When looking back at my old blog, I try not to cringe too hard. I try hard to remember that I was only 14 and that I was trying to fit in with all of the cool blogging kids. However, it does kind of make me want to gouge my eyes out. I know that I shouldn’t be overly critical of my past self, but seriously, learn how to use a full stop instead of an exclamation mark after every! Single! Sentence!
No, I won’t be posting a link because, yes, you can trust me when I tell you it’s bad.
To be honest, I avoid looking back at it as much as possible. So, when I do have a gander, it really is shocking. Partially because it’s littered with grammatical errors and awful expression, and partially because it makes me realise just how far I’ve come. I think there are a tonne of factors that have contributed to my progress apart from just dedication. So, even though my brain is shouting “LOL YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO GIVE ADVICE”, I thought I would share how I have become a better writer.
Reading. A lot.
For those of you that don’t know, I’m currently over half way through an English Literature degree. After two years of reading an average of three novels a week, it’s safe to say I’ve covered a lot of genres. I think it’s inevitable that your writing style is influenced by texts that you read. Yep, even stuff like Paradise Lost and Lyrical Ballads! By taking in more writing, you give yourself more to work with.
Getting to the point
Granted, my blog isn’t the best example of this because I love a good ramble. But, my degree has also taught me how to get to the bloody point (when necessary). Sometimes you don’t need to write your life story. Just state your point, explain a little and move along.
Writing by hand
These days, pretty much all of my blog posts are written by hand first. I feel like typing is too quick and doesn’t give me a chance to properly formulate my thoughts. I also love the fact that I can dramatically tear out a page I’m not happy with…
Doing it all
For a long period of time, I did any and all writing work I could get my hands on. Newspaper journalism, working on my uni’s blog, creating leaflets and books. The lot. Not only did this allow me to find what I liked most out of all of them, but it also meant I could hone my skills. By volunteering at companies I was able to get constructive criticism from my seniors – something I don’t usually get as a blogger who writes everything from under her duvet.
After experimenting with a lot of writing work, I realised that I’m only really that good at writing when I care about it. There’s only so much false enthusiasm a girl can muster! Which is why I stopped fashion blogging and started talking about things I care about instead: feminism, ethical living and self-love!
Knowing when to stop
I really really wanted to get this post out yesterday. But when it’s 9:30 and you’re stress typing out a load of gibberish, you have to call it a day. The truth is that your best work will never find its way onto paper (or screen) if you don’t practice self-care. It’s something that I’ve learnt the hard way. I’m basically addicted to the thrill of ticking something off a to-do list, but looking at things from a wider perspective made me learn that it’s more important to do things well than do them quickly.