To celebrate National Writing Day, MFA in Creative Writing graduate Nassma Al Bahrani offers her top tips for starting and developing your craft.
“When it comes to Creative Writing, the journey is arguably more satisfying than the destination. Whether you find yourself honing your writing skills for a potential career choice or for the pure pleasure of it; you will need practical advice to help guide you in the right direction.
The following is a list of tips that I have compiled throughout my years of experimenting with and studying the art of writing.
- Read. Read. Read, then write.
Reading is like meeting people, and making friends; it introduces you to new worlds, and ideas but also teaches you stylistic approaches to emotions, language, and narrative that you might adopt in your writing.
2. Master your craft
Dedication is key. Studying the art of writing can be accomplished in several ways, depending on what you wish to achieve; there are plenty of online courses, certificates, and masterclasses on offer via a simple internet search. In my case, completing my MFA from the University of Surrey not only allowed me to dedicate the necessary time toward refining my craft, but also expanded my career prospects.
3. “If you build it, they will come.”
Listen to your heart and be authentic when it comes to developing your author voice. Readers always respond to genuine characters and narrators; it is important to write what you consider valuable and enjoyable. Once you do what you love, you will attract those who are loyal to, and appreciative of your work.
4. Look for inspiration
Whether it is finding a network of writers to connect with, or travelling across the world, there are numerous avenues to inspire the next bestselling novel. Whichever method you choose, it is essential for successful writers to force themselves out of their comfort zones and explore the unknown once in a while.
5. “To write is human, to edit is divine.”
Stephen King said it best; editing is truly divine. There is no skill greater than proofreading for any serious writer. Everything good takes time to refine, and editing will only take your storytelling that extra mile. It is always a good idea to take reasonable breaks and look back at your work with fresh eyes before editing. Whatever you do, always allow time to edit your work once, twice, or even ten times before taking any further steps.”
Thanks to Nassma for guest editing the blog today.