This post appeared on Quora as my answer to the question, “I’m a regular guy who wants to be a writer. Where should I start? What should I do?”
As a blogger, I write consistently. So people ask me, how do they become writers. I give them the following piece of advice.
To Become a writer you must start from within. Get into yourself and get a hold of the source of your motivation and inspiration. I say this because self-awareness is the beginning of all greatness and achievements. it sets the basis for clear thinking and effective action, both of which are crucial tools required to produce great writing.
So begin by understanding why you want to write. Then take it further by identify the areas you will be most comfortable and interested writing about. To do this, you will have to study different forms of writing before you can chose which forms best suit your nature and interests. The first starting point into producing great writing therefore is to begin to read. There’s no way you can ever become a writer without first reading. So, start reading and writing, however poor you think your writing is. It will certainly improve with time.
If you have a degree in English, literature, or a related field, it won’t hurt you. But if you don’t have, you are at no disadvantage. Some of the world’s greatest writers had no degrees at all, others had degrees in entirely different field.
Some people close to me had told me of my good writing skills even before I knew they exist. My responsibly, thereafter was to develop this seeming writing talent. I said to myself, “lets see where this takes us,” then I started writing articles to send to newspapers, none of which ever got published. But good thing then was that later when I started Influence Nigeria i saw the reason why some of those articles never appeared on newspaper pages. I fine-tuned them, and publish them here.
The best thing I’ve done in a long while to sharpen my writing talent is to develop my knowledge of the craft. I started by studying the basics; reading such books as ‘the elements of style,’ ‘on writing well,’ and ‘on writing.’ After that, and armed with the knowledge of the basics, I devoured both fiction and some of the world’s known best non-fiction pieces like the works of Malcolm Gladwell. Then, I saw the quality of my writing impress me in no small measure. I hope it impresses my readers as well, or even more.
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