Welcome to Creative Fuel, our series dedicated to jumpstart your creative process with helpful tips and tools from industry experts. This month we’re offering up some valuable advice on the art of writing.
“I believe large numbers of people have at least some talent as writers and storytellers, and that those talents can be strengthened and sharpened.” ~Stephen King
While designers usually focus on elevating content through visuals, sometimes we are required to craft written content ourselves. To help you refine your skills and put them to practice, we’ve compiled some essential tips from the famed Stephen King’s On Writing.
This honest and motivating book is how King came to become one of the most celebrated writers of our time. Weaving his memoir with his personal advice on writing, this is a well-written, helpful, and easy read. Follow King through his early childhood, rocky career, tragic accident, and honorable recovery to see how the link between his life and writing helped shape his career into something legendary.
Here are some insights we picked up along the way:
Put passion behind your work: “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” No matter the job, put passion behind your writing and your audience will thank you.
Begin with the door closed and your mind open: “You must not come lightly to the blank page.” Take your work by storm and don’t hesitate. Come into your writing with a mindset and setting that are void of distraction.
To become a better writer, read more: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Immersing yourself in good writing will help you discern what makes winning content. This also helps you become immersed and comfortable with the craft.
Release your ideas: “…good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun.” Read more in our previous Creative Fuel Post: Connect to Your Creativity.
Avoid adverb hell: “Adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to be created with the timid writer in mind.” King says the road to hell is paved with adverbs. Avoiding them will help your writing stay sharp and active.
Build your vocabulary: “The basic rule of vocabulary is use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful.” Condition yourself to use less common and more powerful words in your writing. This will help your content stand out.
Perfect your grammar: “Grammar is not just a pain in the ass; it’s the pole you grab to get your thoughts up on their feet and walking.” When you know the rules of writing, everything comes easier—from sentence structure to paragraph flow. For a superb grammar review, King suggests Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition.
We highly suggest reading the entire On Writing to inspire the writer inside you. Leave us a note below and let us know your thoughts. Looking for more inspiring tips and tricks? Checkout last month’s Creative Fuel, for some though-provoking tools for your creative process.
Be on the lookout for more informative musings in our next Creative Fuel. Until then we leave you with one last quote from King:
“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” ~Stephen King, On Writing