Tag Archives: growth

Four Fantastic Writing Tips

You all know the ritual; every year, about this time, I post up stuff about how my writing journey is going. 2014 makes it four awesome years since I dared to call myself a writer…and it has paid off.This year, for the benefit of upcoming writers, I came up with four things I’ve learned in four years about writing. Here we go:

It doesn’t matter if you think your idea sucks…write
I didn’t think, I knew my ideas sucked when I first started out with this writing thing. But I realized that if you don’t pen down those pieces that make you nervous, you won’t pen down anything at all. Plus, most times those ideas you think suck…people will love them.

Don’t be afraid to take a break
No, you’re not being lazy, you’re resting your mind. During a period like this, you could come up with some of your best ideas. Warning though; just keep on reading.

Writing gives you a confidence boost. (People naturally like writers)
Don’t know why, but people seemed to like me better when I became a writer. Still trying to understand it.

You never get used to starting a new project
No matter your experience, it seems like all new write-ups feel like you’re re-learning. I think it is more of a “re-discovery”. With every new project, as you write, you learn more about yourself.

@chosenmich

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You can’t Change People…so, What Can?

I think one of the technologies that have fascinated the human race the most is Cloning. Not the kind of cloning we have in top-notch labs around the world today where they use simple DNA to create a baby version of whatever animal they are trying to clone, but the sort of cloning that plagued Sci-Fi movies of the 80s and 90s where they place the star of the movie in a tube filled with water, and out comes a carbon copy of the star.

S1e7_clones_lined_up

 

 

 

Judging from my last post Chameleon Nature, you probably know that I am fascinated by the concept of change right now. The first thing anyone learns about change is, of course, its inevitability. As they say, “the only constant thing in this world is change.” But one of the other things I’ve learned about change is that you can’t change people. I think this is a hard reality many do not want to admit. We all want to see our friends dress like us, speak like us, love the kinds of movies we love, and so on. So, when we hear that we can’t change people, we get disappointed.

If we can’t change people, then what can? ‘Coz we all want those around us to change so we can finally stop trying to convince them that black coffee is more savory than milked. Or that the PS4 is a better game console than the X-box One. Here are two things I know that change people:

Environment

This is a primary factor especially when we are in our formative years. We are influenced by the people who are around us, the kind of schools we attend, and even the kind of programs we watch on TV. If we are raised among gorillas (like Tarzan), chances are we tree surf as a means of transportation (thank you, Disney, for selling us that impossible concept), and beat our chests like an ape, screaming “ah-ah-ah-ahhhh!” But if you are reading this blog, chances are you aren’t in your “formative years,” and that’s where the next change factor comes in…

Experiences

I normally disagree with this concept that the grass is greener at the other side of the fence (I’ll blog on that soon), but for contextual purposes I’m gonna use it here. Let’s assume that the saying is true. We know how comfortable we get in our comfort zones…until we have a brand new experience outside our comfort zone that proves our comfort zone was nothing but a boring zone. Personal testimony; I hated readers because they always buried their noses in those boring, text-filled pages, and found it difficult to speak a word to me when they were reading. As a result, I promised myself I would NEVER read…that was, of course, before I read Ted Dekker’s THR3E. And now I write.

You can’t people. But environments and experiences will. You have no control over these factors, but it’s good to know that under the right condition, that loved one—or hated one, depending—can, and will change.

@chosenmich


4 Ways to Spice Up your Writing

I have had an acoustic guitar for some four or five years now, but I never quite tried to learn playing it passed a few must-know chords. So this year, I got an electric, and decided to put my all into becoming a pro…somewhat.

I soon discovered something, however; there comes a point when you are learning to play the guitar, for most people, that you feel you aren’t growing anymore. You know there’s still so much to learn (coz you can’t play all your favourite songs yet), but you just aren’t learning anything. You’re essentially stuck.

It’s the same with most creative endeavours. Music, drawing, and of course, writing. I’ve been there one too many times with my writing, and every time I google “how to improve your writing”, the points ‘read’, and ‘write’, keep coming up—as if you didn’t know that already. With that mind, I have come up with 4 ways to spice up your writing if you’re in that boat.

1 Get used to using Idioms

Most wet-behind-the-ears writers do not use these. I am still trying to get used to using them. Idioms, in my definition, are creative ways of expressing simple ideas. For example, “wet behind the ears”, is nothing but a fanciful way of saying, ‘inexperienced.’ So get an idioms app, and get your idioms on.

2 Use Figures of Speech

Whether writing with alliterations, metaphors, or hyperbole, figures of speech prevent your writing from tasting like an unsalted meal. See what I did there? *wink wink* The King of Horror, Stephen King, is king in this aspect. So, pick up your primary (or elementary) school English notes, and relearn those speech figures.

