I didn’t discover my passion for writing until the past few years, although I was always an avid readers as a kid and wanted people to read my works. The past three years have been almost like a blessing and I finally found my interest in writing and moreover an outlet to express them. Nothing hurts more bad for a writer than having your works not being read widely. After having written over hundreds of articles for the past few years, I was given a chance to join the ShoutMeLoud community by the humble Harsh Agarwal and I didn’t have second thoughts about trying my luck here, and I have been accepted with some aplomb by the wonderful community here.
After having been written over a million words, including 60 articles for ShoutMeLoud, hundreds of articles on my personal blog and thousands of words for the first draft of my novel, my experience of working with Harsh and writing for the ShoutMeLoud community was a memorable one.
During this journey, I have experienced times when words would just come out of nowhere and there were times when I simply sat staring at the blank screen, and trust me, there’s nothing more frustrating than that for a writer. During this time I have made lots of typos, formatting errors and some bad writing. But the best part of all this efforts is the opportunity to learn something which was completely indifferent to me.
Writing is a great tool for self-discovery and improves your personality on all fronts. Unless you lay down all your thoughts straight on the paper, it is rather difficult to understand one. Blogs, songs, screenplay and novel writing are all some of the best outlets for a creative mind to put things down on paper than simply procrastinating about some random thoughts and idealistic plans.
7 Things I learned after writing for ShoutMeLoud
After having dabbled through many forms of writing, there’s always room for more and the journey of writing will be something you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Here are some of the things I have learnt about Blog Writing after writing for ShoutMeLoud.
David Thoreau puts it, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you haven’t stood up to live.” I was always an avid reader and it only helped in improving my writing and understanding different perspectives of other authors and writers. If I wrote 1000 words per day, be it a full-fledged article or a part of my novel, I read around ten times of what I write on a daily basis.
My Kindle’s always ready for me, I always carry a literature hardcover with me and I read widely, including technical papers. Reading regularly was something I increased three-fold after beginning to write for ShoutMeLoud, for I wanted to learn different point of views of other writers.
Write every day
This is one of my biggest challenge I face on a daily basis and the one almost every writer faces. Shifting between college, coursework and writing has made me miss out on deadlines and streaks of complete void, when not a single word was written. But I try my best and write daily, no matter if it would be immediately published or not. If it is possible for you, do blog daily, to publish it or not is up to you. You become what you are based on your habits and writing daily is a good one to have for any blogger. It may be even a sentence or a few sentences, but have a minimum quota to write everyday, show up to your desk daily and write some more.
Don’t blog just for the sake of it
Like I’ve just said above, writing daily doesn’t imply publishing daily. There may be days when the work is extraordinary and some when the work is bland. Do realize which one to publish and don’t be obliged to publish everyday just for the sake of it. Blogging just for the sake of it is a misuse of both your and your readers’ time. Don’t hit the publish button unless you make sure you are adding some value to your reader’s time. The best thing about writing for ShoutMeLoud was that I was never compelled to write for any other external reason, just for the love of it. Publishing whatever pops up in your mind, just for the sake of blogging daily leads to substandard articles, never make such mistake.
Plain and concise writing is bliss
During these times when starting a blog and writing online has been made easily accessible to everyone, the quality of the content available online is questionable. Now during times like these, plain and concise blogging is what the community needs more of. I would recommend all bloggers to go through Strunk & White’s The elements of Style, as this will be your best investment in improving your writing style considerably. Plush writing with technical jargon and pretentious vocabulary is not desirable and make sure you avoid it all costs. Same goes with the amount of content that goes into a blog post, almost 25-30% of the blog posts’ content could be easily eliminated and still you can convey your message effectively. Edit ruthlessly and eliminate everything that doesn’t add value to something already present.
Collective blogging is beneficial
The best thing about writing for ShoutMeLoud is that I’ve been introduced to a wonderful community always eager to learn a thing or two. Constructive feedback is a great way to improve your writing skills and a community is a great place to get started. The other great thing about blogging for a community is it rapidly increases your productivity, ending any procrastination present, with the increased expectations from your readers. Once you establish an authority among a community, you become one of the tribe and they’ll always expect more from you, eagerly waiting for the next piece from you. Collective blogging is beneficial for all parties involved and involving with different other communities is a great way to improve your writing career.
Writing can change people’s lives for the better
This statement might seem too far-fetched, but it can’t be spurned straightaway. I have received personal messages from various people on how useful some of the articles I wrote were for them. There is no more happiness in finding that your writing was of some use to the people reading them. Writing provides with some self-gratification that makes all these efforts worth it. A feeling that you are able to contribute something for the people and impacting their lives with your words is a profound feeling. Good writing spurs action in your reading and they’ll thank you later for providing them with the lift-off to set out and get things done. There is no more noble job than imparting knowledge by writing.
Never ending Opportunities and Challenges
Writing is a craft that can never be mastered. There is always something new to learn and a never-ending opportunity for growth. Blogging on schedule is a great challenge and provides with the motivation needed to kill procrastination and do some writing. Writing is a process of constant learning and evolving into something better and there’s never an end to it. No matter how veteran a writer, he will not be satisfied by his previous works, and the hunger to learn more is ubiquitous. The best thing about writing is the different forms it is present, and dabbling between them and mastering it will leave you with enough to explore and grow. ShoutMeLoud has been a boon for me to write and put forth my knowledge and thoughts in an efficient way possible.
What are your thoughts about the ShoutMeLoud community and the way it encourages new bloggers and writers to achieve more? Shout out your thoughts and comments below.