Writing is hard! Asking people to write something for you: is harder. I have asked folks to write some articles for friendlysuggestions.com and everyone says the same thing “I’m not a writer.” If you asked me a few months ago, I would have said the same thing. Then I would have thought for a second and I would have told you “I can’t really write.” Well, guess what, I am writing and you are reading my writing. After a week into writing a story everyday for the site, I was really uncomfortable, self conscious and unsure of myself. There is only one thing to do if you want to improve your writing skills, that is to write, and continue to write. There is no write or wrong, right? (There’s my sense of humor for you.) I’ve been writing over a month, and, I now feel better about it. I have decided I’m going to write no matter what. Like anything else it gets better and better with practice, I hope. It certainly gets easier with practice. I have a new feeling of creation every time I write a story. When I’m writing, it makes me forget about time and space and allows me to connect with something inside of me that has given me a new spark. I forget about the day-to-day crap, that we all go through, and I tap into another world or consciousness. I like it, and maybe I am starting to love it.
I want to get better at this writing stuff. I have worked for a bunch of newspapers since the early 1980s. I was a photographer, an artist, a cameraman, a plate room guy, a computer tech, and a supervisor: but never a writer or editor, until now. I remember feeling self conscious about memos, and the posted signs, I would have to write. Editors and writers would copy edit them on the wall for all to see. I concentrated and tried to write better back then, for my audience. Now I am trying to write better for myself and for you, my audience. I am reading books about writing and editing, some are fun and funny at the same time. I’m staying away from the serious ones for now because I want friendlysuggestions to be fun. I have learned about some “errors” in writing and punctuation that I have made since the early 1980, which I am correcting now.
The first book that I will recommend is When Good People Write Bad Sentences: 12 Steps to Better Writing Habits. It is funny to write a story about a book about how to write. This book plays off the idea of 12 step recovery programs. It suggests these “Twelve Steps to Verbal Enlightenment” will improve your writing. While focusing on different writing problems, it will help people who struggle with writing (malescribes) to improve their writing skills. And, in my case, I believe it has. It has been fun reading, and challenging because it is hard to read and accept that some of the ways you have been writing, for years, have been wrong. Doesn’t mean you’re a bad person it just means that you have room for growth if you are willing to change.
A bunch of my friends say they are going to write something for this site and I am sure they will. We are here to help with suggestions, ideas and tips. If something isn’t written perfectly but the suggestions help someone that is what it is all about. And, having fun in the process is important, too. If you want to learn how to write better I do recommend this book When Good People Write Bad Sentences: 12 Steps to Better Writing Habits. I think it has helped me, you decide.