One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was that writers should read and write every day. Writing is a craft, a discipline. It’s something that you have to consistently keep at. Practice does make perfect in the case of a writer. The more you do, the better you become and the more aware you are of your style and your platform.
You can be taught sentence structure. You can even memorize all the grammar rules (and then un-memorize them, because of the amount of exceptions there are to those rules). But finding your personal writing zone is more intuitive. It just comes from doing.
It really doesn’t matter what you’re reading. Read a sonnet from Shakespeare. Read an article in a fashion magazine. Just read! You pick up so many things without even realizing it. One day a word will come out of your mouth that you didn’t even know you knew! And then it will dawn on you that you read it somewhere and I guarantee you that word ends up in your writing.
In the same vain, it really doesn’t matter what you write. Just write! I’m actually a professional writer for an infomercial company. I write scripts every day, so why should I write a column too? Because writing can get stale. Writing is art and art should be organic.
Even though I say writing is something you should do over and over again, it’s not something you should do exactly the same over and over again. Scripts and columns are very different forms of writing, particularly the ones I work on. Whereas infomercial scripts are formulaic; my Write On column is more freestyle. I get the chance to let the creative juices flow. It re-energizes me and my writing.
I pick up little intricacies here and there and then apply them elsewhere. After all, a writer is a perpetual student. It sounds trite, but it really is true – the more you learn, the more you grow.
To my Widbook writers, read and write; learn and grow. It will make your writing write on.