling or paragraph construction because they will be second nature. When you write you can focus on what you have to say, not the mechanics of saying it.

Finally, to be a good writer, you need to have something to say. Fill your life with people and situations that challenge and teach you. Spend time reflecting on the meaning of your life and relationships. Notice what people listen to when you speak. That is what you can write.

Two basic books about writing will be helpful: Strunk and White, Elements of Style and Zinsser, On Writing Well.
There are many ways to earn a living writing, the key is to have good technical skills and an ear for the language of your audience.

Good luck!
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Igal’s Answer

Hi David,

It depends on what kind of writing you have in mind. However, there are some general skills that'll serve you well in any writing career:

- Possessing a solid grasp of the English language, its grammar and nuances, and a larger-than-average vocabulary
- Being well-read, especially in the type of writing you're interested in
- Being knowledgeable in the field(s) you're interested in writing about
- Having good research skills so you can learn the things you don't know
- Understanding the business side of the type of writing you're interested in, so you know how to earn from it

I've done a lot of technical and business writing, including technology blogs, and that kind of writing requires being comfortable in the world of high tech, its concepts and methods. And keeping up with its growth and changes.

To sum it up, to be successful in writing, be always willing to learn and grow in the type of writing career you choose. Best of luck!
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Donna’s Answer


Writing requires a good command of grammar, sentence structure, and spelling. But also, a writer needs to have a good imagination or the ability to see situations from several angles. Authors sometimes have majors in History or Archeology. Being able to weave a tale around facts helps engage the reader. A good author paints a world with the words on the paper and pulls the reader into that world. I personally love a book that sucks me in, and I read it all in just a few days.

As an author though, you will also need a business sense. There are so many avenues to get published today. Research and discover what is the best medium for your type of story.

Good luck, hope to read one of your stories one day.
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Steve’s Answer

Hi David,
Great question! It depends what type of writing you are interested in. Poetry, stories, journalism, novels, essays, professional business communication, more academic-level writing? What are you interested in? I ask this because while my colleagues here are correct in all ways, I'd like to add that some writing requires a level of creativity in the wording and sentence structure. If it's some other categories that I mentioned above here then it might require research skills or even an advanced level of research prowess. My career of 36 years and still going has been primarily focused on writing from journalism in the 1980s and 1990s to business writing in the corporate world to more academic level writing in the last 18 years. I will tell you that in those 36 years so far, my level of writing has evolved and changed in many ways. But some aspects of writing still apply:
- clear explanation
- thorough explanation and details
- research skills
- creativity at times

Does this help?

Steve Ryan

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