What NOT to Do as a Writer

There will be times as a writer you will start doubting your talent, especially as a fresh face in the industry.

Starting out, your work may not get as much recognition as you may have hoped and you’ll begin to think deeply about whether or not you have enough talent to get ahead. You’ll start criticizing your art, throwing it out in the trash because you figured, if I do it exactly the way my idol does it, I’ll get the attention I deserve.

This not only makes writing difficult for you, but it also takes away your authenticity, and you lose the sense of fun and satisfaction you derive from putting words together.

While trying to find or create a niche for yourself, here are a few things you should NOT do:

  1. DON’T feel demoralized: Not everything you write will be loved in the first instant. Sometimes, your clients or audience might express their displeasure or harshly critique your work. Don’t take it to mean you are a terrible writer; instead, embrace it. Let it serve as a guide in the future, and that way, you become better.
  1. DON’T ignore the details: Don’t gloss over specifics, hoping that your audience will miss it. Even if they do, you do not want to associate yourself with a mediocre piece of art in the future just because you were too lazy. Do your best and give your best, every time.
  1. DON’T give up: It is healthy to take a break when you feel overwhelmed. But don’t stop writing, especially if that’s what makes you happy. Give it a minute, take a breath of fresh air, and dive right back into it. Don’t let anything, not even yourself, steal your voice from you.
  1. DON’T stop learning: You can’t pour from an empty jar. If you are not careful, a few seconds of fame and a couple of commendations later, your head will begin to swell. Then you start feeling like you know it all and you don’t have any need for new information. Keep consuming content that keeps you knowledgeable and abreast of times—it shines through your work.
  1. DON’T worry too much: Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by what someone else is doing. Appreciate their art but don’t dwell on it or use it as a yardstick to measure your creativity. Focus on your craft and hone your skills.

Very importantly, don’t forget that SABI WRITERS is here to help you with all of your writing needs. Contact us today.

The Writer And His Audience

One of the lessons you learn early as a writer is the fact that your writing will not resonate with every reader who comes across your work. Not everyone will be thrilled at the thought you express or be impressed with the creativity that flows out of your pen. And this is not because there is something wrong with your work or that you are somehow inferior as a writer. No, that is as far from the truth as you can get.

No matter how famous and well renowned an author or writer is, not everyone will gravitate towards his/her literary piece. Back in school, for instance, while people oohed and aahed over the romantic scribblings of Danielle Steele, there were those who declared her work tedious and overhyped. In the same vein, while some course mates and fellow readers thrilled to the suspense of John Grisham, others opted for a lighter-hearted and fun read. Despite the reputation ChimamandaAdichie has crafted on the African and international literary scene, her work is not accepted by all and sundry.

The truth is that like everything else in life, every work of art and piece of writing has a purpose for which it is intended and a specific audience to which it is addressed. This is one of the beauties of diversity, and it’s a fact that no matter the amount of written works that flood the literary space, there is always a reader available to read it. Even when several books on similar subject matter have been written, the tone with which one writer puts forth the information may appeal to one reader over that of another writer.

Therefore, rather than bemoan the fact that the people you desire to impress and impact do not gravitate towards your writing, it is important instead to identify who your target audience is as a writer and deploy your gifts to their benefit.

How, then, do you do this? Well, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Identify your core message and writing genre: Your core message simply refers to the central theme of your work and the overall aim and purpose of your writing. This could be business, spiritual, romance, suspense, motivation, among others. As a writer, first identify the message you wish to pass across and get to work on writing it.
  1. Identify your specific reader: Once you have identified your core message, the next step is to seek out the category of persons who need the specific piece of written work you wish to produce. A book on breastfeeding, for instance, would be mainly targeted at pregnant and nursing mothers as they are the ones more in need of the information than their unmarried counterparts. Therefore, look for people in the particular demography, whether of age, occupation, career, etc., that you wish to write to.
  1. Map out where your audience is likely to hang out: Whether it is online or in a physical space, knowing the places your target audience is likely to hang out makes it easier to connect with them and get your work in their faces. With the world gone largely digital, there is no doubt that most of your readers can be found online. While searching for them on the online sphere, however, ensure you identify the spots they are likely to be found. For example, it is not enough that you know your readers inhabit Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; it is also advised to map out the likely groups and networks formed on these spaces as these intimate places are where people of like minds and passions are sure to converge.
  1. Discover the influencers in that space: Now, when you identify the groups and hangouts your likely audience is sure to frequent, the next step is to identify the influencers in that space. Take note of the persons to whom others go to for advice and who have more engagements and impact. Study what books and topics are greatly debated and issues of concern relating to your subject matter that is being discussed. As you gain insight on this, it becomes easier to steer your writings in the direction that appeals to your target audience.
  1. Build and leverage on relationships with these influencers: Finally, having identified the influencers in the places where your target audience converge, build a relationship with them and then leverage on this relationship to promote your writing and gain influence. This can be done through mentoring and partnerships.

