In one of my blog entries, I wrote about a question I was asked about my writing process. Another question I was asked recently was what advice I have for aspiring writers.
Firstly: learn English! (Or whatever language you happen to be writing in.) It might sound ridiculous and obvious, but most people don’t pay attention in English classes at school and unfortunately some schools a horrific job in teaching the bare basics of English composition. Language is such a fluid thing and it takes practice to master it, like any subject.
I was lucky: my mother started her career as an English teacher, my maternal grandmother started her career as an English teacher and my father learnt English as a second language. I also learnt Italian as my secondary primary language as a child and I studied French and Japanese and a little German in high school (although I’ve forgotten a lot of those languages). So I had a benefit many others might, no probably wouldn’t, have.
Secondly: study a second language if you can. You will learn the rules of structure, grammar and spelling of another language which will go some way to helping you understand your primary language.
Thirdly: read, read, read. You can learn a lot from seeing how others write.
Fourthly: get a tough skin. You’ll get criticism from others and it won’t always be easy to swallow. Don’t take criticism as a personal attack on your soul; learn something and get better.
Fifthly, and finally: don’t aspire to write. Write! Write, write and write some more!
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