So You Want to Be a Writer

Do you have the 'writing bug'? Do you want to improve your writing? Read this to learn some fun ways to strengthen your writing skills and start you on the road to a possible career in writing!

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Many children aspire to be authors or journalists, but have no idea what they can do to follow their dreams.

Read to Write

First, and maybe even most important, read everything you can get your hands on! It is important to read a variety of writing styles including fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, adventure, historical fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, and even newspapers.

By reading pieces written by different authors, you will learn what genre you are interested in writing. You will also see what works and what doesn't work well with writing. A lot of kids are surprised when authors tell them reading is the number one way they can improve their writing, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

Know Your Current Events

When you start to devote more time to reading, make sure to also research which issues are big in the news. Knowing the big issues of the world will help you find a focus to your writing. People are more interested in fictional and non-fictional pieces that are relevant to their lives. This will also give you additional incentive to keep up on your reading!

Practice Writing Exercises

Keeping a journal is great because they are small, so you can take them with you everywhere, like to school or on road trips. Whenever you think of something new like a poem or just feel like writing, you can pull out your journal and write (as long as it's not in the middle of class).

When journaling you can write about virtually anything: life, a specific topic, and even ideas for stories. What is important with journals is that you are getting practice with writing. Also, since a journal is very personal, don't be afraid to take a risk with your writing! You do not have to show others the work in your journal, so go ahead and write about anything and everything and in any style.

A twist to journaling is to take on another persona. This is a good exercise if you are interested in fictional writing because it gets you inside your character's head and personality. The more you practice writing from different perspectives, the easier it will be to write characters in fictional pieces.

Learn Description

Description is also extremely important when writing. Try sitting in a room and closing your eyes and write down everything you hear and smell. When doing this exercise, be as specific and descriptive as possible - even noises and smells are critical in your writing. Try describing everything you see as well. Then, read your descriptive piece to someone you know and see if they can guess where you were when you did the exercise.

Join a Writing Program or Workshop

Many towns have writing programs and workshops for kids. Keep your eyes open for fliers and read the events calendar in your local newspaper. Ask your teachers and school counselor if they know of any youth writing programs or camps that will be starting soon. These programs are a lot of fun for kids who are interested in writing. They are usually led by professionals who have a lot of experience in the writing field and may be able to give you helpful tips.

A writing program can introduce you to other students your age who share your passion for writing. You might make great friends who can help you with your writing. When you meet kids who are also interested in writing, you can start a writing club! Share your writing with each other to receive advice about your pieces and learn fun writing exercises they use to improve their skills!

Keep Writing

As you can see, there is a lot you can do now to strengthen your writing skills and chances of becoming a writer in the future! Try implementing these tips into your weekly routine. And most importantly at all, remember that no one ever wrote a word without picking up a pen or sitting in front of a keyboard or typewriter. If you want to write, just do it!

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

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