3 Practice Perfecting your Poetry

I’m so not claiming to be good at this, but I have noticed that writers who are good at writing poetry write a mean fiction. Read a bit of Dean Koontz, and you’ll know what I’m saying. Having poetry in your arsenal helps your narration, and your description of scenes, weather etc. I should start a bit of poetry this year, but don’t quote me on that.

4 Play on Puns

I can’t talk about adding spice to our writing, without mentioning the use of puns; puns add an intelligent kind of flavor to your tone…pun most definitely intended. A pun is simply an intelligent play on words. The point of spice is to add flavor to your cooking, which is why I chose the expression, ‘flavor to your tone.’ Puns are great for adding humor and intelligence to your writing.

I particularly like this pun I found on Pun of the Day: “I’m glad I learned sign language; it’s pretty handy.” LOL.

Hope you spice up your writing with these four points.

@chosenmich


3 Boring but Effective Ways to Improve Your Writing

Sometime last year, I wrote a blog post titled “Weird and Unorthodox Ways to Improve Your Writing”, and, based on the feedback I got from you guys, it’s almost safe to say that was the best received blog post of mine last year. In an attempt to resurrect this epileptic blog of mine (other than changing designs), I’ve come up with a similar article to the 2013 favorite, this time highlighting some boring, but effective, ways to improve your writing. So, if you can get passed the critically boring activities, dive in to the following points and improve your writing:

  1. Watch the News: Need I say more? It’s fricking journalism. The main credential for studying journalism is a good English grade. Plus they probably know the news is boring, so they always come up with cool lines to sell it. I remember I first heard the term ‘skyrocket’ on the news, and even though that is a dated and abused term now, credit goes to the news companies for teaching me that.
  2. Read Academic Books/Journals: So, this one is pretty simple. Most writers are comfortable with reading as a way to improve their writing. However, we often settle in a comfort zone-like place, reading mainly fictions. The thing about Academic writings is, the author often drowns her readers with boring facts and information—this is what makes it boring. However, Academic books are written by intellectuals. Thus, the use of English in such text is almost unparalleled—this is what makes it so effective as a tool to improve one’s writing.
  3. Read the Mother of all Books: In this book, there are no characters, there are no stories, and there are certainly no plots. I’m talking about the Dictionary. Back in school, I must admit, reading the dictionary used to be one of my weird hobbies. Back then, there were no effective mobile dictionaries, so I didn’t have an app that could give me “word of the day.” Now, however, we do. But don’t stop at just assimilating the words you read in the dictionary, practise using them. And, really, every word used on the news, or in academic writings is in the dictionary, right? I guess this makes reading the dictionary the most boring, yet the most effective, way to improve your writing.

So, is it time to get bored? Getting bored might just mean getting better. 😉

 

MiCH OLORUNFEMi

@chosenmich


After Thr3e Years

Notice my spelling of the word “three” in my title? That’s my tribute to the author (and the book) that got me writing. Three years in the writing career, and I’m only just getting started. Every year, I post new things I’ve learned about the craft that is writing, and this year, being my third year in the craft, I’ve decided to share with my readers, fans, and followers, three things I’ve learned about writing in this short while.

1. Everyone believes they understand the craft.

By everyone, I mean everyone. If you are an upcoming writer, you’ve probably already had your works criticized by non-writers, and even non-readers alike. They try to analyze why you should do this, and why you shouldn’t do that. While most of them actually mean good, taking medical advice from an IT specialist probably isn’t the wisest thing to do. It spurs from a need to tell a story, because in the end non-writers and non-readers are telling a story one way or the other…just let me tell mine my way.

2. The blank page really is terrifying.

No, really, it is. When I first picked up the trade, it seemed that the one thing that was common with the opinions of all writers was, “The blank page is terrifying.” Flip forward three years later, and I still dread starting a book or a story. It’s really exciting, having a fresh tale to tell, but it’s dreadfully frightening when you open your text editor and watch that black cursor blink and mock you amid all that impossible white space. “How do I fill it?” You ask yourself. One word at a time. Something tells you…yet it’s never that easy. Never.

3. You don’t pick your genre, your genre picks you.

You don’t just wake up one morning and decide you want to write Steampunk Romance…ok, for a genre that weird, you probably get to choose. But I’ve discovered that the kinds of tales you tell are deep within you already. I think this affects readers too. You just find yourself drawn to a certain genre. Perhaps this is why it’s always hard to provide a definite answer when asked, “why do you write/read this kinda stuff?” Your genre calls you to the craft. Make no mistake about it.

@chosenmich