So, there! You have it. Now that you’ve got these few tips, do not worry anymore about those who do not gravitate towards you as a writer; instead, take time seeking those who need your message.

You were not sent to everyone after all.

Are there more ways you believe can be used to find your target reader audience?Do let us know in the comments section.

How To Know A Good Writer

Once upon a time, writers were believed to be those who had a flair for writing and could articulate words that dazzle and bamboozle people to the extent that they gradually earned respect and ranks.

In recent times, there has been a dramatic shift. With the evolution of the social media, everyone who possesses a smartphone or laptop and has access to the internet has suddenly become a writer. This is because many of them feel that they can put down whatever comes to their mind on their device and go public with it. After all, there are people on the streets of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms to feed with any type of content irrespective of how shallow or poorly written it is. Not minding that what they have written may not be genuine, confirmed or meeting the needs of their readers. All that matters to them is seeing the works of their hands online and sharing their thoughts on public space, so yes, they are writers. That’s all!

How wrong they are! Posting anything that comes to your mind does not make you a writer in the first place not to talk of being a good writer.

First, a writer is a person who uses written words to creatively communicate ideas and pass information through various styles and techniques.

Now here are a few tips to enable you to spot a good writer:

  1. A good writer is a reader:

Judge it a cliché, but you cannot fault the validity of this statement anytime—a reader is a leader. There is no arguing about how true this is. How possible is it for you to write if you have not adequately gathered the right information? Quite impossible! Reading helps you to get information, stay in the know, enlarge your vocabulary, and builds your word bank as well. After all, words are the most crucial work tools for a writer; without words, a writer is unable to execute or function.

  1. A good writer is disciplined:

Discipline is vital when it comes to the writing role. It is one thing to start writing an article, a story, or a book, and another thing to bring it to completion. Only disciplined writers finish what they start. Indiscipline has deprived many of achieving their goal of becoming a writer.

  1. A good writer is passionate about writing:

Writing is not just about putting pen to paper or typing away on the keypad; it is much more than that. It involves an inner desire and passion for passing message across through words that spew from the heart. If you do not have a passion for writing, you cannot be a good writer.

  1. A good writer is creative:

Creativity is all about producing something new, different, unusual, or unique that can stand the test of time. A good writer’s watchword is originality, and this inspires him/her to be innovative rather than depend wholly on what others have done.

  1. A good writer pays attention to details:

Paying attention to details entails being observant, taking note and ensuring that no statistical/factual uncertainty or grammatical error goes without correction. Every work of a good writer is not only properly written but thoroughly scrutinized and polished to perfection.

Now, here is the real gist: the first step to becoming a good writer is to start writing. Put those thoughts down in the most suitable words and get started.

If you need an award-winning writing company to take off your writing burden, Sabi Writers has got you covered.

The Most Important Characteristic of Every Successful Writer

Movies will have you believing that successful writers write from a choice location in Paris that overlooks the Eiffel Tower, that they do their writing with a sophisticated 19th-century typewriter as they type under the influence of unending inspiration. But if you’ve decided to become a writer, you already know that’s not the general reality.

Successful writers did not get their achievements because of the brilliance of their writing space. Neither is it because they are always inspired to write. The truth is, many writers write looking dishevelled from the comfort of their—most likely unmade—beds, and often after they have dealt with spells of no inspiration.

Despite the absence or presence of this, however, there is one characteristic that determines whether you’ll be successful as a writer or not. To be clear, this characteristic works together with other qualities to make for a successful career in writing. But without it, you might as well say goodbye to being on a bestsellers list someday.

What is this thing, you ask? Well, every successful writer has discipline. It’s as simple as that.

It’s not about having the perfect location to write or being always inspired. Becoming a successful writer depends on how much of a disciplined writer you are. And this is important because, without discipline, you will never finish your book idea. Neither will you submit it to publishers who will give you the opportunity you need to reach millions of readers globally.

Now that you know the most important characteristic of every successful writer, how can you cultivate it?

  • Set a timeline for your book: If you already know what you want to write about, saying you will write it within a year is a much better bet than just saying you will write the book. The reason is that when you have a clear timeline, it’s easy to create smaller chunks of goals that’ll help you complete the book. It’s also a perfect way to write without waiting for inspiration which is likely to delay you.
  • When writing, separate the times for research from the times you’ll dedicate to writing: This is quite useful in today’s social media age. Don’t be deceived—writers are not immune to the distraction of social media. This is why you will find some innocent research turning into hours on Instagram. Therefore, it is much easier to highlight the details you want to research and return to them at a later time so you can complete your writing.
  • Always re-visit what you have written: Writing can be frustrating, and it becomes more pronounced if publishers keep rejecting your work. Sometimes though, that rejection is because you have sent in a first draft. See, discipline also involves submitting the best version of your story. No matter how brilliant you think that first draft is, it’s a lazy attempt at telling your story, so if you need a break before coming back to your book, take it. Just ensure that you’re not sending in your first draft.

As Ernest Hemingway rightly said, “…there must be discipline…” in the writing process.

How to Create an Engaging Dialogue

One of the key elements of a story is dialogue. By way of definition, a dialogue is the textual representation of spoken words and conversations within most creative works, including novels, short stories, and scripts. It is the speech of fiction, the talk between two or more characters.

Dialogue is an essential element of a story because it is what advances the story; it is what directs and changes the course of a story. It also helps a writer to communicate specific information to his reader. Dialogues reveal the nature of the characters in the story, and it is through dialogues that the message of the story is communicated to the reader.

One of the keys to writing great stories is building an exciting dialogue. A dialogue must create an emotional effect and response from the reader.

There are a few things to consider while writing your story dialogue.

  1. Give your characters different voices, word choices, rhythms, and styles: Just like real humans speak differently, the difference of tone, word choice and style between characters should be noticed by the readers. This requires research and observation. As a writer, you must understand who a character is before you ascribe a voice style and tone to him or her. For example, if a character were to be an Ibo, then he should speak differently from the Hausa character. Traditional Ibos tend to talk in proverbs; you may give your Ibo character this distinction.
  1. Keep your dialogues brief: Although there are situations where long dialogue is allowed, this should not be dominant. Long dialogues are more suitable in plays than in novels. In a novel, dialogues should not go over for pages and pages. Don’t allow characters to speak at length without interruption by another character.
  1. Be consistent with your characters’ voice and style: I said earlier that each character should have unique voices. You must be consistent with it; an Ibo character should not just start talking like an English man all of a sudden.
  1. Show; don’t tell: This cannot be overemphasised in a story. Writers are quick to tell a character’s emotions, feelings or intentions instead of showing them. You should show what your characters feel instead of telling it. You can make use of body language because it is very crucial in a story-like dialogue. To do this, you have to understand human behaviour. Just like humans do, your characters should not always know what they feel. For you to be able to apply this to your story, you may need to observe a lot. Observe people while they are having a discussion and apply the same to the characters in your story.
  1. Avoid repetition of names in dialogue and keeping other characters in a scene busy while others are talking: This will add reality to the scene. Your characters should not be unnecessarily passive.
  1. Minimise identifying tags like ‘he said’, ‘he asked’, etc.: Tags are sometimes not necessary and worse, they drag the flow of the story and make it boring.
  1. Read your dialogues out: Some will say you should write your dialogues the way you speak. This has proven to be quite effective so you might consider applying it.

And lastly, read wide and listen to people talk. Reading and listening help you create dialogues that are not only real but interesting and engaging.